Places to Eat

Bad Egg, Moorgate

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With a new firm comes new territory, I’d gotten to know the backstreets of Fitzrovia and all it has to offer within the year I’d worked in the area. I’m no longer on West End grounds and find myself close to the quirky streets of East London and smack bang in the city’s centre. At first glance I was worried there wouldn’t be many inspiring eateries amongst the modern concrete and glass clad offices but thankfully a few of my new colleagues have paved the foodie way for me. Luckily, I stumbled across this little gem within my first week.

Bad Egg is the new venture from Neil Rankin – who has previously worked his wonders in both Smokehouse, Islington and Pitt Cue Co, where he has based a menu around the protein packed breakfast favourite, eggs – playing on different flavours from around the globe. The menu boasts dishes ranging from goat’s cheese tacos to Korean sweet and spicy ribs – with feature craft beers on offer and a buzzy diner atmosphere, these lunch sized portions are perfect for your midday escape from the office.

Now there are some things you just don’t order when you’re out with new company such as spaghetti bolognese, noodles or ribs. I like to defy these unwritten rules and enjoy putting my etiquette into good old fashioned practice. Starving and craving something meaty avoiding all salad based dishes on the menu, I went for the Peking Ribs (Umami Rich Soy, Hoisin and Ginger Sauce) and some fries on the side – totalled at £11.50. Pretty good price for Central London.

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Our food came within 10 minutes and to my surprise my dish wasn’t at all messy as I’d pictured, it was one hefty, pork belly rib with a crispy outer layer and smothered in sauce, it looked delicious! The fries were plain and nothing really to shout about but necessary to pair with something as rich flavoured as the ribs I ordered. Another plus to the meal – the rib was so large I could use my knife and fork, usually I wouldn’t really care but it was my 3rd day at work – no way can I walk into the office after lunch with an ambiguous stain on my white shirt now can I? The Peking Ribs were so, so great for the first few mouthfuls, cured and slow cooked to perfection, the meat just fell off the bone. But as I got further through my meal I found it got more difficult to enjoy, maybe I needed more sides to mask the generous helping of hoisin sauce which became more sickly with each bite. Along with the amount of fat that was oozing onto my fork, it just wasn’t for me.

I wouldn’t say it made me write off the restaurant all together, the food looks impressive and the recipes are creative but with the result of my meal and the lack of competent service – generally when hiring a floor staff you choose someone who can remember which customer said what and be able to handle it when there are more than 3 tables with hungry customers. It’s not somewhere I would make dinner reservations on a Saturday night to be the centre point of a planned evening but a good option on the lunchtime list all the same.

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BRGR.CO, Soho

brgrco I had high hopes for BRGR.co as it features on Time Out London’s Top Burgers and it did not disappoint. With dim lighting, buzzing atmosphere and alternative music playing, this makes a good date location, whether you’re on your 1st or 50th. The staff were so welcoming, even the chef and this didn’t waver throughout our meal. At first look I felt the menu was a little sparse, the burgers really just varied in size and meat used and not really in toppings which I am used to expecting after visiting places like Red Dog Saloon and BOBO Social. But what I did notice was great prices, a 6oz burger was £7.25, known as the ‘Tender Blend’ and toppings and sauces at the additional price of .99p. After spying on another tables order and saw those fries, all doubt left my mind. Ranging from cheese to chilli fries and our choice – parmesan truffle fries. They were something else.BRGR.CO Soho - Butchers Cut Burger (8 Oz) comes with salad on the side. So in the end I went for the ‘Tender Blend’ Burger with vintage cheddar and BRGR sauce. And I tell you they got this burger thing down to a science.  Putting the salad and sauces on the side leaving you to build your burger one step at a time everything just enhances the dining experience and it honestly just makes you appreciate each flavour more. The brioche bun was the best that I have had so far, perfect bun to patty ratio – there was no bite shy of beef. And the burger sauce was incredible. I would eat here everyday if I could and if my metabolism hadn’t slowed down to a ridiculous pace – long gone are the days when I can eat whatever I want with no consequence. The Parmesan Truffle Fries were thin and crispy and the flavours really complemented each other although maybe just a tad too much cheese for me to finish the portion. All in all, excellent dining experience. All burgers served on a tin tray with red and white checkered paper really gives you the feel of informality to your meal which I am such a fan of at the moment. Our waitress was so great and friendly but at the same time not too invasive. The food was to die for and definitely sits rightly as one of Time Out’s top burger restaurants in London.

BOBO Social, Fitzrovia

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Once a week at my work place we have a ‘treat yourself’ day. A few of us have strict diets, with allergies to gluten and lactose included but some foods are just worth the pain they bring afterwards, right?

So in search of burgers and more sweet potato fries we headed down to BOBO Social. The place is gorgeous, the interior is all warm beiges and nudes with fairy lights scattered around, chandeliers and a beautiful engraved silver bar. And really just looks like the insides of someones house, someone who lives in Kensington. As there were 9 of us we’d booked a table in advance and they led us downstairs and to this little cove, so we were totally enclosed surrounded by said fairy lights and to be honest kind of squished as the table could only really seat 6. It would have been great for them to have set up the table before we arrived so we didn’t have to pass chairs down to the end of the table with them.

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Anyway, forget the service. The menu. Most of my colleagues went for the BOBO burger option as it simply came with salad and sauce and you had the option to add toppings, such as bacon, guacamole, shitake mushrooms and so on. Another went for the lobster and crab burger, which I was so tempted to get but the peanut butter burger was just calling me. I’m a sucker for mixing both savoury and sweet (I love the restaurant Duck and Waffle, whose menu is dedicated to that) and this burger consisted of a patty, bacon and crunchy peanut butter. I swear to God it was one of the best things I’ve eaten in my life. I didn’t want it to end. The peanut butter and bacon complemented each other so well and added moisture to the patty which I can sometimes feel is too dry. So I highly recommend.

Although, the burgers took 45 minutes to come out, probably spending a hefty number of minutes burning that ‘B’ into the bun, and the service had already told us we have the table for an hour and 15 minutes. So we felt fairly rushed, particularly when they ended up kicking us out early. Giving us those 15 minutes you promised would probably have saved you your 12.5% service charge.

All in all, the food was great, everyone was happy and the table had that satisfied silence you hear when people are enjoying their meal. Sweet potato fries could have been a little crispier, they were not so impressive in comparison to Bubbledogs’. The peanut butter burger was everything I’d dreamed of and more, thank you for not using sunpat and giving a healthy dollop of the stuff – it exceeded expectations. But the atmosphere of the restaurant was really quite stuck up and I don’t appreciate getting kicked off a table I had pre booked and they were aware of. I think I’d only return if I could get take out.

RED IRON BURGER, UXBRIDGE

RED IRON BURGER, Uxbridge

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As I mentioned in my post about Burger & Lobster, to get a good burger, go to a specialist burger restaurant. Whilst I was out to meet a few close friends from Uni, in a town far, far away (Uxbridge – Zone 6), I did not expect to find this little treasure.

I love restaurants which present an alternative dining experience and Red Iron Burger really delivers with it’s hybrid, fast food set up. Stepping in the front door was like stepping into your regular chippy down the road – but this isn’t a menu to take away. The dining area is towards the back, not a huge space but big enough to fulfil a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Table ready with mustard, tomato ketchup (Heinz of course) and a box of napkins. The menu is clear and presents a range of options – covering beef, chicken, veggie and lamb burgers…& salads. But I’d question your diet if you’re turning up to this kind of restaurant for a salad – don’t kid yourself.

They also do those awesome milkshakes which cost about a fiver but taste like paradise – I recommend the Oreo flavour. If you turn to the back of the menu, they also do the Man VS Food challenges, which I tried to force my friends into unsuccessfully. Choices are – The End of the World Burger (30oz Beef Patty, 4 cheeses, bacon, chips & onion rings), The 40oz Steak (Served with Chips) or The Super Spicy Hot Wings with choice of flavours. One of the main reasons my friends wouldn’t try the challenge as the benefits were not good enough – simply getting your picture on the wall of fame and ‘Bragging Rights’ does not suffice. Maybe making it a free meal might give it more appeal guys.

The burger in my picture was my partner’s. He’s such a pig. Having the Red Iron Burger Classic was not enough, he asked for a lamb patty on top of that. To his dismay the Lamb was a disappointment, too tough and salty. Whilst the beef patty was cooked to perfection – real melt in your mouth experience  – how burgers should be!

Here there is no cutlery, no plates, no alcohol. Just your hands, a red tray and an overpriced soft drink of your choice. But I’ve gotta say, the portions are massive, none of us could finish our meal, but we left satisfied. I’d have no hesitation in going back here, but only when I’m feeling really, really hungry – and maybe when I feel I’ve had a good healthy week and can balance my self out with a meal which is probably leading me down a dark route to cardiac arrest.