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!
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.
10 Poland Street,
London W1F 8PZ
Opening times: 12 noon - 11pm (10.30pm on Sunday)
Tel: 020 7287 7575