Review: Yeah! Burger

After our incredibly successful review of We Serve Humans at the Jackdaw and Star (over  ****** potential impressions on Twitter achieved and a healthy ****** blog views reached – get in touch to find out the numbers behind the stars) it wasn’t a big surprise to hear from the marketing guys at the Star pubs again.

“Please,” they begged “will you come and review ‘Yeah Burger’ at the Star by Hackney Downs?”

“Hang on, let me get this straight – East London and burgers, right?”

“Correct.”

“We were hoping you’d say: ‘Yeah’.”

“Oh, yeah. So, are you up for it?”

There was only one answer to that: “Absolutely.”

Toby

I arrived twenty minutes before Tony, due to typically poor transport planning on his part.

“What shall I do?” I asked him.

“Go incognito,” urged Tony “pretend you’re just an ordinary schmuck from the street and see how they treat you.”

I ordered a pint and tried not to betray my celebrity status, but I fear the bar staff were all too aware that I had something special about me.

Tony

TFL fucked me, yet again, leaving Toby to try and initiate the blogger / vendor process.

Worried, I told him to get himself a pint, keep his mouth shut and not to do anything that could jeopardise us getting burgers.

I arrived to see Toby propping up the bar shouting about geese to a poor bartender.

Toby

“Fire me over a couple of GEESE please, barkeep!” I said to the bartender, wooing her with my wordplay.

There was a beer called ‘Goose IPA’ you see.

I had already bought a Camden Hells that I hadn’t finished, but I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to impress the young, possibly Australian woman behind the bar.

“GEESE, you see, is the plural of GOOSE!”

“TOBY! Leave that woman alone,” Tony shrieked as he ran towards the bar on entering the pub.

“What can I get you?” she calmly asked.

“Two goose, please.”

“GEESE!” Toby yelled again.

“Go and get us a table, Toby.”

Oooh political

As a pair of deeply political kinda guys we were pleased to see ‘Yeah Burgers’ getting on board with the General Election. 

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“Where the fuck is Sir Timothy Farron in all this?” Tony demanded to know.

“He thinks burgering is a sin.” Toby laughed to himself, “burgering – like buggering, like what gays do.”

“Yes, I got it.”

The food

We didn’t try those political items as we thought we may be swayed from a truly impartial review.

So, we settled for a Gladiator burger, and a beef Coney Island hot dog.

The Gladiator burger was very much a burger, but with confit garlic mayo, avocado and most importantly chicken skin. The chicken skin was a delicious addition and the salty hit instantly cured Tony’s hangover.

Yeah Burger Gladiator burger
Gladiator burger


“Surprised it’s not GOOSE SKIN,” shouted Toby, looking around the pub, desperate for a reaction.

The Coney Island hot dog was a beef frank with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.

Toby scraped away some of the tasty onions as they do his IBS riddled stomach a right mischief – life can be so cruel.

Coney Island hot dog

Coney Island hot dog

“The bread should be OK seeing as it’s sourdough,” he assured the barman, who had a Jeremy Corbyn T-Shirt on, “the onions perhaps not! Onions for the many! Not for the poo!”

“Shut up, Toby.”

The burger and hot dog were excellent, as were the fries and sweet potato fries.

The side order of pickles was a bit sad, and not very pickly.

“Is everything OK with your food?” asked the bartender as she cleared our empty glasses.

“It is, very good indeed. But could you help us with something, what genre is the music that’s playing in here currently?”

“Um, I’m not sure who it is.”

“Ah yes, but is it… Grime?”

“It could be Grime. Yes. I think it’s Grime.”

“YES!” We had never heard this music before and were thrilled to be part of Corbyn’s grime scene.

You do not have to say anything…

Before we left, Toby wanted to get to the bottom of the barkeep’s mysterious accent.

“Hello, I’m Detective Inspector Twang, and I’m making routine inquiries today.”

“I’m sorry?” she had now become wary of our conversations.

“I’m from the Dialect Squad. Anything you say will be taken as evidence.” He winked slowly.

“I really don’t understand what you’re on about.”

“Sorry about him,” apologised Tony.

“999, ACCENT EMERGENCY” shouted Toby as Tony dragged him away and with him, his last chance to woo this enigma of a lady.

YEAH OR NAH?

It’s a YES YEAH from us for Yeah Burger at The Star by Hackney Downs. It’s a fine way to spend your summer afternoon; go for the burgers, stay for the grime and leave before you meet Toby.

4 Boys out of five

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Review: The Quality Chop House

You know that tricky scenario when you want to go for dinner but you’re also poor?

There are options available to you, such as:

  • Nandos
  • Take a Pepperami to a Michelin star restaurant and eat it in the toilet before leaving
  • Have a Pot Noodle in the park

Sadly I’m not allowed to lower myself to these levels as I’d have my official #Foodie hashtag removed.

So, rewind to Monday 27th February, one day before pay day. I remember it well, I was hungry and I was poor.

I’d wanted to visit The Quality Chop House in Farringdon for ages and never got round to it, then on Monday 27th February I discovered they do BYO on Mondays.

I should specify here that the ‘your own’ here refers to wine – not chops. Going to a ‘chop house’ and bringing your own chop is almost always frowned upon – you wouldn’t rock up to KFC with your own chicken would you?

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Quality Chop House Menu

I booked a table and headed to Tesco to grab as many bottles of Echo Falls I could carry. Three bottles of Echo Falls is as many as I could carry – one under each arm, one clutched in a hand, with one hand free for other activities.

“Good evening, would you like me to pour your wine?” The waitress asked.

“Erm? Decant it first for goodness sake.”

“Of course, and can I take your order?”

“Perhaps first you could advise what would best compliment my Echo Falls Peach And Mango flavoured wine.”

“Oh, without doubt the leeks followed by the mince on toast.”

“Very well.”

Starter

Leeks and anchovy

Leeks and anchovy

The burnt leeks and anchovy was underwhelming. Fine, but not great – which is why I used the word ‘underwhelming’.

Now I think about it, I’m not sure it’s the right word – if the leeks had blown my mind would I have described it as ‘overwhelming’? I doubt it. Being ‘overwhelmed’ by leeks sounds like something that might happen to a frail old man at an allotment. Think on.

Main course

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Mince on dripping toast

That’s a dreadful photograph, I blame the fact I’d just polished off my second bottle of Echo Falls – this time I quaffed Strawberry And Lime flavoured wine.

This dish was not underwhelming, if it was appropriate to use the word ‘whelmed’ I’d say it well and truly whelmed me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The beef dripping toast made me feel all warm inside.

I also had a delicious treacle tart, but I didn’t take a picture of that as after the bottle of Echo Fruit Rose Summer Berries flavoured wine I could no longer operate my phone.

All in all, a ruddy good experience.

Four boys out of five.

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Review: Il Pampero

Greetings! Welcome to another food blog! YAY! Hopefully we can expect some of this:

“I perused the menu.”

“Oooh, this sausage is cooked to perfection.”

“The asparagus had a real depth of flavour.”

“I’m not paying for this so I’m not actually going to tell you it was BANG AVERAGE.”

As a top, London foodie influencer I receive emails about soft launches of restaurants. I don’t really like the phrase ‘soft launch’ as it makes me think of Donald Trump wearing a sailor hat, trying to thumb his flaccid penis into you having forgotten to take his viagra.

Restaurant soft launches are basically a chance for them to make sure everything works before officially opening their doors to the public. Usually they will only charge 50% for food, so it’s a good chance to go somewhere you might not normally visit.

With this in mind, a few weeks ago I found myself in Belgravia. ME! In Belgravia, with my reputation (my reputation as someone really fucking cool who used to live in East London).

Basically I really like Italian food these days, so saw a soft launch for a new Italian place there and thought: “well, surely it’ll be good because posh people have great taste right?”

WRONG

Il Pampero is the restaurant in the Hari Hotel, which is owned by Harry Styles of One Direction fame (this is included for SEO purposes).

I ordered a Negroni to start, which was a pretty good Negroni. It came on a little bit of wood with a bit of fake, old newspaper on. Quirky, but bloody annoying having to peel it from the bottom of your glass every time you took a sip. I only had like four sips though as I’m an absolute, bloody, raging LAD.

Negroni

Negroni plus paper

My starter of sweetbreads with mushrooms was pretty good. I’d give it a good solid 7/10. Here’s a picture of it.

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Sweetbreads

My main was less good. Saffron risotto with veal ragu and crumbled bone marrow.

The veal ragu and crumbled bone marrow could have been literally anything in the whole wide world and you wouldn’t have tasted it over the massively over-powering saffron.

Saffron risotto

Saffron risotto

If I hadn’t have been here on the soft launch that risotto would have cost £19.50. Imagine! Fortunately they took it off the bill so I didn’t have to weep.

Two boys out of five.

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Review: Duck and Rice – London

The Chinese New Year is the perfect time of year to indulge in the cuisine of the Chinese.

The Chinese are famed for making all sorts of food – rice, dumplings and noodles to name just a few.

During Chinese New Year celebrations it’s traditional to eat fish as it’s considered to be a lucky food – not so lucky for the fish!!!

I didn’t feel like eating fish though, plus it’s the year of the Rooster , so I had a think and the closest thing I could think of was a ‘seagull’ but seagull meat is yet to become a mainstream meat sold in the UK* so I came to the conclusion that I’d go and eat some duck.

THUS I ended up at Duck and Rice in London’s trendy Soho district.

“Gōngxǐ fācái.” I greeted the barman.

“Sorry?” He responded.

“Happiness and prosperity!” I shouted towards the other bar folk.

“Oh, thank you. What can I get you?”

“A table for two please.”

“Would you like to sit in the bar or upstairs in the restaurant?”

“Bùbù gāoshēng.” I answered confidently.

“I’m not sure what that means.”

“A steady rise to high places!”

“Oh, so the restaurant.?”

“Nah, I’ll sit down here.”

I ordered some beer, some fried chicken and some duck and rice – a dish cleverly sharing the name of the restaurant!

The beer was ‘hǎo’, the duck and rice was ‘pretty salty’, and the chicken was ‘hélǐ’. (Good/pretty salty/fine)

Three boys out of five.

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* – Now on to important matters: As anyone who has visited a seaside town in Britain recently will realise – Seagulls are a pest and a danger to our way of life. I propose we start murdering them and serving them up at a restaurant in London’s trendy Soho district.

What do seagulls taste like?

Think about it – they eat fish and chips – so surely they’re like a chicken that tastes of fish and chips?

Inspired by my trip to Duck and Rice I thought I’d name the restaurant after the signature dish served there. Get in touch for investment opportunities for ‘Seagull and Sausage’.

Review: Lucky Chip @ Birthdays, Dalston

On hearing that Lucky Chip were transporting their patty offerings from Hackney to trendy Dalston, our Foodie Senses went into overdrive.

After a few well-placed calls, we hadn’t really got anywhere, so it was fortunate that a work colleague mentioned he could get us on the guest list for their opening night.

When we rocked up to Dalston, enjoying the vibes of East London (I saw some fantastic hats) we approached Birthdays and couldn’t believe the queue!

Obviously some other well-connected foodies had got wind of the opening and were on the hunt for their beefy produce. After a brief moment of confusion on the door, when Tony was nearly refused entry, we were shown to our table of four.

As you can imagine, the venue was heaving with people – and balloons! There must have been at least 100 helium balloons in that room, which actually reduced your headspace because of the string dangling from the ceiling. They would be well advised to avoid using these in future.

The deal was, you got a free cheeseburger each with an accompanying bottle of Peroni lager. Our lactose intolerant friend requested the cheese to be removed, but the waitress kindly explained this was impossible because of the recipe.

This was queried, but having the knowledge of the food industry as I do, I quickly stepped into explain that making a cheeseburger wasn’t as simple as cooking a beef patty and putting cheese on top of it (or not).

The Peroni lager we got was interestingly 250ml, as opposed to 330, the more common measurement. I enquired as to the reasons for this with the waiter but she was very busy and didn’t seem to hear.

The fries arrived a short while after – one basket between a table of four. Which caused this little amusing quip:

“Never mind Lucky Chip, I’ll be lucky if I GET a chip!” – Toby

Small fry

Small fry

Toby actually ended up eating more chips than any of us, enjoying their dry texture, as he had been suffering from an overly wet mouth all day.

Next up, the burger!

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With cheese fully intact (our friend was able to peel it off with relative ease) they eventually arrived at our table in charming little red baskets.

A lovely touch which reminded me of mother bringing in the washing on a summer’s day, except nestled among the laundry was a cheeseburger.

After we’d finished, we were about to ask for the bill, when we remembered it was free! I asked the waiter to bring a receipt for what we would have paid anyway, but she was understandably busy and couldn’t do this.

And with that, we left to give another of London’s food-fanciers a chance to taste Lucky Chip.