"It's not much but it's ours"

Friday, February 13, 2009


Well, it took nearly three years of plaintive moaning from London's meat enthusiasts, but I am pleased to say that the good people of Hawksmoor have finally caved and thrown their buns into the capital's burger wars.

It's been no small matter either, because as with most exploits, Hawksmoor like to do things properly not quickly. So, I was told by Tim, the estimable manager, they have tasted over forty different buns, as many cheeses and enough ground meat to make Tobe hooper shudder.

But, I am delighted to say, the wait has been worthwhile.

The offer of burger and chips at Hawksmoor is not a cheap one. It comes in at a hefty £15 with an order of triple cooked chips. But for that sizable amount you are presented with the best part of 1/2lb of lean longhorn mixed with fattier cuts including two I had never encountered "clod" and "sticking" which I am told are from the shoulder and add richneess to the burger. So to does the clever addition of bone marrow. With the option of Oggleshield cheese, the burger is served pink and comes on a semi-sweet brioche bun with a dressing of raw red onion, lettuce, tomato and a mustard mayonnaise.

As with all good burgers, the knife and fork provided should never be touched and the Hawksmoor Hamburger is one to be picked up and chewed upon in Desperate Dan size bites as the juices flow from meat, to chin to floor. It does not disappoint, but, there are still elements that need improvement. The cheese needs to melt more before the burger is presented, the bun needs to be toasted less, if indeed at all and the mustard mayonnaise needs a spot more punch. An additional option of bacon was not available because the batch sent from The Ginger Pig was too salty.

But, these are small matters for a superb hunk of meat that comes the closest yet to those that gladden my fatty heart on visits to the good old US of Stateside.

As I said, it's not cheap, but by comparison to those on offer elswhere in London (Hache apart) this is welcome news for London's downtrodden burger enthusiasts.

All they need now is to listen to my cries for a Hawksmoor hot dog and even I might stop complaining

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Blogger MancinLDN said...

Too expensive in my eyes, I've had great burgers for $5/6 in NY, corner bistro, shake Schack, the burger joint to name a few. Typical of London to produce something half decent but then make you pay out your ar*e for it. I'm sure I'll give it a try all the same...

Friday, February 13, 2009 2:26:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 2 said...

I am not a great fan of the Shake Shack burger and to be fair, there you pay less because you stand in an interminable queue and then eat it on a park bench. But yes, £15 is a lot of money for a burger. I have found most decent NYC burgers come in at c$10-12, so it is about 30% more expensive

It is, however, worth a try. Perhaps they should throw a beer in for that price?


Friday, February 13, 2009 2:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry-I know you guys love Hawksmoor,but this love is blind!The price of £15(plus service of 10%? means it is upwards of £16.50) for less than 200grams of meat in the dreaded seeded bun(never mind the abomination of mustard mayo!),with a handful(15?) of fries, must be one of the greatest sandbaggings in the restaurant trade.I like you guys,but am going to have to take all you say about Hawksmoor with a a shovel of salt after this rosy-tinted view of the indefensible.

Friday, February 13, 2009 4:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the burgers are anything like the steaks then I'd happily pay £15, they look amazing.

Friday, February 13, 2009 4:53:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 2 said...

@ Bill Hicks
I am not sure how we'll manage, but I guess we will have to find a way to live with the disappointment


Friday, February 13, 2009 6:51:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

DH visited BLT Burger a couple of years ago and just out of interest I looked up their current prices.

A 5oz Classic with Fries and Soda is more than $18 inclusive of tax and tip.

I reckon this is equivalent to spending over £15 here (not just doing a dumb exchange rate calculation) and guess what ?
That's just what HS paid. For a bigger burger.


Friday, February 13, 2009 7:08:00 pm  
Blogger the moffer said...

I haven't tried this burger but am going to stick my neck out and defend the £15 price. at least it includes chips.
Burgers always appear to be the cheapo option but throw in a side and you're almost always looking at £15+ somewhere posh.
Bob Bob Ricard's execrable burger is £12.50 plus £3.50 for a side of fries.

And while i'm here, i say bravo Hawksmoor for choosing a sweeter bun.

Friday, February 13, 2009 9:07:00 pm  
Blogger William Leigh said...

I would also defend the £15 (~$20)

Burger at Shake Shack - $5-6
Flight to NY - $600

Slightly cheaper to nip on the underground up to Lpool St.

Also - there are a thousand burger places offering mediocre deeply unsatisfying crap at the $8-10, with fries and sauce (GBK) an added extra - making the burger, fries and sauce around $15. Adding an extra $5 to not eat at a shoddy chain is hardly bad.

Admittedly - (un)optional service charge does bump up the cost and imo shouldn't be leveraged from diners in the way it is.

Will be going in the next couple of weeks. To Hawksmoor, not NY.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 11:10:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with GED and Hicks.DH-have you gone over to the Dark Side?I always admired you as the Jedi(from Rotherham)of the foodie world.But a £15(+service as someone said) for a small burger on a burnt seeded(aargh) bun with one quarter slice of lettuce,industrial tomato slice and(gulp) mustard mayo-say it ain't so.Wait,you may be still Jedi-you were being funny when you said it was ok,it's Rotherham humour ,right?

Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DH know the best burgers in the Universe are in the U.S of A. Everything else is a variation on sawdust,with the possible exception of our Northern neighbours in Canada who can make a very good burger with their great beer when they stop watching ice hockey long enough to do so.But this £15($25?) thing being flogged in London looks like what Arnie would call a "burger for girly men!" and priced accordingly.Real Burgers are working men's food,no frills,and fripperies,that's for arty types in Noo Yawk.What working man can afford $25 to eat a pretend burger?
Come back fast to the USA,you obviously need a "fix" of the real thing,as you have been too long without.Then you will treat that Hawksmoorpatty with the disdain it deserves.
What are you waiting for,c'mon over!

Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:17:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 2 said...

Steve K is right, we can't get GREAT burgers here as you can in the US just as they can't do Fish & Chips, it is as much an intuative thing as it is an ingredients thing.

however, price aside, the Hawksmoor version is a very good one for this side of the pond

Let's also stop doing the straight conversion from £-$ as the truth $1 in NYC buys you what £1 does here in London.

Interesting debate

Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H2 is right, they should throw in a top quality beer for that price-a good compromise.Otherwise, I'm with the 2 xpensive crowd.
What would pater Hermanos say,I wonder?
Bring him down to London to give his verdict,as the "final say"?
Can we all agree on that?

Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DH-the Jedi of the foodie world!
What a great description!
Patent it quickly.You guys are the Jedi of the foodie world.

As for Hawsmoor,I'm with the American who said it's just a patty,not a burger,or something like that.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:35:00 pm  
Blogger William Leigh said...

Jedi? Yoda perhaps? Eat food he does.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 2:51:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

We've always though of ourselves as Jabba and Jar Jar...

Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never eaten a decent burger in the UK. The Hawksmore one looks like it could be one, and the price isn't as ridiculous as some are saying.

The best burgers I've eaten outside the US are at a place called The Bird in Berlin. It's run by Americans tbf, and they import pretty much all the ingredients. But it's just as good as the best examples I've had stateside, and you pay around 11 euros for a 250g burger and a big pile of excellent chips. Really good value. The steaks are expensive though (32 euros for a 400g ribeye), and I have yet to be persuaded to part with my hard earned when the burgers are so cheap. And so good. This is the place if anyone is in Berlin -

Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other good thing about the Bird is that the beer is great (it being Germany and all...) which is not something that can usually be said about places in the US!

Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:18:00 pm  
Blogger Leigh said...

nice post - about time burgers got some kudos!

Sunday, February 15, 2009 11:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've yet to find a burger better than the ones they dish up at In 'n' Out in California and Nevada but I'm looking forward to trying this one.

Monday, February 23, 2009 4:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys - the best burger in the UK is to be had at The Chop and Ale House, part of The Champany Inn in Linlithgow.

Cooked on the same range as their sublime steaks, the burgers are second to none.

Friday, May 22, 2009 4:28:00 pm  
Blogger The Pub Diaries said...

Having had the excellent Ginger Pig steaks the promise of a burger is just too much... i think i will be finding my way back very soon.

As to the debate about cost, £15 isn't cheap but then considering The Luxe charge around £10-12 for their burger (which is excellent) an extra couple of quid isn't much to pay.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 5:14:00 am  
Blogger highlyharried said...

Lol about the hot dog! I miss a Hot Dog from Harry De Wheels (iconic meat pie and hot dog shop in Sydney) like you wouldn't believe!

Friday, April 23, 2010 1:41:00 pm  

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