Truffle Burger, Bateman Street, Soho 

An almost perfect burger… if you like truffle

Burger source 

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

The order 

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. 

Butter burger on left, Truffle burger on right

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 

The deets 

There are a few of these around – in Soho, Seven Dials and the South Bank. Find it here

Burger & Beyond, Shoreditch, London

Excellent dry-aged burger with little to fault

Burger source

From Essex to London, these folk are pretty serious about their burgers. Their backstory:

We’re known for bringing some of the best burgers to the capital, using freshly ground dry aged beef made from choice cuts of meat. We first gained a fanbase trading from a Citroen H van, before opening sites at street food markets Kerb and Street Feast – and finally launching our very own restaurant in E1. Alongside the top chef-quality burgers that gave us our name, we serve American-style sides including Dirty Tots or Fries with bone marrow gravy, plus sauces such as our signature Burnt Butter Mayo, and a drinks list of cocktails, craft beers and wine.

For my part? I had been working late and wanted a treat, near(ish) the office. So I went in search…

The order

I had the burnt butter burger – a dry aged beef patty, double american cheese, crispy pancetta bacon, burnt butter mayo & onion. Side of (regular) fries, and a ‘piece of mind’ lychee based Prosecco cocktail (it had been a long day).

The meat of it

The burger makes for impressive viewing. The juices on the plate – a little messy, but titillating. The melt on the cheese – exquisite. The bacon – streaky. The burnt butter mayo – oozing out the side. The bun – a glorious shine. We’ll come to the fries.

In cross section, the coarse ground, loose packed approx 5oz patty shows off a pink core. The onion and mayo spills out .The melt on the cheese becomes yet more apparent. The bun – is a little cold and stodgy, which is a shame as everything else looks glorious. The fragrance of dry aged meat, coupled with the mayo, is like nothing else I’ve experienced in a burger.

First taste… brilliant. A good crust on the burger, brilliantly seasoned. A light, dry-aged funk comes across that’s quite hard to place, as does the bonus umami from the bacon, cheese AND the very distinctive flavour from the mayo… wow. The mouthfeel is brilliant, as you’d hope for given the grind and pack of the meat in the patty. The raw onions give a light big-mac-esque texture (only the good things about it, not the bad). The only – minor – downside, as expected from cutting the cross section – is the bun. Too big, too cold, too bready for a single patty. And the mayo sliding out of it did make it slightly too messy to eat by hand, so this was a cutlery burger.

Onto the fries… these are exquisite. Some of the best fries I’ve ever had – crispy on the outside but not so much so that they become crisps, with a fluffy, hot potatoey interior. They are perfectly seasoned, the tin cup holds heat without inducing sogginess – just lush. I paired them with some ketchup and mayo dips, which did help mellow out the saltiness. But that’s not a complaint.

This was disappointing – the piece of mind, a cocktail that I assumed would meet my hankering for something sweet and refreshing… but the lime was undetectable, as was the agave and the lychee. It tasted largely of spiked, watered-down Prosecco, which was a weird consequence of the combination of ingredients (Vodka, Lychee Liqueur, Agave, Lime, Prosecco). A lot of money for a meh drink.

Monkey finger rating

Bun – 3/5
Build – 5/5
Burger – 5/5
Taste – 4.5/5 – minor deduction for the bun
Sides – 5/5 – glorious fries
Value – 4/5 – £28 for burger, side & cocktail, which felt a little steep (inc service)

Burger rating – 4.5/5 – I’d be tempted by a double next time, and a more conventional drink. But otherwise grand.

The deets

A short walk East from Shoreditch High Street, the restaraunt was small but cozy, with efficient service and a good atmosphere. Recommended. Find details and other locations here.