Review: Honest Burgers February Special

Beef, smoked Applewood cheddar, the Ribman's 'Christ On A Bike' sauce, smoked bacon, griddled courgette and lettuce

Beef, smoked Applewood cheddar, the Ribman’s ‘Christ On A Bike’ sauce, smoked bacon, griddled courgette and lettuce

Yes, I hear you. I’m fully aware that I am a huge Honest Burgers fangirl. I’m clearly not the only one, though. A legion of loyal London supporters have led them to expand their brand from their humble beginnings in Brixton Village to Soho, Camden, Portobello Road and King’s Cross, with a sixth branch opening near Oxford Circus later this year. They use Ginger Pig meat – which is enough to earn the trust of any sceptic – and they keep the menu simple: three burgers, one chicken burger and a veggie fritter.

Does that a little monotonous? Fear not! Firstly, I would be shocked by anyone who got bored of their delicious burgers with rosemary-salted chips. Secondly, they have a magical, rotating special every month!! I got a wee bit excited about their Christmas special of deep-fried Camembert with cranberry sauce, and may or may not have eaten it three times.

In the nick of time, I have just tried their February special and it is also worth raving about: beef, Applewood smoked cheddar, The Rib Man’s ‘Christ on a Bike’ hot sauce, smoked bacon, griddled courgette and lettuce.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Rib Man, you can find him around London serving up the most delicious ribmeat that looks like this (which will be in Honest Burgers’ April special eeeeeeee!!):

Rib Man bun

Rib Man bun

He is s0mewhat (in)famous for his hot sauces, particularly their creative names. Their names mean business. Their names may also cause minor embarrassment when ordering.

Me in Honest Burgers: Is Christ on a Bike hotter than Holy Fuck?

Waitress: Pardon?

As it turns out, the answer to my question is the affirmative. The waitress advised me to order the sauce on the side because she”d ‘seen people cry’. However, I must have become some kind of spice fiend and not only did I smother my burger wutg what surely must be one of the tastiest chilli sauces I have ever tried, but I asked for an extra pot and downed half a shot. The burger itself is a master of taste perfection – the courgette is absolutely perfect with the sauce.

Swallowing Christ on a Bike

Swallowing Christ on a Bike

You have until Friday, February 28th to try this god. After that, there is another deity – a collaboration with BrewDog, which sees the world’s first burger that requires ID to purchase it! Tomorrow, I get a sneak previewtaste – watch this space 😉

Honest Burgers website

Burger Bonanza… Lucky Chip and Honest Burgers

Oooh what's hiding under that bun? Read on...

Oooh what’s hiding under that bun? Read on…

The past 24 hours have been tough. Very tough indeed. I may have reached my foodie limit. For I have consumed two very large, heavy burgers along with some not insubstantial other meals and some luxury gelato. I type this having awakened from a burger-induced slumber, although I’m struggling to reach the keyboard as my burger-belly is making tucking the chair in very difficult.

Oh, all right – I give in! I LOVE burgers and there’s no such thing as too many! It was an awesome 24 hours…or 18 hours to be more precise!

Lucky Chip’s Jesse Pinkman Burger

It started with an adventure on Friday night to visit Lucky Chip, who are somewhat legendary on the London burger scene and are currently residing in the Sebright Arms in Bethnal Green. They recently caused quite a stir with a Breaking Bad menu. Check out what they were ‘cooking up’ – sounds enough to make any foodie high.

One item proved rather popular that they injected a new lease of life into it by making it a special for this week – the Jesse Pinkman burger (£9.50). So if this inspiring chap…

Jesse Pinkman

…were to order a burger, he’d order this:

No, that's not ketchup.

No, that’s not ketchup.

What is that, you ask? This is a burger with PEANUT BUTTER and JAM (yes Americans, it will never be jelly to us). But it doesn’t stop there. It has the classic accompaniments of bacon and cheese, and some seriously hot red chillies.

What did it taste like? Well, to be honest, as weird as it sounds. The jam had almost no flavour at all, which meant that this burger was a complete salt-fest. I mean, it contains peanut butter and cheese and bacon – how could it not be salty? Still, I did love confusing my tongue; what’s that motto – try everything once?!

Beetroot-flavoured onion rings

Beetroot-flavoured onion rings

Chips with sweet chilli and wasabi mayonnaise

Chips with sweet chilli and wasabi mayonnaise

We also had some beetroot-flavoured onion rings (£4), which were not very beetrooty and disappointingly soggy, but Lucky Chip need to be commended for their chips with sweet chilli dip and wasabi mayonnaise (£4). Particularly the wasabi mayonnaise. This is a very good thing. Unlike wasabi ice-cream, which I recently bought from the Japan Centre, and which was just jarringly wrong.

Will definitely be back to give Lucky Chip another try – watch this space for a review of their normal  burgers!

Where: Sebright Arms / Netil Market

Honest Burgers’ Chrismas Special

I think this is the epitome of the term 'food porn'

I think this is the epitome of the term ‘food porn’

For a much more palatable burger, I highly recommend Honest Burgers’ Christmas special, which I sampled at their Camden Lock branch. This is a juicy patty made from Ginger Pig beef (food snobs, you know what I mean), with deep-fried Camembert, cranberry sauce, smoked bacon and rocket, served with their legendary rosemary chips (£11).

When served to me, the waiter told me very proudly how it was best to squash the burger down so the very hot, gooey Camembert cheese coated the whole burger in its beautiful, cheesy goodness. This man was not wrong. What a frickin’ genius burger idea. I find Camembert quite strong but who can resist it when deep fried? With cranberry sauce? If I had to be picky, I could’ve done with a tad more cranberry sauce. But this honestly was a delight.

Honest Burgers are expanding their burgery empire and can now be found in four locations: Brixton, Soho, Camden and Portobello. Check their website for details.


From Taiwan to Ethiopia

Chicken with coriander in a traditional restaurant in Taipei

Earlier this year, I spent a long weekend in Taipei and fell in love with the place. Of course, one thing that greatly impressed me was the food – familiar from my time in China, but with elements unique to Taiwan, such as the heavy use of garlic and coriander. Imagine my excitement when I found out that there was going to be a Taiwanese food festival in London.

Tickets had sold out online but were available on the door; my friend and I duly queued up at the Irish Centre (a bizarre choice of venue) and waited, eyeing up people with goodies walking past.

Alas, it wasn’t to be. An official cut us off and turned us away. All tickets were sold out.

Hungry and downtrodden, we were determined to be well-fed. Utilizing the power of technology (ie. a smart phone), we left Irish Taiwan and trekked a mile to Ethiopia.

The Place: The Queen of Sheba
The Food: Ethiopian

Queen of Sheba has a charm, a kind of homey cosyness. We sat down and after much debate about just how spicy the chef’s special spicy sauce would be, ordered two dishes to share:

Ingudai W’et – “A delicious mushroom stew marinated in onion, olive oil, ginger, garlic, simmered in red pepper and wine sauce.”

Doro Alicha W’et – “Tender chicken on the bone, simmered in a mild blended sauce of Ethiopian butter, onion, ginger, garlic and cardamom.”

This was my first time eating Ethiopian food, and for those who are also new to it, let me explain.

All dishes are served on a spongy, sour flatbread called injera, which is how I imagine the offspring of a pancake/crumpet coupling would turn out. It is traditionally made with teff flour, but the owners explained to me that they were having some difficulty mixing teff flour with English water, and were therefore using a variety of flours instead. (Teff is also very expensive in the UK). It is always served in a sifet, a kind of basket.


Injera acts as both cutlery and a plate. You break off small pieces from the rolls and use them to scoop up the dishes. Once the rolls are finished, you can start on the “plate”, the best bit as we were told, because it has already soaked up all the flavours.

On its own, I found it far too sour but it complimented the strong flavours of the dishes. I also found it far too heavy, leaving me longing for a spoon!

Doro Alicha W’et (chicken stew) in the middle, Ingudai W’et (mushroom stew) at the edges

No-one can accuse Ethiopian food of being bland. The flavours pack a powerful punch, but it’s hard to distinguish the ingredients individually. Out of the two stews, the chicken was my favourite – I found it had a creamy, citrus flavour (although no citrus was mentioned!)  which went well with the injera. My friend preferred the mushroom stew, but I found the tangy pepper sauce obliterated the taste of the mushrooms.

Overall, the flavours were a little one-dimensional for me. Sometimes as you eat, flavours transform over the course of a mouthful or even a few mouthfuls. These dishes gave their one shot flavour bomb, and I was left craving a bit of depth and variety.

However, settled in a cosy room, tearing food apart with my hands, and being served by a very friendly Ethiopian couple meant that my visit to the Queen of Sheba was extremely enjoyable. I intend to return and try some of the fried dishes and a creamy stew. I think there could be some winning dishes just waiting to be discovered. Alternatively, if anyone has any recommendations for Ethiopian cuisine, please email me.

Overall 4/5

A great place to try good quality Ethiopian food in a relaxed setting.

Food 3.5/5 – I couldn’t fault the quality, but the flavours didn’t have the wow factor. It might have been my personal taste – I intend to go back and try more dishes.

Value 4/5 – Dishes ranged from about £8 – £11. Although small on initial inspection, when combined with injera, there is no way you could leave with an empty stomach.

Atmosphere 4/5 – Relaxed and cosy.

Service 5/5 – The couple couldn’t do enough to help us order, advise the chef to go easy on the spiciness (my friend and I can only do medium), and explain about Ethiopian cuisine. Really delightful.