£8 including chips, pickles and coleslaw. This unassuming London café serves a really great burger at a really great price. Good times!
Although it calls itself a café and looks, well, exactly like a café should, the Ginger Pig Café
on Hoxton Street is, in fact, a really awesome little restaurant. Bizarrely, the place has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the famous London butchers of the same name (who don't even supply the café) but that shouldn't be held against them because regardless of any confusion their name might cause, they're doing a flippin' brilliant job of serving up delicious meaty fare...
The burger selection can be found on the bottom of the front page of the menu (where you also see that they've got Meantime Pale Ale and also Pilsner on tap - happy days) in a section entitled Home Made Ground Beef and there are four to choose from - each priced at £8 which includes chips, pickles and splat of coleslaw. Each burger features an 8oz coursley ground beef patty (cooked "medium or pink unless otherwise required") smothered in melted Monteray Jack served in a super soft brioche bun.
I opted for the Hunky-Dory (above) which also has caramelised onions, fire-roasted red peppers and a smoked chilli mayo, while my partner in calorie crime ordered a Lieutenant Superfly (in the background, above) which featured BBQ pulled pork, chilli and mango chutney. Here's a closer look at my burger. It was an impressive four inches tall:
To be perfectly honest, I'd rather a burger was less of a ball and more of a hockey puck shape – as it makes it much easier to handle and actually eat – so I was a little concerned about the mountainous look of my Hunky-Dory when it hoved in to view. BUT, the bun squashes to nothing and holding this burger I felt like a king. It's a bit of a beast - but absolutely DELICIOUS!
The caremelised onions add a huge amount of sweetness that plays against the smokey chilli mayo. There's red onion and fresh tomato to add crunch and extra juiciness while the flame grilled red peppers cut through the sweetness with a lovely charred flavour that compliments the char on the toasted bun and the burger itself. Folks, this is seriously good eating.
It's clear the good folk at the Ginger Pig Café love great tasting beef and want to serve hearty fare in an unassuming, unpretentious, gloriously British way. Their burgers don't aim for on-trend Americana and show zero sign of pandering to current food fads. If anything, these burgers steer towards ultimate pub burger territory – and, to be fair, they arrive at their destination with no small amount of oomph. Did I mention yet how great the chips are? Already planning my next visit.
The Ginger Pig Café
231 Hoxton Street
Tel: 020 7749 0705