Who has the best burgers in London? The London Burger Bash attempts to answer. Twenty four burger combatants fight it out to be crowned London’s best burger and win the coveted “Golden Patty”. I went along to the third group stage to see what the fuss is all about.
The London Burger Bash is a competition run by Daniel Young of Young & Foodish. American Food critic and writer Daniel is known for his pop-up events including his popular ‘Burger Monday‘ events where a chef will serve a one-off burger meal to burger connoisseurs
I attended the third of the four group stage rounds. The previous group stage winners were burger heavyweights, Patty & Bun Joe, one of my favourite burger places in London, and Fred Smith, formerly of the Admiral Codrington in Chelsea. Both have excellent reputations so the standards are definitely high.
The Six Competitors
- Roti Chai (Street Kitchen) – Toddy Shop Burger No.4
“Ground pure-bred aged Ayrshire Aberdeen Angus chuck steak patty infused with star anise, cinnamon, coconut & red chillies”
Ww: www.rotichai.com | Tw: @RotiChai
- The Drapers Arms (James De Jong) – Drapers Crispy Pigs Head Burger
“Aged chuck & bone marrow patty with Gubbeen cheese and crisppy brined pigs head on St John Bakery Bap”
Ww: www.thedrapersarms.com | Tw: @DrapersArms
- The Troll’s Pantry (Paul Clarke) – The Legend of Smoky Mountain
“Aged Longhorn chuck patty, beer BBQ sauce, wild boar bacon, mead bacon jam, herb dressing, tomato, onions & Smoked Foresters Cheese”
Apero (Chris Golding) – The Unbeetable Burger
“Aged beef patty with Stracciatella Cheese, beetroot mayonnaise, pancetta salamata, white onion & lettuce on poppy seed beetroot bun.”
Ww: www.aperorestaurantandbar.com | Tw: @aperochef
- Quality Chop House (Sean Searley) – Q Burger
“Aged patty with dry cured bacon, devilled shallots, truffled Tunworth cheese, chipotle BBQ sauce, tomato, gherkin, lettuce & aioli on brioche bun”
Ww: thequalitychophouse.com | Tw: @qualitychop
- Bleecker Street Burger (Zan Kaufman) – “Double Cheeseburger”
“Two aged beef patties with American cheese, onions & special sauce on toasted bun”
Ww: bleeckerburger.co.uk | Tw: @BleeckerBurger
WHO HAD THE BEST BURGER?
For my personal taste is was a close call between Bleecker Burger and Roti Chai. Bleecker Burger is the classic double cheeseburger they serve weekly to their die hard fans. No-nonsense and a stereotype of a good ‘burger’. However the Roti Chai entry was bravely experimental, and the furthest from traditional. The star anise cinnamon, coconut and red chilli gave their patty an exotic Indian flavour. (Note the subtle Street Kitchen name under their entry).
BREAKING NEWS: Due to huge demand they will be serving their “Toddy Shop Burger No.4” for the UK’s first National Burger Day organised by Mr Hyde on Tue 27-Aug with an event in the evening by Tweat Up in Dalston).
Source: Twitter August 20, 2013
There were some quiet rumblings about the “out-of-the-box” Roti Chai entry with some burger revellers claiming “It’s not really a burger”. However, it seemed to fit the definition of a burger to me, and it was pre-approved by Burger Monday. For me it’s the burger traditionalists versus the more experimental burgers fans. (See my thoughts in “Best Burger in London… a definite answer”).
IS IT WORTH IT?
This event was definitely a lot of fun. If you’re considering booking yourself into one make sure you bring a good hefty appetite, an open mind and a few friends!
In theory, if you just want to sample burgers, it is financially better to visit all these venues separately instead of buying a £50 ticket for six half burgers and two half pints. However, that would firstly take a lot of time, secondly many of the creations are ‘one-off’ inventions which you can’t get at their stores (like the Roti Chai, ‘Toddy Shop’ Burger). Thirdly you will miss out on the great atmosphere… I would describe the event like a ‘foodie rave’ with chefs instead of DJs.
Another option is bring a friend. If both of you have “half tickets” then you could buy two half tickets at £25 each and share the spoils between you!
For me, it’s like the difference between buying a music album and listening to the tracks at home versus paying the extra to see the artist playing live with all other fans around you.
If you’re not sure, give it a try… every one of these London Burger Bash events seems to be packed with repeat visitors so clearly many of the London Burger-atti think it is worth the money.
Note: Thanks to @GE0RGYGIRL for kindly donating her friend’s spare ticket.