Byron’s World Cup Burger – The Ronaldo

Hey there, sexy ;)

Hey there, sexy 😉

*EDIT: It’s been kindly pointed out to me that this burger is about the Brazilian Ronaldo, not the Portuguese one (which frankly makes a lot more sense) but…. being the football expert that I am *cough*, when I Googled ‘Ronaldo’ only the Portuguese one emerged. Sorry folks! It’s still a great burger so you should EAT IT BEFORE THE WORLD CUP ENDS!!*

So I might be a little slow in posting this because apparently England are pretty much out of the World Cup and that has probably dampened football fervour. Or maybe not, judging by the cheering at a screen I passed by this evening.  Continue reading

Patty and Bun, Liverpool Street

Patty & Bun Liverpool Street... looks a lot like P&B James Street

Patty & Bun Liverpool Street… looks a lot like P&B James Street

Warning! There are going to be a lot of BURGERS appearing on my blog on the next few posts. But burger off if you don’t like it!

The burger trend continues and Patty & Bun have *finally* got around to opening up a second branch…right opposite MacDonald’s.

Patty & Bun are well-established on the London burger scene with a branch on James Street, just near Bond Street. I first tried their Ari Gold burger at Feast at Tobacco Dock in March 2013. I found it a little vinegary due to the pickled onions, but I’ve been meaning to give them a second chance ever since.

To celebrate their Liverpool Street launch, they hosted a publicity event of spectacular proportions – not 100 free burgers, not 500 free burgers, but ONE THOUSAND FREE BURGERS were being given away.

Of course, the queues were ridiculous and my co-diners and I shuddered as we worked out the cost-time trade-off of queuing versus just going the next day and buying one. *ahem* Anyway….

We finally got there, ordered burgers to take away, and waited. We peered in the window…

Hard at work

Hard at work

and watched the production process…

The production process

The production process

… and checked out the sauces…

Their chilli sauce is A-MAZING

Their chilli sauce is A-MAZING

And then we got our food!

Ari Gold Cheeseburger - has to be one of the prettiest burgers out there

Ari Gold Cheeseburger – has to be one of the prettiest burgers out there

This is an Ari Gold Cheeseburger (£7.50) with bacon (+50p), salad, pickled onions, ketchup, and smokey P&B mayo served in a brioche bun. Doesn’t it look beautiful?

The consistency was beautiful, the bun held the patty well, and – although still messy – it was actually a lot easier to eat than a lot of burgers I’ve recently tucked into.

Ari Gold on the inside

Ari Gold on the inside

The patty was without doubt the highlight. It was perfectly cooked – medium-rare – and was beefy and succulent. I would go as far to say that it was the most delicious burger patty that I’ve eaten!! <– Yes, everyone, please recover your jaws.

However, the tiny, tiny problem was that the accompaniments just don’t quite cut it. The pickled onions are just far too pickly and all of us picked some – if not all – of them out.

Then, the rosemary-salted chips (£2.50) were soggy and we all sighed wistfully at the thought of Honest Burgers’ (reviews here, here, here, and here. Feel free to laugh at me – I’m already aware I’m a fangirl).

Saying this, I really want to try their ‘Jose Jose’ chilli burger with chorizo (£8.50) and their ‘Winger Winger Chicken Dinner’ (£5.50), a pot of smoked confit wings with BBQ sauce & spring onions, sounds very interesting indeed.

For now, however, the jury is out… but I want their patties oh-so-much.

Patty and Bun 3/5 – Magnificent patty, mediocre chips and maliferous onions. 

Website: http://pattyandbun.co.uk/
Where: Liverpool Street, London
When: Mon – Wed 11.30am – 10pm; Thurs – Fri 11.30am – 11pm; Sat 11.30am – 9pm; Sun 11.30am – 6pm.

The Hawksmoor Five Pork Burger: Bring out your inner pig

That's FIVE kinds of pork right there!

That’s FIVE kinds of pork right there!

Burgers have undergone a transformation in the past couple of years. From an unhealthy option associated – understandably – with greasy fast food chains, they are now so gourmet that Gourmet Burger Kitchen is considered fairly low-end.

As well as touting quality, newly-founded burger joints are fighting to distinguish themselves through their creativity. At one end of the scale, there is Haché Burgers. Their branches are decorated with fairy lights and flowers to add a soft, ‘feminine’ touch and boast an extensive menu with burgers ranging from the ‘Steak Mexican’ (cajun spices, salsa, guacamole, jalapeño peppers, sour cream) to the ‘Steak Louisiana’ with crunch peanut butter. At the other end of the scale, there’s Honest Burgers with its simple aesthetics and a simple menu offering just three kinds of beefburger, and one monthly special.

Of course, any meat-oriented restaurant with an eye on the market will understandably jump on the bandwagon and get their menus on trend. The Seven Dials branch of Hawksmoor, the legendary steak restaurant with four branches across London, offers three burgers – a classic beef version, a kimchi burger that taps the current popularity of Korean cuisine, and a special.

And there have been no holds barred on their most recent offering: the Five Pork Burger. If you’re a self-respecting carnivore who lives in or will visit London in the near future, take yourself to Hawksmoor Seven Dials for a proper pig-out.

I had the Five Pork Burger (£15) last night. I have narrated my experience several times over to everyone in the Wozedu office. And so here I am, sharing it with all of you.

The first thing you should know is tha,t although it’s pitched as the Five Pork Burger, the version I had was a SIX Pork Burger. Oh yes.

The SIX Pork Burger

The SIX Pork Burger

The burger begins with a base layer of greenery and mustard mayonnaise – a variation from the homemade apple ketchup usually served. It then has a succulent Tamworth pork patty topped with smoky, salty pulled pork. Next up is a patty almost as large, which is actually sausage stuffing. This is then topped with rashers of bacon and draped with melted cheese. All this meatiness is contained in a brioche bun and served with beautifully crispy pork crackling and peppery pork gravy. I elected to continue with the gluttony and ordered Hawksmoor’s triple cooked chips on the side.

This burger was delicious in a crazy kind of way. It was a porky flavour explosion, and very decadent and incredibly messy. Each pork product came through at different stages of the mouthfuls and at different stages of the entire eating process but, underneath it all, the subtle sage tones of the stuffing were always present.

For me, the mustard mayo didn’t quite strike the right contrast with the burger; I believe the apple ketchup would have been preferable. Also, the salt content was almost off-the-scale: the Five (or Six) Pork Burger must be consumed with at least 2 litres of water – although this definitely makes it moreish.

One final point – does anyone really need a burger this big? As my co-diner pointed out, he’d happily have paid two-thirds of the price for half the burger. And just as our waiter warned us, consuming this burger will basically write off the rest of your night – the resultant food coma is too intense to be fought.

I’m sure Hawksmoor wouldn’t encourage this, but my advice is to share the burger and order a couple more sides. That way, you can still enjoy plenty of pig and walk out of the restaurant, rather than waddle.

All things considered though, I would definitely pig-out again.

Website: http://thehawksmoor.com/locations/seven-dials
Where: 11 Langley Street, London WC2H 9JG

Gimme pig

Gimme pig

Dum Dums Donutterie, Shoreditch Boxpark

Hello

Hey there, doughnuts!

There are some new doughnuts in town…..but they’re not just any doughnuts. Oh no, these are doughnuts from artisan doughnut chef (yes, that’s what the website says!) Paul Hurley, who has been making doughnuts since 1997. These are breaking away from the stereotype of fat American cops munching them police cars. These doughtnuts are not fried; they’re baked. Apparently, this means only 6 grams in a jam doughnut compared to an average of 17g of fat in their American counterparts.

Rows and rows of O's

Rows and rows of O’s

That’s quite impressive – but what do they taste like? The dough is like a soft roll – almost like the texture you’d expect from an ice-bun. As a person who usually finds doughnuts unpleasantly heavy and chewy, this was perfect.

We also sampled their zebra cronut, which was far lighter than I expected – the chocolate cream was the perfect balance to the pastry. I’m still not what sure I make of cronuts but this was definitely one of the favourites I’ve tried.

Ey ey

Ey ey

Can you think of the problem of healthy doughnuts? Well, they’re in Shoreditch and when doughnuts are hip, they come at a price…

Pricey

Pricey

For all doughnuts fans out there, Dum Dums Donutterie is definitely worth a visit.

Head to Shoredtich Box Park or from March 27th, find them at King’s Cross.

Dum Dums Donutterie at Shoreditch Boxpark

Dum Dums Donutterie at Shoreditch Boxpark

Honest Burgers March Special: The BrewBurger

The BrewBurger - containing four different kinds of beer :)

The BrewBurger – containing four different kinds of beer 🙂

It’s impossible to ignore the burger trend across London. To be honest, if you want to ignore it, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog; I’ve done my best to consume as many burgers as possible in one giant burgery bonanza.

One of my favourite places for a burger in London is Honest Burgers. They’ve got a quality product pitched at the right price, and, as a result, their empire is expanding – expect the sixth branch to open near Oxford Circus later this year.

I fell in love when I first when I went to their Soho branch, and then had a passionate affair with their Christmas special, before drooling over their HOT February special. Their regular menu may only contain three different types of beefburger but their monthly specials really keep the romance alive.

Their latest offering has got me punch-drunk in love. For starters, it is possibly the first burger ever to require an ID to order it.

Honest Burgers have taken things to a new level this March and have collaborated with the awesome BrewDog. BrewDog is a Scottish craft beer company that is taking over the world with quality beer and their very own chain of bars, stretching from Shoreditch all the way to São Paulo! (Japan fangirl squeal: And they’re also in Roppongi in the expat area of Tokyo!) Even if you’re not a beer fan, you have to love BrewdDog because they took on Putin’s homophobia and produced the world’s only beer that’s definitely, absolutely and certainly not for gays – the Hello, My Name Is Vladimir!

Hello, my name is Vladimir and I am zuper hetero!

Hello, my name is Vladimir and I am zuper hetero!

Hello, my name is Vladimir. I am a beer for uber hetero men who ride horses while topless and carrying knives. I am a beer to mark the 2014 Winter Olympics. But I am not for gays. Love wrestling burly men on the Judo mat or fishing in your Speedos? Then this is the beer for you!

I think they’ve got their sales pitch spot on, don’t you? Now onto the BrewBurger itself….

Pervy close-up

Pervy close-up

This is one incredibly boozy beefy treat:  it’s a 150g aged beef patty with Comté cheese and bacon candied with BrewDog’s amber ale, 5AM Saint. It’s then topped with beef dripping and beer fried onions using BrewDog’s flagship Punk IPA and a BBQ reduction made from BrewDog’s Paradox cask-aged Imperial Stout. And, just in case that wasn’t beery enough for you, it’s served with Bourbon Baby, a 5.8% barrel-aged baby scotch ale that Brewdog created just for this collaboration. All this for £15.

More photos make it more real

More photos make it more real

Oh….this was a beery burgery beauty. For me, the bacon got a little subsumed by the other flavours but those  beer-fried onions were fantastic. All of this, of course, comes with Honest Burgers rosemary-salted chips. After a BrewBurger, you will wake up seriously thirsty but smugly satisfied.

Get yourself along to a branch of Honest Burgers before April 2nd. And don’t forget your ID!

Bourbon Baby

Bourbon Baby

The Breakfast Club’s Pancake Day Challenge 2014

Pancake Pheebz

Pancake Pheebz

It’s Pancake Day! Rejoice! Finally, we can give these simple floury, eggy, milky creations the full appreciation they deserve.

Why then, am I looking so anxious at the giant stack of pancakes in front of me? Because I had to eat them ALL in 15 minutes – that’s why.

Every Mardi Gras, The Breakfast Club really does take the day at it’s literal meaning – ‘Fat Tuesday’ – and presents customers with an ego-massaging, or ego-destroying, Man V Food eating competition. The rules are as simple as the ingredients: eat all the pancakes within the time limit and pay nothing; fail and pay £17.50 to Rays of Sunshine children’s charity (so basically, it’s a win-win situation).

Last year, I wolfed down 12 pancakes in 20 minutes, earning myself some applause and this wonderful footage of me gagging bravely struggling.

This year, the challenge was tougher: just 15 minutes for 12 pancakes. And they were definitely bigger and eggier than before.

The monster portion

The monster portion

I knew before I started that defeat lay ahead of me, but how much did I enjoy getting dirty?!

Concentrating on chewing

Concentrating on chewing

Kissing the cream

Kissing the cream

By ten minutes in, I settled for defeat. Quantity was not the problem so much as sweetness and dryness, and swallowing pancakes mixed with water was not agreeing with my stomach. By taking the sensible decision to quit, I a) didn’t feel ill all afternoon and b) got to take away what I didn’t finish – win! Pancake Day is lasting that bit longer for me and I’m looking forward to breakfast!

Apparently, there is no such thing as too many pancakes…

Pancakes in London: The Functional, The Fancy and The Foreign

Plum and cinnamon compote at The Delaunay

Plum and cinnamon compote at The Delaunay

Original article posted on Tryum.com.

Pancake Day. Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Whatever the term… the day of pancake goodness approaches!

Simple though they are, pancakes are a comfort food that can insistently transport you back to your childhood days. They come in many different forms and many different guises. So if you want to branch out this Pancake Day, here are some top tips for shaking things up a bit…

The Functional: My Old Dutch

If you want pancakes, My Old Dutch has pancakes! The Holborn branch is a favourite haunt of LSE students, and it keeps things simple. It serves up a range of sweet and savoury treats at pitch-perfect prices – you can get a pancakey fix from £5.95. Or if you go for the Monday Madness, all pancakes are just a fiver. Bargain!

Pancake with vanilla ice-cream = winning

Pancake with vanilla ice-cream = winning

Try the apple/pear and cinnamon for the perfect amount of sweetness and the ability to smugly claim that you’ve just eaten one of your five-a-day.

Pear and cinnamon

Pear and cinnamon

Where: Kensington, Holborn, Chelsea
Website: http://www.myolddutch.com/

The Fancy: The Delaunay

Sitting on the Aldwych, The Delaunay is a fixture on the London dining scene for serving up good quality European fare in rather swish settings. However, The Delaunay is definitely not above serving the simple delights that are pancakes. On their brunch menu, there are the classic delights of bacon and maple syrup (£9.75) and blueberries and crème fraiche (£9.95), or the more unusual plum and cinnamon compote (£10.50). I’m not going to lie though – it’s all about the bacon. Who can resist that saltiness cutting through the sweetness, cushioned with some soft dough? Not me, anyway.

Bacon and maple syrup

Bacon and maple syrup

The atmosphere is far more laid back than you might expect from a place that has doormen and two people working front-of-house. Settle in and get your pancakes on order. Also, fear not: at the Delaunay, poshness does not equate to portion poverty. The pancakes are some of the heaviest we’ve ever sampled and they’re huge. You may well be defeated.

Where: 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB
Website: http://www.thedelaunay.com/

The Foreign: Japanese Pancakes

Savoury – Okonomiyaki by Sho Foo Doh, Pacific Social Club

Stop with the sushi stereotypes! There are pancakes in Japan too, and they’re delicious enough that you should definitely put them on your food radar. Famously un-Japanese in aesthetics is the incredibly messy okonomiyaki. This is a savoury pancake, made from the standard eggs and flour, but with cabbage, topped with a sweet sauce, mayonnaise, fish flakes and seaweed. It can have various fillings – most popular is squid or pork. Yes, it sounds like a catastrophe but trust us, it works.

For some seriously delicious and messy times, head to the Pacific Social Club on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night where Sho Foo Doh cooks up Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (£8) which include NOODLES!! You can then add a range of toppings priced between £0.50 and £3.

Okonomiyaki Hiroshima-style!

Okonomiyaki Hiroshima-style!

Where: Pacific Social Club, 8 Clarence Road, E5 8HB
Website: https://www.facebook.com/shofoodoh

Sweet – Dorayaki at Japan Centre

Chocolate dorayaki

Chocolate dorayaki

If you absolutely refuse to take your pancakes savoury, then you need to get stuck in to dorayaki. These are similar to Scotch American pancakes but come with a gorgeous sweet filling sandwiched in between. In Japan, the filling tends to be azuki bean paste or custard, but a whole range can be bought from the Japan Centre, just round the corner from Picadilly Circus. Like this red bean and cream cheese mix. There’s also a really genius matcha (green tea) and mascarpone mix. Warning: these are addictive.

Red bean & cream cheese dorayaki

Red bean & cream cheese dorayaki

Where: 19 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7ED
Website: http://www.japancentre.com/