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Filtering by Tag: Bodean's

Bodean's Prime Beef Burger (8oz) & Fries


£7.95 with fries. Bland. If you're in Bodean's, avoid the beef burger and have a pulled pork sandwich and baby back ribs instead. Yummy!

Bodean's, in case you're unaware, is probably London's primary American style BBQ pork destination. Spare ribs, pulled pork,  smoked sausages,  BBQ sauce etc - they do it REALLY well. I remember considering booking the office Christmas meal at the Poland Street branch a few years ago and one of the menu options available was simply called "Festival of Pork". Yeah, bwoy!

Having enjoyed many a Boston Butt and Pulled Pork Sandwich from Bodean's in my time (if you go, try one - they're awesome), and bearing in mind there's a branch just across the road from where I work, I thought I would dedicate last Friday's Lunchtime Burger Research Mission to checking out Bodean's beef burger offering, which comes in two sizes: 8oz or 16oz (that's a pound of flesh). I chose the smaller of the two options, which was plenty big enough and comes with fries. The fries are too thick to be proper french fries, and too thin to be decent chips. They're neither crisp nor soggy. At least they're really well seasoned with both salt and fine ground black pepper.

Presentation-wise, the burger itself looks pretty damn good. However, closer inspection reveals that the bun shows no evidence of having been toasted. The bottom half has soaked up a lot of burger juice and is rather soggy. The top half has been subject to steam from the burger and so has a matching (slightly soggy) vibe too. As well as the meat, there's tomato, some red onion rings, gherkin slices on the side (which I add to the burger) and a rather photogenic bit of frilly-edged lettuce. But there's absolutely no condiment in the burger at all - no mayo, no ketchup, nada.

And there's no ketchup in the take-out bag either. Just two dipping pots, one of delicious BBQ sauce (which I added to the burger on account of not having any ketchup to add) and one of Bodean's special sauce for fries.

Bite-wise, it's totally manageable - the burger is slightly charred on the outside yet perfectly pink on the inside – a very pleasing "medium". The texture is great too. The flavour, however, is rather disappointing. It's bland. More fat, more depth of flavour is required. Not sure what cut has been used but it's just not cutting my mustard. It's a monster of a patty too, so the burger needs some extra flavours and textures to make it more manageable – you know,  the way a Whopper in Burger King (yes, I admit, a guilty pleasure) is full of crisp salad, ketchup and mayonaise and is, as a result, yummy. If the meat's gonna be the star of this show, it needs to be a lot tastier.

I can't help wonder, as the blood starts to drain from my brain in the direction of "the mother load" assembling in my belly, if Bodean's are aware of the legend of Bar Boulud's Piggie Burger – widely regarded, at the time of writing, as London's most awesome burger. The not-so-secret magical ingredient of that very special burger (Burgerac review, coming soon) is pulled pork. Here lies my thinking: Bodean's are the undisputed kings of pulled pork in London. So why, in the name of porky-goodness, hasn't someone in the kitchen experimented with a smaller burger weight and circumference (say a 4oz, quarter pounder) and sprinkled it (piled it) with pulled pork and married the combo with a totally delicious, perhaps slightly piquante, bourbon-infused BBQ sauce created / sourced specially for the task? Hot-diggedy-damn, I could cry with frustration that the Bodean's beef burger doesn't play to the restaurant's unique strengths.


Bodean's Soho
10 Poland Street,
London W1F 8PZ

Opening times: 12 noon - 11pm (10.30pm on Sunday)

Tel: 020 7287 7575