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Filtering by Tag: Kua 'Aina

Kua 'Aina 1/2lb Cheese Burger

Burgerac

£7.70 for the burger, £1.95 for Crunchy Fries and £2.45 for Sweet Potato "wedges". All really very tasty. Worth a go if you're in the area

On my second visit to Kua 'Aina in a week I fared much better than I did on my first when I had a 1/3lb Cheeseburger that was overcooked and, consequentially, not-at-all-juicy. This time I opted for the plumper of the patty options and asked for the half pound Cheeseburger to be cooked medium rare... 

And I "ate in" this time too. It's not so much a restaurant that you go for a meal at so much as a burger shack you park your butt in while you wolf down a big fat juicy burger. Which is, of course, a lunchbreak-dream-come-true kind of burger vendor.

So this is how m'burger looked when it arrived, served in one of those little plastic "baskets" that are designed specifically to serve burgers like this in. Perfect. I took the top off, removed one of two slices of tomato (no burger needs two slices of tomato) and took a bite. This time the patty WAS juicy, as well as being perfectly seasoned and delightfully beefy in flavour. In fact, it was so damn juicy that on the first greedy bite, juice ran down this burger detective's chin. Score! 

However the second bite revealed something not quite so pleasing: the remaining thick slice of beefsteak tomato was fresh out of a very cold fridge. Not ideal in my book. Even less ideal in my burger. As with my last KA burger, the cross-section of grilled onion avoided slimy-worm syndrome admirably but I found myself questioning its inclusion (along with limp lettuce) in a burger. I'm not sure it brings enough to the party.


What I'm really getting to is that, while the beef patty this time round was really super delicious, the Kua 'Aina burger is one you have to basically fuck around with before you can enjoy it: First you've got to remove the superfluous second slice of tomato – or all of it if its noticably colder than 5 degrees C. Then there's the lettuce which might need tidying up or simply removing altogether. And once you've started this cull of extras, you start to question the validity of the grilled onion too. After a few bites, you'll probably remove it as it's more annoying than it is worthy of inclusion with the tasty patty.

I guess the point to make here is one I've made a few times before: a burger is a dish, a recipe. There needs to be a concept that gives every ingredient a reason for being there. Yes, if you happen to remember to order your KA burger to be cooked medium rare, then you're likely to get a tasty and juicy burger, but the cheese is unlikely to be perfectly melted into the surface of the burger - and you will undoubtedly need to arse about with the extras before eating it.




Don't get me wrong, Kua 'Aina IS def worth a visit if you're in the area – not least because the fries and the Sweet Potato Wedges (above) are totally amazeballs. Just remember that if you want your burger cooked on the rare, juicy side of medium - make sure you mention that when you place your order. 

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Kua 'Aina
26 Foubert's Place
London W1F 7PP

Tel: 020 7287 7474


Kua 'Aina 1/3lb Cheese Burger

Burgerac

£6.70. Crunchy Fries are an additonal £1.95 and are so good they stole the show this time round. I'll be back to try a 1/2lb version soon


I'd read favourable reports about Kua 'Aina's burgers on both Chris Pople's Cheese & Biscuits blog, and also on Nick Andrew's Burger Me blog, so fancied an investigation of my own. However, my Kua 'Aina experience wasn't of the four-star Must Try variety. More a three-star Shows Promise kind of affair...

OK so let's just clear something up straight away. I didn't actually eat in Kua 'Aina's just-off-Carnaby Street restaurant, but rather carried my burger back to my office, five minutes walk away to share a take out K'A experience with a couple of my work mates around a table in our office, four floors up, with a view straight down Berwick Street. Another thing to note is that I opted for the more modest size of K'A's burger offerings, a 1/3lb rather than a 1/2lb patty. Well, I did have to work that afternoon and 1/2 a pound of flesh at lunchtime tends to lower my productivity considerably. Another thing I did (or rather didn't do) was totally neglect to ask for my patty to be cooked rare. The girl that took my order didn't ask me how I'd like it cooked so I just took what I was given. On the menu it says all burgers are cooked medium unless you request something different. Sadly the patty in my 1/3lb Cheese Burger was cooked beyond medium rendering it not at all juicy.


As you can see from the top picture, my burger patty wasn't the only thing that was overcooked. There was quite a few black scorch marks on the seeded toasted bun - which otherwise had fared rather well wrapped up for five minutes on the walk back to the office: the bread had kind of steamed in the patty heat in the takeout wrapper making it really soft, with the seeded crust remaining lovely and crisp.

Two thick slices of tomato in a burger is unnecessary (and cause for much slippage) so I removed one, but I actually really liked the soft grilled cross section of onion in the burger which somehow managed to avoid slimy worm syndrome. Despite being a shade overcooked, the patty was really well seasoned and also had a really super tasty beefiness. Promising stuff. 

Actually, when I tweeted that I'd had a slightly overdone burger at Kua 'Aina, a couple of tweeps asked straight away "Did you have the 1/3 pounder?" adding that in their experiences Kua 'Aina had been much more adept at cooking perfectly the thicker 1/2 pounder than the smaller burger. I can understand how that might be the case, but it seems a shame K'A can't provide the same juicy experience across the two patty options it offers.

Worth noting is K'A's Crunchy Fries are cut with the skin on and are REALLY good - light, crisp and perfectly salted. This time they outshone my less than juicy patty, but I have to say I'm excited at the prospect of returning to try a 1/2 pounder (which I shall ask to be cooked a juicy medium rare). I'm rather hoping I'll soon be even more impressed with this relatively new addition to London's thriving burger scene.


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Kua 'Aina
26 Foubert's Place
London W1F 7PP

Tel: 020 7287 7474