The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge is a somewhat oversubscribed destination for gourmets in London at the moment.
Heston Blumenthal's recently opened Dinner restaurant (read Rosie Birkett's review HERE and Jay Rayner's just-posted review for The Obsever HERE) is fully booked up for the next three months and that's very probably just the way it's gonna be.
However, I didn't go to eat Heston's Dinner last week. I went to eat lunch with my friend Millie and it was the burgers on the menu in the hotel's ground level brasserie, Bar Boulud (sister restaurant of the New York establishment of the same name, set up by chef Daniel Boulud) that we were interested in...
The Yankee Burger is one of three options in the section of Bar Boulud's menu headed "NY BURGERS". It consists of a grilled beef patty, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, sesame bun, pickle and pommes frites on the side. Add a slice of Keen's Cheddar for an extra pound. Sold!
Our food arrived pretty quick and the presentation was faultless. A silver bucket of perfectly cooked fries sat next to a beautiful looking burger sporting a glazed, sesame seeded bun lid. Actually, let's talk about the fries for just a minute. THEY'RE FUCKING AMAZING! I had to ask as to how they were cooked. Here's the deal: the potatoes are cut into fries then left to soak in water overnight. Then they're blanched in boiling vegetable oil and left to cool before being deep fried a second time just before being served. This process, it would seem, produces french fry perfection.
The burger is, hands down, the best I've tasted this year. The meat – a loose grind of 100% chuck steak with an 80/20 meat to fat ratio – is perfectly cooked and seasoned to a tee. It is ridiculously tasty and, furthermore, every bite of my Yankee Burger revealed to me the combined flavour of all of its ingredients. This is the nearest thing to burger perfection I've experienced to date. Oh, and if you're looking at the image above wondering what the spread on the inside of the top part of the bun is – it's a blend of the supplied french mustard and mayo that I applied myself.
This burger, in my humble opinion, is flawless. So I have no reservations whatsoever about awarding it the golden five-star seal of ultimate Burgerac approval! I'll be making more trips to Knightsbridge in the coming weeks. There's another two burgers on the Bar Boulud menu that I simply must sample!
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
London SW1X 7LA
Call for opening times and bookings: Tel :020 7201 3899