Thursday, August 28, 2014

National Burger Day

Arancini Japanese Style

So I just invented this. Japanese style aranicini. They rock. Excuse the rubbish picture.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Best Burger in London - Dirty Burger

"Would I lie to ya?", she said in her cheeky East London accent.
"No." And she certainly did not.
Chef Sam has been telling me to go to Dirty Burger for weeks now if I want one of the best burgers in town, but obviously I was just waiting for the opportunity to go with her, and what better day to do so than a Saturday afternoon post-drinks?

Spending the last of the "summer" afternoons al fresco boozing aboard the Tamesis Dock (old boat docked on the Thames which has been converted into a bar) is a marvellous way to pass the time. I use inverted commas for summer as this is by no Australia standards anything remotely summery. I was wearing a blazer and a scarf and was shivering when the sun would coquettishly disappear behind the clouds. But for London, I am told to enjoy the daylight while it lasts.

Dirty Burger is behind Vauxhall station and even before walking in, I can tell it's awesome. The front is not glossy, I can see corrugated iron, and it's small. All the best things are small. I order the cheeseburger with bacon. I am going to murder it when it's ready; researching marmalade for one's masters in hungry-making business, especially when dealing with the British Library and its somewhat exhausting protocol.

I unwrap her. Hello, lover. She's a beaut and is every bit as dirty as I was imagining. Look at that cheese, stretchy and clingy and amazing.

She is full of grease, and char and smoke (I see the man at the grill using the same cooking technique as Stitch Bar, which is one of my favourite burgers in the world, whereby a metal bowl is placed over the patty whilst grilling to encase it in delicious smoke). There is an almost embarrassingly thick piece of fatty bacon on there. I blush and enjoy. She has pickle zing and melty cheese and added texture of lettuce and tomato, but she is just so dirty, I don't really care what else is there.

Although not any shade of pink, the well done nature of this burger does not detract from it one little bit. She is worthy of much praise. Again, look at the thickness of that bacon. Mmmmm.

The chips are thick and crinkly and pleasant. They do the job. Next time I think I will opt for the spicy fries to see what they are about. My vanilla shake is a winner. It's made from scratch and is rich in vanilla bean which makes for a nice change to bleached white vanilla devoid of that genuine vanilla flavour.

Dirty Burger, you hot little bitch. You know you've left me begging for more. Well played.

  Dirty Burger on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 22, 2014

Best Burger in London - Five Guys

"It tastes like Hungry Jacks", I say, after biting into it.
"You're right. I guess it's been years since I've had Hungry Jacks."
The bacon cheeseburger from Five Guys is so much like Hungry Jacks (Burger King for some) that I would probably not be able to tell the difference.

So, what does this mean? It means its juicy, "flamey" and pretty satisfying, but not crotch-grabbingly good. Although the Angel location of this chain isn't too busy, I guarantee you the Covent Garden outlet has its usual queue spilling down Long Acre. People go nuts for this burger... Have they not had Hungry Jacks? Or, are people secretly going nuts for Hungry Jacks but are ashamed to admit it? Does this mean I could serve a McDonald's cheeseburger in an edgy piece of foil wrap from some corner of East London and have the hipsters raving about it? I wonder.

With a double patty, mind you, I don't like burgers that come as doubles that do not announce themselves thus, it makes me slightly upset, but yes it's tasty. There is plenty of juice and grease and filling - oodles of bacon - but I just cannot get past how much this tastes likes Hungry Jacks. It reminds me of the Nordburger I tried in Adelaide, which was very HJ too, but better, it was a better version. It tasted more expensive.

Chips are dirty and scruffy. Good. Scruffy and dirty are prized things for chips to be. There are no shakes though - alas, alack! - but this is made up for by the futuristic touchscreen post-mix drink dispenser. I pound on that Dr Pepper icon a little too eagerly. And I get a free refill. Uh huh.

Five Guys, all named Jack, and all hungry.

Five Guys on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Best Burger in London - Graveney and Meadow

After a Saturday at work, coming home to a party in full swing is a welcome tonic. In fact, there were many welcome tonics that evening, including a 1989  Arrowfield tawny port from my homeland: mellow, smooth and delicious (both the port and my homeland).

Celebrating the wonderful Vanessa's birthday, spirits were raised as the spirits were lowered. We ploughed through Marmalade Vodka, Scotch and some delightful herbaceous French drink. 

Being rather small, by the time I left the house to meet my friends, I was quite merry, which is why I thoroughly enjoyed the cheeseburger from hip bar/bakery Graveney and Meadow in Tooting.  Although hazy, I do remember making the claim that it had much more flavour than Patty & Bun. I also remember the burger being juicy and a bit greasy and not wanting it to end. 

Although no shade of giggling blush, the meat was not dry and although a terrible uninspiring photo, the burger was not.

Graveney and Medow on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 15, 2014

Zebra Burger

I am totally in love with Borough Market. It delights my soul in a profound yet simple way. When I first ventured to this haven of creation, I saw a The Exotic Meat Company, and was delighted by the fact they had new meats for me to tick off my "I want to eat all the animals" list. I set my gaze on zebra, and would come back for it when I had a kitchen (I was homeless when I first arrived in London). Today was that day.

Of course, one simply cannot go all that way (it's not very far from where I live really) and not explore and indulge a little... 

My collection of treasures included: six chocolate truffles from Artisan de Chocolat London (these stole my heart the other day in Selfridge's with their exquisite banana ganache), two fresh duck eggs, gorgeous sirolle mushrooms, a black pudding chorizo from Cannon and Cannon, a burger bun from Bread Ahead and some zebra meat. 

I may also have bought a bottle of wine or three from an hilarious Frenchman, who replied when I asked "what do you like?" (obviously referring to the wines), 
"I like to laze around doing fuck all"... Oh Borough Wines.  

Grinning somewhat, I raced home to plant myself in the kitchen and create.

Charring the patty on the outside, I topped it with some bitey cheddar, the stunning sirolle mushrooms which I lightly pan-fried in some olive oil and smeared on a slathering of mustard and mango chutney for some piquancy and sweetness. 

Drumroll.... Zebra, tastes like beef. Aaaaw. The crowd audibly sighs. It was delicious mind you, but I was hoping for a richer more kangaroo-like taste. You could easily tell people they were eating beef, and nobody would question it. 

Next time, I might buy one of the chunks of python I saw, and hope it doesn't taste too much like chicken.

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