An almost perfect burger… if you like truffles
Truffle Burger has started emerging on a variety of ‘best burger’ lists in recent months, and I even sent a colleague and her husband there on other people’s recommendations, so when a chance cancellation left me briefly without evening plans on a night I was in London, it felt like a good moment to try it. The Elizabeth Line even made zipping into Soho of a Tuesday evening relatively easy, so we carpe diemed and headed on in.
Their backstory is fairly standard as these things go:
TRUFFLE BURGER STARTED AS A STREET FOOD OPERATION. WE TRADED WITH LONDONS BEST STREET FOOD ORGANISATIONS AND MARKETS WHICH HELPED US PROPEL OUR BRAND TO A BIGGER STAGE…
When Truffle Burger was started in 2018, the goal was to bring a luxury product to the masses in an affordable and accessible way. All the food features truffle in one way or another and the idea came from the love of the ingredient by the founder, Tom.
The mission is to cook for as many people as possible, to show there is more to grab and go food than a quick fix, create a destination meal in a simple and affordable way.Truffle Burger website
I had a Truffle Butter burger and my friend Pob ordered the eponymous Truffle Burger. The former a more or less standard burger, but generously doused in truffle butter, melty raclette and caramelised onions, the latter a bacon and beef patty topped with truffle mayo, raclette, fig jam and crispy onions. We shared sides of truffle Parmesan fries and some BBQ chicken bites.
The meat of it
The melty raclette caused the top bun to slide around a bit but the burger – arriving on a side plate – otherwise looked perfect. The bun was gloriously soft yet somehow standing up to a hefty 6oz ish patty, other toppings glistening slightly in the burger drippings. The fries are peppered with Parmesan nubs and heavily scented with truffle, presumably fresh from a truffle oil deep fry, and the nuggets present an alluring invitation to chomp and crunch. More on that shortly.
The cross section is reassuring. A bright pink, perfect medium burger. A splash of meaty burger juice lands on the plate as the coarse ground, loose packed patty is revealed in all its glory. The bun continues to impress, holding up to the juiciness of the burger without being unnecessarily dense or firm; pillowy softness holding up the meaty lusciousness of the patty.
Then the bite. Amazing texture – a firm, crisp crust masking soft, tender, perfectly cooked beef underneath. Perhaps slightly light on the seasoning, the truffle flavour – in the butter burger at least – is delicate, subtle, it draws you in to the wider experience of the burger. The caramelised onions add light sweetness and the beef and butter provides all the moisture needed for balance, although perhaps – it was a smidge too greasy. On the whole, however, a delight.
The Truffle Burger provides a slightly different experience. The truffle mayo is slightly too generously applied and the truffle flavour is more in-your-face. The bacon woven into the patty adds a pleasant boost of umami, in unexpected and delightful pockets. The crispy onions add bonus texture (I would – and do – add these to a wide variety of meals, they’re a phenomenal condiment). Still great, but not as good (to my mind, at least) as the butter burger. Both, I think, would have been improved by a sharp cheddar versus the beautifully melty but slightly inspid raclette, which adds lots of texture but little flavour.
As to the sides… I was not a huge fan of the Parmesan fries. The truffle flavour adds too persistent, too lingering, a funk. Despite being perfectly seasoned (via the medium of Parmesan), the flavour wasn’t entirely pleasant. And whilst I do love Parmesan, and Parmesan fries, the way in which these fries are prepared means its only barely distinguishable from salt. So, slightly, what’s the point. I also felt that the fries themselves weren’t entirely fresh – there was an ever-so-slight staleness to them. So OK, tasty, probably brilliant if you like Truffle, but not my favourite.
The BBQ chicken bites… looked glorious, and were texturally perfect. Crispy on the outside, accented with fresh spring onion and more crispy onions, juicy, tender meat underneath that crunchy bite. But… they were slightly underseasoned – no heat or spice or even enough savoury salt to them – and the BBQ sauce was slightly cloying and insipid. A dousing in Uncle Frank’s hot sauce I think would have been a far better choice. Though it was a relief to have something that wasn’t completely infused with truffle funk after the overload of the burger and fries.
To drink… I had an amaretto and (diet) cherryade cocktail drink from their ‘cocktails’ list. Overpriced and you’d expect it to be overpoweringly sweet, it ends up as a sort of delicious, alcoholic ice cream soda. A perfect contrast to the salt-bomb of the meal.
Overall, this was a brilliant experience. If you love truffle, this is probably the best burger you can find in London. If, like me, it’s a pleasant novelty, you might not rush back. But do go if you haven’t. It is super.
Monkey finger rating
Bun – 5/5
Build – 4.5/5
Burger – 4.5/5
Taste – 4.5/5
Sides – 3.5/5 – deductions for weird fries and underseasoned chicken
Value – 3.5/5 – £14.50 for burger and fries, plus £9 cocktails – this is not a cheap eat
Burger rating – 4/5 – really very strong option
There are a few of these around – in Soho, Seven Dials and the South Bank. Find it here.