Saturday, 20 August 2011

Soho Hotel Refuel Restaurant Soho Burger

£15.50 with fries. Served in a croissant bun with avocado, it's different, I'll give it that. But there's something missing here...

Having eaten three burgers in one sitting the previous evening, the decision to have a burger for lunch at the Soho Hotel with a friend on Tuesday was an impulsive one that my wife-to-be, and indeed my GP, would undoubtedly have advised strongly against. However, what I like to believe is that by blogging about it – my blatant probably-need-help-greediness is somehow validated...

As you can probably tell from the above image, my impulsiveness meant I was sans camera on this particular burger-reviewing occasion so my iPhone camera was large and in charge (apologies for the drop in image quality in this post). So, yes, there I was in the Soho Hotel with a good friend of mine eying up the most affordable thing on the menu: the Soho Burger, which comes with French Fries for £15.50. We ordered one each (naturally) and were both delighted to be asked how we'd like our burgers cooked, and to be able to order them medium rare. We were both also asked if we wanted cheese which is an available addition at no extra cost. Er, do bears shit in the woods?

The burger was served on a plate with it's lid served ajar, showing an ever so slightly translucent layer of  melted cheddar on an impressively large burger. To give you a sense of scale, the bun itself, more croissant in texture and taste than brioche, was a good five or six inches in diameter. T'was a veritable beast! I lifted up the lid to investigate...

The inside had been toasted to a tee - and then spread evenly with mayo. I would have preferred to have made that call myself, but anyhoo, I continued my explorations. The enormous beef patty had nice seared grill marks and it was sat on, to my surprise, a wedge of avocado, which in turn sat on a slice of tomato. Curiouser and curiouser, I thought. Then I stopped thinking and put the lid on - but only after cutting and adding some slices of gherkin from the two length-ways cut halves of pickle served on the side – and also a splodge of the tomato relish provided.

Next I decided to cleft the beast in twain. As I mentioned, the bun was more croissant than brioche - actually flakey on the outside and aerated on the inside. The meat was juicy and ready to fall apart. After taking the photo below, I didn't really make time to take any more photos. I just ate. The burger patty was of the unseasoned, unadulterated beef kind that only gets a good ol' seasoning as it hits the grill. It wasn't the most deeply flavourful beef patty I've ever had, but it was good.

The gherkin was a bit strong on the vinegar vibes - but actually that worked really well as the relative plain-ness of the burger needed something sharp to work with it. The bun I really liked. The avocado was also quite nice although avocado and tomato together in a burger is an architectural disaster waiting to happen – they're two of the most slippery things you could possibly have two slices of next to each other in a sandwich. Perhaps unsurprisingly the burger did, eventually, fall apart just mouthfuls before being finished – not because of bun failure, but because of the avocado / tomato slippage issues.

In summary, there's potential here. I love the croissant bun, I like the beef patty, the earthy cheddar and the separate bowl of crisp, perfectly salted fries – and also the tomato relish served on the side. The avocado and bun also provide points of difference to other Soho burgers, which could really work in its favour. As it stands, the Soho Hotel's burger is perfectly serviceable - it does the job. However, if the chef wants the Soho Burger to be considered as one of London's best, something else will need to be added to the mix: finesse.


Refuel Restaurant
Soho Hotel
4 Richmond Mews
London W1D 3DH

Call for opening times and bookings: Tel : 020 7559 3000

1 comment:

Holidays to koh lanta said...

That looks delicious. It would surely be great to go to Soho Hotel Refuel Restaurant and try out their burgers.

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