£6.50. Lucky Chip's burgers are proving divisive in the Twittersphere. However, when they keep things simple, for me, they're bang on the money
I'd heard mixed reports about Lucky Chip
's burgers - but now the mobile burger business is established in Netil Market near Broadway Market in Hackney and open five days a week (Wednesday - Sunday) it was only right I do some investigating of my own. Plus, Lucky Chip has just changed meat suppliers, ditching London's famous Ginger Pig in favour of Wiltshire-based butchers Walter Rose & Son in Devizes
The change of supplier is explained succinctly by Lucky Chip's Ben Denner: "I moved to Walter Rose from the Ginger Pig because I believe they have a superior product," he told me. He also informed me that the beef breed is Hereford-Angus and comes from Tim Johnson's Stokes Marsh Farm in Wiltshire. It's also aged a little longer than the beef that Ginger Pig had been providing - aged approximately 32 days rather than 28 - and is delivered to Lucky Chip fresh from Devizes every day.
OK, well that's all good to know - particularly as I'm a little late to the Lucky Chip party so it kind of gives this review some semblance of newsworthiness. But really, the big question is what's the burger like? When we were there it was dark so my bright flash photographs don't really show the burgers in the best light - although it should be said that this ain't no restaurant - and it ain't no fancy pants gourmet pub burger. This is street food served on a paper plate in a carpark.
I was at LC with my mate John and between us we ordered a Bacon Burger (above), a Charlie Sheen burger, a portion of fries to share and some Beetroot Flavour Onion Rings. Just so you know, the Sheen burger is one of LC's weekly specials which has stuck around on the menu due to its enduring popularity with the punters. We took a seat at a table undercover in a corner of the carpark and awaited excitedly the arrival of our order.
Now then, I feel I should clarify at this point that this here five-star review is of the Lucky Chip Bacon Burger specifically. It consists of a dry aged beef patty which starts life as a ball of unseasoned minced beef but is squashed into a patty on the hot flat grill in the Lucky Chip van. Then it's seasoned liberally with sea salt before being flipped and more seasoning applied. The burger sits on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce and pickles and is smothered in yellow, perfectly melted, American cheese, atop which sit some rashers of applewood smoked bacon. French's Yellow Mustard and Heinz Ketchup provide the flavour-glue that binds this magical concoction together within the soft glazed demi brioche bun that houses it all. Just for the record, Ben visited over 50 bakeries before finding the Lucky Chip bun. Respect is due. It's fucking awesome.
Doing Lucky Chip's Bacon Burger justice in mere words (er, or pictures) is no easy task. It's absolutley heavenly. The beefiness of the patty is deep and rich. The exterior of the burger is salty and charred, the interior pink and oh-so-juicy. The bun is soft, ever so slightly sweet and a real treat for you mouth. The bacon is tasty as hell and bites with no drama. The pickles are crisp, juicy and tangy. The cheese is, well, just so perfectly American. This really works. And within seconds of it appearing, it was gone. Replaced by a kind of excited burger mania as John and I exchanged notes and wolfed down the DELICIOUS beetroot flavour battered onion rings and fries.
We also enjoyed the Sheen (£7.50) - shown below complete with John's jazz hands in the background - smothered as it was with beer-soaked onions, Philadelphia and cheddar cheese, the same applewood-smoked bacon and garlic aioli. It was delicious but the garlic aoli rather overpowered the ensemble. The fries (£2.50) were excellent and the Beetroot flavoured Onion Rings (£3.50) were jaw droppingly revelatory. You gotta try 'em!
Comparisons have and will continue to be made between Lucky Chip and Yianni Papoutsis' Meatwagon. There's no doubt that what they do is similar - but don't write Lucky Chip off as a mere copycat operation. Ben has been in the food game for many-a-year and researching burgers specifically for the last five years. And guess what? Ben's passion and no small amount of know-how in the way of the burger is evident in each bite of one of his Bacon Burgers - which are, dare I say it, just as good as anything that Yianni serves out of his converted Ambulance.
London E8 3RL
Opening times: Wed - Sat 12.30pm-10.30pm / Sunday 12.30pm-8pm
PS: Here are a couple more Lucky Chip photos taken on a Saturday lunchtime visit a couple of weeks after posting the above: