£12 with triple cooked chips and tomato relish. Below-the-radar but a leafy courtyard and a top notch burger makes this place a real winner
Being a good detective is partly about having good sources and following up leads. Fortunately (for me, and now, dear readers, for you) my friend Alison told me about the burger at The Cellar Bar
at Alfred Dunhill's Bourdon House, tucked away in sunny Mayfair, just down the road from Claridges yet seemingly a million miles from the hustle and bustle of nearby Oxford Street. "Ooh, they do a really good burger," said Alison. "I'll be the judge of that," I replied. So we met up for lunch last week to investigate said burger...
, just so you know, is Dunhill's kind of next-level, über-luxurious menswear concept shop that happens to include a bespoke tailoring service, a spa, a barber, a screening room, a members club AND The Cellar Bar which is in the basement but has seating in a secluded leafy courtyard with smart wicker furniture and attentive waiter service.
It will come as no surprise to see I've opted for cheese and bacon with my burger - which delightfully comes at no extra cost. The bacon is super thin and crisp - but in a perfectly gentle-to-the-bite, melt-in-the-mouth way. The cheese is a Warwickshire sheeps cheese called Berkswell
that I'm unfamiliar with – although I noticed the other day that The Skinny Bib blog
mentions that it also features in Hawksmoor Seven Dials' current "3rd Burger". While Berkswell doesn't have the hyperplasticity of say St Gall or Ogleshield, it really is a revelation as a super-tasty burger-friendly cheese. I'm gonna have to buy some.
Oof, look at that! Here we see the simple composition - lettuce, a splat of fresh made mayo, nice thick and juicy meat patty, cheese and bacon all sandwiched between what appears at first to be a dry bun a la HIX, but turns out to do its job exceedingly well. The burger patty itself is a little drippy - but the bun does an excellent job of dealing with it. The juiciness is doubtlessly caused by our good friend, Mr Bone Marrow. Yes, the patty is a blend of thick ground rib, chuck and marrow from 28 day dry aged Aberdeen Angus beef. Folks, I'm going in...
Thankfully, the bun turns out to squash flat allowing fairly straightforward eating, even though the meat is a good inch thick. It's absolutely delicious, despite being a shade beyond the medium rare I'd asked for. The triple cooked chips were completely faultless and the tomato chutney offered a nice savoury alternative to ketchup as a chip dip. It's not quite a perfect five-star burger, but it's ever so close. One of the best I've tasted in London. Alison, call me anytime you've got another hot burger lead for me to follow up. We'll do lunch!
The Cellar Bar at Alfred Dunhill
2 Davies Street
London W1K 3DJ
Tel: +44 (0)845 458 0779