Our next Burgaffair review was at Hawksmoor behind Spitalfields, which is the original restaurant (they have another two gigs in London). A quick heads up. Make sure when you reserve a table it is downstairs as that is the only place where they serve the bar menu where the burger sits.
Hawksmoor really is the place in town to go for steak. It is truly rump and fillet above the rest, so we were expecting a burger which delivered on the patty front for certain. You know they aren’t going to skimp on that… are they? Well, read on…
We both ordered the cheeseburger with shortrib, while our guest ordered the Kimchi burger (which Andy shared).
Right. The beef was incredibly succulent and literally melts in your mouth. Whilst the quality was high, it lacked seasoning (how many times have I moaned about this?) and seemed a little watery as the tiny plate (it was a tiny burger) was covered in burger juices/water. I should have found out what cut they used but I’d be surprised if it was chuck. Good, but could be so much better.
First up I have to say this burger wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting a giant burger, with a ginormous (first time I have ever written that word down) patty given the size of the steaks that fly about in this place. But it wasn’t, it was rather small. Nevertheless I got stuck in. I felt although the patty was good, I could have had mine a bit less done, as it was closer to medium on the cheesburger, the Kimchi was closer to where I would want it but still not ideal. I also felt the flavour wasn’t quite as epic as I would have hoped; I would have preferred a coarser patty, similar to AdCod to show off the quality of meat. Overall still good though.
Lacked that zing needed Score: 8
It wasn’t the toughest of buns but still managed to pass the Rip Test®. The flavours were well balanced though. You can see from the photos that the bottom of the bun was thick (but not dense) which is always good for burger support at the base.
Bunny was good.. Domey, golden, soft and tasty. I wouldn’t say the best yet but a good effort. I did feel like it slightly fell apart, couldn’t quite handle what the cheeseburger and Kimchi were packing, even for a smaller burger…
Meh Score: 7
The toppings helped add flavour to the burger (as the patty really did not taste of much), but I still felt it lacked a real punch. Bed of lettuce, pickles, red onion and on top of the burger, cheese, shortrib, homemade ketchup and a huge thick slice of tomato. Sounds good but I was not yearning for more after each bite.
The amount of cheese was fairly generous and had a smoky kick, but I was disappointed with the shortrib, as, whilst it was succulent and juicy, much like the patty it did not have much flavour, if any. I think tomatoes do have a place in a burger, but this was far too thick and reminded me of Burger and Lobster’s thick slice.
This for me is where you get two completely different experiences. The shortrib was nice, but for me didn’t really add anything much to the burger itself. When I look back at something like the wenlock and Essex, their toppings were divine and just raised the burger to the next level, the Shortrib was good but not great. Now the Kimchi, really packed a punch with a distinct, different flavour. Its something I haven’t had before, but I loved it.
I ate the cheesburger first, so having the Kimchi to finish on was great. The sharp pickled cabbage giving that kick, followed by the mellow melts in your mouth patty was great. My only gripe on the burgers were the tomato again, Leave it YEAH. I don’t want it (I know I can take it out but I try it with it in as surely that’s what they want you to do).
High score based on the Kimchi Score:9
Mine fell apart half way through because the burger was unbalanced. I don’t mind burgers being messy, but everything fell to pieces as the top of the bun was too small and the patty was too thick. It needed to be thinner with a larger circumference.
Not great for me really, it fell apart quite quickly and was very messy, which I wasn’t expecting. As it is quite small it’s a bit fiddly and you can’t really get stuck into it. But, again I would say overall quite good with what they pack into a smaller burger.
Structurally poor Score: 7
All in all, it is a good burger, but we want great burgers, fantastic burgers, amazing burgers. For £13.50 including chips I’m not sure you would think it is good value.
As we all know, a burger is a sum of its parts, and if you look at both the cheese and kimchi burger, Hawksmoor did not deliver the standard we expected. We thought it was our banker! Silly. However, the triple cooked chips were excellent.
The Kimchi burger has saved Hawksmoor’s face here as without that, it would have received a lower score.
Onwards and upwards.
View more photos in our gallery