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Filtering by Tag: 5/5 stars

Da Birdhouse burger, The Bird Express (Berlin)


€12.50 for this loaded bun of awesomeness in Berlin's The Bird Express burger joint and smokehouse. Money very well spent.

After many years of taking down epic eats, mainly, but not exclusively, of the variety housed betwixt two buns – it came as something of a surprise to find myself having a practically epiphanal burger experience in a laid back burger joint in Berlin's upmarket shopping district, Mitte...

I know. Big statement. But therein lies the primal power of the ingredient combo that makes up The Bird Express's Da Birdhouse burger. Two thick beef patties (each perfectly pink in the centre as per my request), thin cut streaky bacon, fried onions, American cheese, ketchup, mustard and really fucking good (and by really fucking good I mean super sour and salty) homemade pickles – served in an unusual but rather splendid super soft and light muffin-like bun and accompanied by a mound of fries. Wallop! It won't win any prizes for innovation, but wow it hit the nail of proverb squarely on the bonce with impressive aplomb. If someone tells me there's a better place to get a burger in Berlin right now, naturally I'll be intrigued. But, I won't actually believe them. 

The Bird Express (sister restaurant of The Bird in Prenzlauerberg)
Kleine Präsidentenstr. 3
10178 Berlin

Burger Brothers' Benneton Burger


£8.50 This is no ordinary five-star burger. It's the winner of Hellmann's 2016 competition to find Britain's Best Burger in 2016. Bravo!

Since starting my own burger business in 2014, I've basically had bugger all time to continue reviewing / writing about the burgers I've been continuing to hoover up on a regular basis. But, seeing as I recently got to eat and evaluate a bunch of awesome burgers as a judge in Hellmann's Britain's Best Burger competition, I wanted to "say a few words" about the winner - the Benneton Burger from Brighton's Burger Brothers...

The Burger Brothers are two mates, Nadz and Pip, who grew up in Brighton and spent a few years cooking up jerk chicken at Brighton's Pride Festival every year from 2008 to 2012. But in 2012 they decided to serve up some burgers and they went down a storm. The idea for Burger Brothers took hold almost immediately and the same year Nadz and Pip secured the lease for a tiny premises on the edge of Brighton's North Laines and proceeded to convert it themselves into the classic takeaway joint it is now with a small room with enough wall ledge space for maybe eight people to chow down at a time, and a counter behind which the kitchen is situated and where the burger magic occurs.

The Benneton Burger itself is unconventional to say the least. Besides a juicy beef patty it comes with Tuxford & Tebbut Blue Stilton, Portobello mushroom, super thinly sliced chorizo (which can be swapped out for prosciutto, Serrano ham or halloumi), wasabi mayo, caramelised onions and balsamic vinegar glaze. All these ingredients are housed in a cloche-steamed seeded bun which is baked specially for them by a local bakery to a Jewish cholla bread recipe that the Burger Brothers have tweaked a little for extra flavour. Basically, there's a hell of a lot going on but all of it is perfectly judged so that every bite packs just the right amount of everything to deliver a joyous eating experience and a unique, rich flavour profile to boot.

In many ways the Benneton Burger epitomises the Burger Brothers' approach. Their business is borne out of a palpable passion for quality ingredients and a desire to bring them together in the tastiest burgers they can conjure up - no matter how unconventional those burgers might appear to the purist. They don't follow tired formulas or design burgers for Instagram. They're just very nice guys following their passion and it's clearly working for them.

If you need proof beyond their delicious food (which really does a very good job of speaking for itself), the Burger Brothers' TripAdvisor reputation alone should tell you their doing something right - almost 1000 reviews at the time of writing - and not a bad word among them - they get a full five stars. Which is precisely what I'm giving them, and why they're the worthy winners of Hellmann's Britain's Best Burger competition which I (and my stomach) was very happy to be involved with as a judge.

Next time you're in Brighton - you know where to get lunch!


Burger Brothers
97 North Road
Brighton BN1 1YE

Tel: 01273 706980

Read more about Britain's Best Burger competition at

The Prince (N16) burger


£9 At long flippin' last: awesome burgers come to Stoke Newington, courtesy of Will Dee, head chef at The Prince pub on Kynaston Road

As a long time resident of Stoke Newington I can't tell you how happy I am to see

The Prince

pub on Kynaston Road refurbished (beautifully) and serving a selection of top craft ales, mostly from the plethora of excellent local London breweries to have emerged in the last few years - Beavertown, Camden Town Brewery, Five Points, Hackney Brewery, London Fields Brewery, Pressure Drop, The Redchurch Brewery and more...

I'm even happier that it's also serving unpretentious, lovingly prepared seasonal food cooked by ex-St John Hotel chef, Will Dee, who, prior to becoming head chef at The Prince, has also worked with Trish Hilferty at The Canton Arms in Stockwell and ran his own pop-up in Kentish Town's Grafton Arms as 

The Fat Butcher


"My pop-up was about nurturing an ethos of respect for seasonal ingredients and a no wastage policy," Will explains. "I called it The Fat Butcher because I wanted to reap the various benefits of using whole animals - from price to ethics and quality control in terms of hanging and ageing meat myself. I learned a lot about butchery and curing meat from Trish at the Canton arms and her sous chef, Mike Davies."

The food at The Prince with Will in charge in the kitchen is very much a continuation of The Fat Butcher ethos. "I'm interested in everything artisinal," he continues. "The idea is that I make what I can in-house, from sometimes badly behaved sourdough bread, to homemade ketchup and the charcuterie. I think it's important to be confident and firm about what we do and push punters in the direction of what we want them to experience, rather than just producing a predictable pub menu."

Fortunately, one thing Will is happy for The Prince's punters to experience is a truly delicious burger. Simply titled "The Prince Burger" on the menu, you can opt to have it with either Cheddar or Stilton. At its heart is an extra fatty 180g aged beef patty supplied by Nathan Mills at The Butchery (I take huge pride in having introduced Will to Nathan) and it's served in a wonderfully squishy glazed white bun with pink pickled onion, shredded iceberg lettuce and a dollop or three of homemade ketchup. Will actually conceived it to be served with Stilton, and even though I NEVER ORDER BLUE CHEESE BURGERS, I strongly advise you check the Stilton version. It's very good indeed...

"The beef that Nathan and Ruth at The Butchery supply for our burgers is pretty special," says Will. "It doesn't come from cows that have been pumped full of grain or beer or anything. And it hasn't' been massaged by Brazillian virgins or flown business class to the Bahamas – it's just good ol' well-reared, free range, grass-fed, 35 day aged British beef that tastes amazing. I don't use a specific cut or blend but rather the meat in our patties is all steak trim. I believe a burger is a great way of using up the pieces of good meat that don't quite make the serving cuts - i.e. the trim from short rib, ribeye, onglet etc. The lean meat is then blended with 35% of its weight in beef fat of the same age. So for every 1kg of lean meat, 350g of fat is added."

"I cook each patty medium rare and rest it for as long as  I cook it. The cheese is either Keen's cheddar or Stilton and we garnish it with Kühne gherkins, our house-made sweet pickled red onions which have loads of spices and herby seeds in the pickling liquor that give little bursts of flavour when you eat the burger. There's also shredded iceberg lettuce, a very strong dijonaise and our smoked house ketchup. It's all housed in a bun made by Nick, a local lad who runs a bakery in Walthamstow."

Yup, this burger is pretty damn special but it's not just the burger that I'm excited about here. The pub's beautiful refurbishment – it's hard not to notice and appreciate the handmade wooden parquet-style tabletops and stunning herringbone bar made from reclaimed wood by

Stewart Walton

 at the Bexhill & Hastings Wood Recycling Project – combined with the management's obvious enthusiasm for locally brewed craft beer AND its acquisition of Will Dee as head chef amounts to a really impressive statement of intent. This is my new happy place.


The Prince

59 Kynaston Road

Stoke Newington

London N15 0EB

Tel: 020 7043 5210

The Prince on Urbanspoon