It’s a chicken’s business

Even though I love burgers (oh yeah I do, burgers! (Insert texas accent here berrrrguerrrrr)), I love chicken as well and as they say:

“Life is too short for bad chicken”

If you say something like: “Let’s go for some chicken”, 99% of the people in UK will think of Nando’s. Well, being portuguese I picture something a lot tastier and juicier

Frango da guia – Real Portuguese Grilled Chicken

Another one! See how juicy it is

Repeat my words: Nando’s is not Portuguese! It’s dry chicken! The only reason why people love it, it’s because they have nice sauces. We have Piri-Piri (Yes, not Peri peri)

Killer machine! muahahahhahahha

Now that you get the differences let’s talk about Clockjack. It felt like fresh air.

Clockjack 5
It’s pretty unassuming and it’s a rotisserie chicken place. (And it’s better than Nando’s.)

It’s tastefully decorated, and the staff is really friendly.

Clockjack 3 Clockjack 4

And food is pretty good!Β The chicken is well seasoned, tasty, cooked through and disappears very quickly :/

Clockjack 1

Clockjack 2

There was still space for dessert:

If the chicken went fast, the cake went even faster!

 

It’s an affordable place but the bill can very easily go to Β£20pp, so keep the sides in check.

On the plus side, I didn’t left smelling like grilled chicken πŸ˜€ It’s a good place to go, and with such a convenient location I’m sure I’ll be back more often. They even have burgers as well!

Thanks Zomato for inviting me.

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Bunsen, Dublin – What’s it all about?

A few months ago, in a city not far away (Dublin)


(Yoda is copyright of Disney as is Mickey Mouse)

But I digress.

Bunsen (linked) is a small burger joint with a hip look, and a very small menu. Usually a small menu means a good quality burger as the chefs can be totally focused in the few items they prepare. Small joint. Maybe 30 seats at most and it is a popular place.

This is the menu. Yes, not kidding. This is the menu.

The milkshakes are really good. Thick and creamy loads of taste.

Then the burger came.

And this happened.

Initial reaction: “Hum, maybe it’s overflowing with juices, so the steam baked the bun a little bit”.
I was wrong

Remember that Sunday roast?
This was exactly the same taste. Sunday roast on a burger! WHY!?
The patty was boiled and tasteless. The cheese was oozing and tasted like tofu. The bun was like Warburton’s πŸ˜₯

No redeeming qualities.

Unless there is a different burger “scene” in Ireland, I don’t understand why this place is so highly regarded.
Could be just a bad day.

Roughly 13 euros per person.

Avoid

Food – 1.5/5
Choice of drinks – 3/5
Service – 3/5
Location – 4/5

Hamburgueria do Bairro, Lisbon – One of the best

Ah Lisbon…

Beautiful city, full of history, good food and drinks, great views and a lingering smell of piss. But there’s an aura that cannot be explained and draws me for more.

This city, and Portugal in general, are known for excellent seafood, pasteis de nata (get these cream pastries), piri-piri chicken (and not peri-peri, as a popular awful chicken restaurant claims to be), chouriços and more.
Gastronomically a great place to be and possibly the first fusion kitchen in the world. Excellent quality and very decent prices.

With globalization, the popular sandwich Bifana (pork steak sandwich), has given up some space for the all-American heavy weight sandwich, the Hamburger.
This has led some to adopt it and give it a little Portuguese twist.

After a lot of recommendations, I had the time to go the Hamburgueria do Bairro.
Originally situated near the Bairro Alto, which is an area mostly known for the night life, this restaurant has become very popular. At this moment they have opened up all around Lisbon.

Location link.

The entrance is very inconspicuous

and the restaurant quite small. It maybe sits 20 people very tightly.

So small, in fact that is recommendable to go during lunch time and to avoid weekends. It gets full very fast and will have a queue.

The selection has Portuguese influences. The bread in “Hamburguer do Caco” will exchange the bun for a “Bolo do caco” which is a wheat bread from Madeira Island that is done as if it were a cake.

The one I tried was the “Bairro Alto”

In short, a Bacon Cheeseburger with a fried egg and salad.

Taste matters. And in this case, the taste is all there. The meat is top quality. Flavorful, succulent, nicely made.
The bacon. The best. so crispy and smoky that becomes decadent. And to finish all off, the fried egg tastes like it’s homemade.

Each bite is a trip. And before you know it, the hamburger is finished 😦

On the side, some wrinkled, almost unsalted, fries that will have more taste than they seem to have.

The last five or so years have been very hard on Portugal. Somehow, the Portuguese keep reinventing themselves and every time I go back there, there’s something new to eat and to see. This small and relatively unknown restaurant chain is a great example of that.
Unfortunately, I cannot give enough praise to what they have achieved in terms of taste and presentation. Also, as this blog doesn’t reach everywhere it won’t have the coverage they deserve.

That being said, this is possibly the best proper Burger Restaurant I have ever eaten in ( Five guys sits in another niche, so they can’t directly compare, however taste is not that dissimilar).

And the price for all of this?
A meal for 2 (Hamburger and drink), €17.50. Not per person. Total.
That’s the cost, per person, at Byron’s. And this is better. Period.

Food – 4.65/5
Choice of drinks – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
Location – 5/5

Try this. You won’t regret it.

Triple Cheesemas – Byron (Ho ho ho)

This December, Byron launched the most un-Christmas-y hamburger ever. There’s no reindeer meat or turkey between gingerbread buns.
Just two 6oz hamburgers with three different cheeses and a spicy sauce. Which is fine by me!

The burger itself is a tower oozing with cheese, that instead of being called “Triple Cheesemas” should have been called “triple bypass” or “I hate having low cholesterol”.
Still, fine by me!

There’s lettuce in there too, so it should make it a bit healthier.

Back from the last time, the grill seem to have improved, at least for this burger. I asked for medium-rare, and it came medium. Better than the well-done from last time.
With that, the flavour of the meat became more pronounced, as it had more juices from a less cooked patty.
The cheese choices were well thought. All the cheeses are noticeable and mingle well with the meat.
Byron’s sauce is also good. Slightly spicy, but not too much.
However, with loads of juices and sauces flowing around, having a go at this burger without a fork and a knife is downright impossible. The buns get too soaked and start to desintegrate.

All together, they make an enjoyable hamburger, albeit, not too healthy I assume.
Price too high at 12, but I’m sure some will pay for the novelty (like myself).

As for drinks,

Dale’s Pale Ale.
At first it seems smooth and sweet, but the flavour gets very hoppy and bitter.

Food – 4.25/5
Choice of drinks – 3.5/5
Service – 4.25/5
Location – 5/5

Five Guys Burgers and Fries’ cheeseburger – Covent Garden

Five guys was always an unicorn to me.
Only available on another continent. Always told it is a hamburger with no match. Always told to try it.

The first time I have heard from it was on youtube through the user Daym Drops on this video.

Well, fortunetely, it was an unicorn.
I was informed that Five guys have opened a few restaurants in the UK, including one in Central London, Covent Garden.
Isn’t that just lucky?

After some 30 minutes commuting, I got to their place, which has a rather bland look.

The interior is also basic. Red and white.

But once inside, there is a vibe in the air that tells that the burger is good.
Everywhere on the walls there are reviews from Journals, magazines, blogs saying that their burger is exceptional.

Right away, I can say, that the kitchen is exceptional.
The kitchen is in front of every one to see. It is an open style kitchen that always to see what the guys are doing.

Since the bacon cheese burger over there always receives high praise, I had to know what it is all about.

The meal chosen was:
Bacon Cheese burger (the large one) with grilled mushrooms. I’m pretty sure I could have chosen more toppings.
Cajun Fries (was recommended)
Bottomless Coke.

Receipt says: 14 pounds.

So, after a few minutes waiting on the line, this is what they give you.

I’m pretty sure the last time I saw a brown bag it was hiding booze. Or drugs. Or both. But matter not, let’s look inside.

Are you seriously going to serve me a burger that cost me just shy of 9 pounds on tin foil???

Setting that aside, and unrapping the foil

That is a good looking burger. It is oozing cheese and has a heavenly smell.

But the taste…
I had a reaction similar to this.

(Copyright by Pixar)

The first bite left me speechless.
It seemed that the way the burger is presented was some kind of clever plot to lower the expectations and then having hammer falling on the head.

The bun is moist. The meat is succulent and fills the all the space in the mouth. The cheese is there to round up the taste and the grilled mushrooms were done just right.

I take it all back with my tin-foil comments and brown bags. Keep them. Please, keep them!

This burger is, without a shadow of a doubt, crack cocaine on a sandwich format.
If I had a golden burger award picture, I would have posted it already.

But it doesn’t end here, oh no.
There is more and it is just as good.

The fries

A huge portion of it.

These are some sexy fries over here.
So sexy, they deserved a zoom

These are not only sexy, but they also have character.
Spicy. Well fried with skin-on. A bite will land a haymaker on the face. They are the best fries out there.
Full-stop.

I don’t usually go for seconds.
This meal didn’t need seconds… but this is crack-cocaine.

So, since Five guys also offer “mini” hamburgers, a mini cheeseburger was the choice.

First impression was “that isn’t a mini hamburger. That is a space-sta… almost the size of a big mac!”.
And it tastes the same as the bacon cheeseburger!

Same quality meat, left me speechless yet again.

To wrap things up.

This restaurant won’t win any prizes with appeal, looks, marketing and presentation but who cares?

The greased brown bag and the tin-foiled hamburger is part of the experience and despite this shady look it wins on all relevant departments: Taste, attention to detail and customer satisfaction
Five guys, as far as I’m aware, have their marketing done by word of mouth. The burger is *that good*. And they deserve every bit of praise.

If this isn’t a perfect burger, it is very close.

Food – 4.75/5
Choice of drinks – 2.5/5
Service – 4.25/5
Location – 5/5

Try this.You won’t regret it!

Mo Shroom – Byron @ Westfield Shepard’s Bush

Byron is a well known Burger Restaurant chain in the United Kingdom.
As a restaurant, they offer a up-market look reminiscent of 1950’s diners, but center themselves heavily on Hamburgers.

This particular restaurant was my first contact with more “gourmet” hamburgers in the UK (read, non-fast-food). The staff is always polite and professional.
This month, particularly, they are supporting Movember, and like in previous years, there is a burger done to support it.

Enter the Mo shroom.

At first a bit unimpressive.

It is basically a Emmenthal cheese, cheeseburger with sliced Portobello mushrooms.

Like all Byron’s burgers, the buns have no sesame or seeds and are grilled for few moments. My top bun had to much char on the bread, leaving the distinctive burnt taste on it.

The cross-section shows that for a medium-rare burger patty, as I requested, it had no pink whatsoever. Even though the meat is very high-quality, it was too cooked, leaving the meat dry.
A shame.

The burger itself was well-thought. The portobello mushroom makes a good combination with the meat and sauce, having a warmer presence when eating it.

Maybe the best Movember burger they made up to this day, in my opinion.

Fries-wise…
Nothing fancy about them. Well fried and well-salted. Too “yellow” for my taste.

As a restaurant, Byron offers a small choice of beers and other alcoholic beverages.
They used to have Tatcher’s ciders, but have changed it to Pipsqueak (why the hell would you do that!?)

So, from the choice I had, this was the one

Brew Dog Punk IPA

First things first.
The can.
If I ever passed by one of these on a supermarket, I would think this is some kind of Asian beverage/soda.
The can is dramatic and different. Very nice appeal.

As an IPA, it’s a regular one. Persistent Lemongrass taste. Zesty. Good initial carbonation, but the head doesn’t last a bit.
3.5/5

A meal will set you back, typically 15 pounds per person. That includes a burger, fries and drinks.
This particular burger was 10 pounds.

The scores are

Food – 4.25/5
Choice of drinks – 3.5/5
Service – 4.25/5
Location – 5/5

I would rate more on the meat, but the medium-rares I ask, are *never* medium-rare.
A shame, as the meat is really good, but there is no moisture left to give it the taste I like about beef.I will come back to this place, and someone said the one from Clapham Junction is better.
Who knows?

Revolution – Richmond

Richmond is a wonderful place.

Even though it’s part of the Greater London, it doesn’t seem that way. It still looks, despite some modern buildings and big brand stores, like an idyllic village.
The river and the closeness to the Nature makes it a nice to place to shop, walk, chill and eat out.

Just next to the Thames there are various restaurants, and one of them is the Revolution Richmond.


Photo from the http://www.rhcamra.org.uk website.

The Revolution restaurants build their image around Vodka and vodka based/inspired foods and drinks. Using mainly the brand Stolichnaya they have a big offering of vodka cocktails.
But, despite all of that, there is also a good selection of bottled and draft ciders, beers and other drinks.

As for the food I normally go there for the pizza or the burgers.

This is the Peppercorn burger

I should say it is a strange offering.
In essence it’s a cheddar-cheese cheeseburger with onion rings and peppercorn sauce on the side.

The burger itself is really good. A fresh salad with a slightly sweet bun and very good quality beef patty, giving it a good crunch.
Definitely a high quality meat there with the cook knowing what he was doing.

The cheddar used wasn’t the best selection, in my opinion.

And why is this a peppercorn burger?
Because of the peppercorn sauce, of course!
It had a ready-made sauce base with some more pepper for extra “zing” which didn’t really connect with the burger itself, but it was a nice sauce for the fries. Β΄

Speaking of fries, they were very well fried, crispy with almost no soft flesh in the middle.

Overall, a nice burger but with a taste disconnect. It is a cheeseburger and the sauce isn’t appropriate.
The peppercorn sauce was mainly to give it a “gourmet” taste but that isn’t it’s place in my opinion.

Orchard Pig Reveller

For straight up cider I am more of a Tatcher’s guy and this Somerset cider (like Tatcher’s) is very similar.
Fresh, fruity, sweet and lightly acid.

Nice taste with persistent light carbonation.

In short a fresh cider that combines well with this sort of food and can be drank to enjoy at any time, as the taste profile isn’t complex.

Food – 4.25/5
Choice of drinks – 5/5
Service – 4/5
Location – 5/5