Friday 6 May 2016

[Review] Lucky Chip Burgers and Wine, Ridley Road

Pretty much five years on from my first visit to Lucky Chip - when the tunes were being blasted out from Ben's truck in Netil Market, and we sat around, BYOB in hand, eating great burgers and soaking up the vibes - I'm heading back to its latest East London incarnation in the heart of Ridley Road market.
If Netil Market was Lucky Chip's infancy, then The Seabright Arms was its adolescence - a high energy period of burger slinging fuelled by bourbon, beer, and live bands.

Suffice to say Lucky Chip Burgers and Wine has grown up. It's a more mature offering, with seats and a bar and everything. It has menus. Actual menus on tables. And a short but well curated wine list. It's graduated through university, moved out of the flat-share and, like a young professional, moved to it's own pad, and has made it its own.

There's still an edge, of course, and you'd expect nothing less from this cult burger icon with it's roots deeply laid down in the E postcodes. Looking out through the wall of glass that separates diners from Ridley Road market you can't miss the in-your-face neon strip lit butcher stalls where pigs trotters, ox tongue and goats neck vie for space.

Back inside the tables are waiter/ress served giving a far more american diner feel than to any of the previous (or indeed existing at the Old Queens Head) incarnations. The menu remains broadly the same, except there's a 40-day aged Galacian steak on the menu, and a selection of starters, including some rather good padron peppers.

You'll recognise some classic burgers from times gone by, The Royale wit Cheese, The Kevin Bacon etc. - this trip my dining partners in crime and I went for the Kevin Bacon and El Chappo.

The Kevin Bacon has long held top spot in my Top 10 London Burgers list - and there is absolutely no changing that. This burger, for me, is the perfect balance of everything a truly great burger should be.

Soft but toasted bun, bit hit of salty smoked bacon, the stickiness and rounded flavours of American cheese melted over a truly great piece of flat-top grilled caramelised beef. All sitting on a crunchy bed of chopped iceberg lettuce and rounded off with ketchup, mustard and sharp pickles. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and a big grin on mine.
Kevin Bacon cheeseburger at Lucky Chip
Kevin Bacon cheeseburger at Lucky Chip
El Chappo is a real treat. For those who aren't sure about blue cheese in their burger (or a polarised against it) this will restore your faith. It's light and creamy, but with a hint of the classic blue 'bite' - but brilliantly offset by the chillies and bacon. It contains the same beef patty as the Kevin Bacon but with a glazed, sesame-seeded bun.

Lucky Chip has always put a smile on my face, and the venture in Ridley Road is no exception. It's just one of those unbeatable burger joints delivering a set of timeless classics in an utterly non-pretentious way. I love it. And so should you.

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