Burger & Shake opened last year slap bang opposite the Brunswick Centre in a small 30 seater diner on Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury. I found myself walking past on my way to check out Disco Bistro at Skate King's Cross the other week (see review, below) so popped in to check out its eponymous offerings...
Now then, I always like to check out a basic (rather than fancy) burger on my first visit to a new place so I can really get to grips with the basics, the bun, the meat etc, so I ordered a Cheeseburger (£7.50) off the menu – which arrived served thus:
The top of the bun appeared to be hovering a centimetre or two above the cheese-topped 180g patty so I lifted it up to find this effect was caused by a tiny piece of pickle and a meagre slice of tomato which in turn had another effect: of making the whole ensemble appear ungenerous. The inside of the (otherwise lovely) brioche bun hadn't been toasted either which made me feel like either someone in the kitchen had got up out of the wrong side of bed, or simply didn't give a monkey's about the little details that go toward making a burger truly awesome.
A little more love (and indeed generosity) would have given a much better first impression of this burger.
Still, look at that patty! Sat on bed of shredded iceberg lettuce and a splat of a pretty standard burger sauce, it was juicy and cooked a perfect medium rare. And biting into it turned my untoasted-bun frown upside down: it was loosely packed, juicy as hell and perfectly cooked with a nice char flavour too that almost made up for the lack of bun toasting and mean gherkin allocation. The beef itself had a great flavour and a chap called Magnus told me when I asked that Burger & Shake's patties are made from a blend of chuck and aged rib cap.
OK, so the way it was served seemed a little mean, especially at £7.50 (guys, you gotta toast the inside of your buns and include more than one minuscule sliver of gherkin) but the patty itself is really flippin' good. In fact, all the ingredients here are spot-on but there's definitely a lingering feeling that Burger & Shake could invest a little more time and effort to elevate what is already a pretty good product into something I'd potentially sell family members to get hold of.
So while my nearest and dearest have nothing to worry about just yet, these patties have promise. I'll be back soon to check out the Burger & Shake House Burger (£8.50) - which is the same as above but with sweet cured bacon, served with a horseradish and mustard ketchup for a bit of a kick. There was also a burger on the specials board that boasted pulled pork that looked intriguing. I hope to get back soon to investigate further.
Burger & Shake
47 Marchmont Street
Tel: 020 7837 7718