Fans of undercooked beef might enjoy this one; by the same token, ‘well done’ evangelists and soapboxers might do well to save themselves and me the bother, and check back in later.
You can probably tell why.
I’ve been keen to revisit Bleecker since last year’s Dalston Street Feast, where they had a corner stall, but they now have four locations across London.
Here at South Bank they have set up inside a couple of old shipping containers- one for food, the other for draught beer. Five burgers, two sides. It’s a much smaller menu than most boast. It soon becomes clear that they hold to the principle that less is more.
Everything is cooked to order. This means a short wait, and here you are summoned by one of those buzzers which are pretty close to setting off a Pavlovian chain reaction. However long the queues, there’s no dilution of that principle, no pre-cooking and hot-holding here.
All fries are skin-on and hand-cut. ‘Angry’ sauce is a quick one-two from blue cheese and sriracha which is a winner every time.
There’s something beautifully unfussy about the look of a Bleecker. There’s also something instantly recognisable about a Bleecker burger: an iconic simplicity, perhaps.
That Bleecker Black we came in on? It pairs twin patties either side of a puck of black pudding. It’s superb, a mouthful of deep mineral savouriness from well-aged beef and the rich earthiness of the blood sausage.
The only drawback? The burgers are very competitively priced; the beer, less so. Cans are competitive but the draught is buttock-clenchingly expensive. Two 2/3 pints? £12. That’s £9 a pint, though they were rarely-seen ryes and IPAs from Sierra Nevada, which cushioned the blow. A little.
A back to basics burger joint then, which may seem like damning with faint praise.
In truth, it’s admirable. They’ve resisted the temptation to overcomplicate their food, staying true to what makes the burger such a beautifully effective thing. Bleecker Burger delivers in spades.
Bleecker Street Burger
Under the Bridge,
Royal Festival Hall,
The Queen’s Walk
Open daily 11:30am – 11pm
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This blog is a very simple thing.
I won’t try to sell you any hand lotion, exercise programmes, coffee syrups or Patagonian nose flutes. You won’t find tips on dating, ‘wellness’ or yoga mats.
I write because I love it (and food, as indicated by my increasing girth). Greed happens to be my Deadly Sin of choice, but at least it is never shy of providing me with subject matter.
A simple thing, then: all you get is me wittering on semi-coherently about places I’ve eaten at; hence a ‘restaurant blog’ rather than a ‘food blog’, although there are a few recipes scattered throughout.
From mezze to Michelin ‘fine dining’ and all points in between.