HACHE: BURGERS IN CAMDEN “CHOP, CHOP”
Despite the proliferation of “gourmet” joints all over London, the quality of the burgers in our fair capital remains appallingly low. Floppy grey discs of meat atop buns of a soggy disposition remain the norm even if you are being charged well over the odds for them.
This fact never normally bothers me given that I rarely crave a burger and, if I do, it is usually when I am in NYC where they know how to do these things properly. However this week I really did fancy one in a bad way. I think it is because Dawn mentioned that she had a decent one on a recent business trip.
A bit of research later and HP suggested Hache. Open for about two years, this has now become a bit of a stalwart of the Camden Town scene and it has won any number of awards for its burgers which are made by hand chopping (hence the name) rather than mincing.
Table service means it is more akin to BLT Burger in NYC than some of its London rivals. The range of burgers is pretty wide and the quality certainly seems a notch or two above anything else I have tried in town.
They offer a 14oz Steak Burger so there really was not much choosing to be done. We both plumped for that.
What came was probably as good a hamburger as you are going to get in London. Two meaty slabs of excellent beef toped with a sharp, proper cheddar served in on a bun that you might actually want to eat rather than use as packing material.
If you don’t specify a cooking preference they tell you that the burgers will come out medium. Minus points then for being slightly overcooked. But, not to the point that they dried out or lost any of what was a pleasingly beefy flavour.
Equally pleasing were two sides. One of onion rings with crisp, crunchy batter which shattered under the slightest tooth to free up some sweet soft onions. The other, more than acceptable French Fries.
I am, as I mentioned the other day, on the wagon for a few days. So, stuck to a well made berry smoothie. HP is very much not on the wagon so slurped down a couple of glasses Shiraz.
That lot? About £23 each inc service which is fair enough for the amount we ordered and for a burger that is the only one I have had that comes close to anything I have tried in the US.
Given that it is, by its nature, fast food, £23 does not buy you a particularly leisurely experience and we were in and out (if you will pardon the obscure – to Brits anyway- reference ) in about 45 minutes.
Early enough to contemplate a long walk home where we passed at least five “gourmet” burger joints. I am sure I will be passing them again without stopping on my way back to Hache the next time I fancy a decent Hamburger.