Thursday, 28 May 2015

[Review] Fatburger UK, Jamestown Road, Camden

Fatburger is the latest in a line of American burger chains hitting up the capital. Founded in the nineteen fourties in California, they now have franchises in more than 47 countries across the world - my first Fatburger was in Dubai in 2012 and it's well known as California's second favourite burger joint (after In N Out).
The restaurant is situated on the Jamestown Road strip in Camden, rubbing shoulders with Byron, The Diner, and Rossopomodoro (sister restaurant to Ham Holy Burger in John Lewis) - all established and illustrious neighbours. It's furnished somewhere between the garish red and white of Five Guys, and the more refined wood, metal and green neon of Shake Shack which as you'll see, seems to fit perfectly with the positioning of their burger.


I realise it's been a few weeks since my last post, and for that I'm sorry. I know. I've let myself down. I haven't been eating nearly enough burgers. But I'm BACK, so here's how Fatburger went down.

Price: 

Double Fatburger meal - £12.50. This includes your choice of skinny, fat, or curly fries and a drink.

Presentation:

Half wrapped and ready to eat, this burger looks pretty good.  It's served on a tray, along with curly fries (if you go for the meal) - although the plastic plate under the burger with the plain, greaseproof wrap is an odd addition. The burger sort of 'floats' above the surface, maybe it's to catch the juices as they run out of the burger as you pick it up. It makes me want to get stuck in.

Toppings:

From a standard set of toppings, you can choose what your burger is topped with, and you have the option to remove anything you don't want (kinda like going 'all the way' in Five Guys). I didn't remove a thing. And I would say that everything (perhaps barring the overly sweet relish) fits in this burger. It's like a Burger King Whopper on steroids - each bite you take you find something different. Refreshing iceburg, sharp pickles, juicy mild onions.

Oh, and I added bacon which was a mistake - and I don't say this lightly. Hammy, low quality bacon added BENEATH the patty Just. Doesn't. Work.

Meat:

The beef in the Fatburger comes out of a drawer in a ball and is smashed into a chrome griddle and seasoned with salt and black pepper. This forms a rich, peppery and caramelised crust on the patties. The meat is cooked medium pink, which is a nice surprise (and matches the thinner Shake Shack patties). My one gripe is that these burgers taste lean. They're dripping with juice, but there's very little fat content - and so that broad, rounded creamy flavour is missing. Overall, these are good burger patties.

Bun:

A glazed, super soft, pillowy white bun wraps this whole affair together. Firmly toasted, this wraps and holds the burger and its numerous toppings in a warm embrace. And your teeth go through it like butter. It's rather good. It's been a long time since I awarded a Bun Win!

Accessories:

Curly fries are, I'll admit, a damn fine offering - gimmicks aside. These are hot, crisp and salty (and dare I say it - fun!). Shake Shack has its crinkle cut fries, and Fatburger has its curly fries.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

For me this sits, as I expected, somewhere between shake shack and Five Guys in the ratings, too. It's obvious that comparisons will be drawn as another American big boy enters the market, but I think the concept works, and I can see myself coming back (mainly to take down the 24oz XXXL burger and get my picture on the wall of fame...yes, I know). The fact Fatburger make a point of advertising the lean beef is something of a downer, and lovers of the golden 80/20 ratio will be disappointed, but it's a pretty good effort, and curly fries are excellent.

Just don't order the bacon.


2 comments:

  1. Snortripper29 May, 2015

    Steak 'n Shake are also looking at the UK (I've extensive experience of their Cannes outlet) so it will be interesting to see how this segment of the market develops. As for Fatburger, anywhere that comes with the caveat "Just don't order the bacon"... Oh dear! It's impossible to tell from the photos but do you think it was actually smoked turkey instead? I've come across this on occasions so the food remains halal. Please don't start me off on this one, by the way!

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  2. Dale Pricey Price05 June, 2015

    Went today had a triple with cheese. almost walked out when he said the burger is cooked well done. But after reading this i thought i had to give it ago. when it came out it was cooked a perfect med rare! i really enjoyed the burger. I asked about the XXXL Challenge i was told that the burger i had was the challenge surely its bigger than that because i took it down in about 5 mins! Anyway as always great burger post thanks

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