Sunday, July 06, 2014

Honest Burger - Camden Lock Market

Confession time - I’ve become slightly addicted to finding and trying out burger joints in London. 

After an enforced break from work due to illness and suffering from extreme cabin fever I spent day after day trawling the internet looking for the best, more succulent looking places to try.

I have 10 places in my sights and aim to have them all visited and reviewed by the end of September. 

Burger at the Oasis (sadly no longer with us), a burger joint in Las Vegas sits at the top of my all time favourites while Dirty Burger is the best I’ve tasted in my adopted home city. Can I find anywhere better? The challenge is on!

I had seen Honest Burger in Brixton Village when I attended an ilumi event a few months ago, and had that not been a food tasting evening I’ve have wandered straight in and bought one. The smell wafting from the kitchen was rich and meaty while the place was packed which tends to be a good sign. 

I vowed there and then that an Honest burger needed to be consumed.

The first branch opened in Brixton in 2011 and since then a further five have opened in Camden Town, Soho, King’s Cross, Portobello Road and Oxford Circus. 

After a visit to London Zoo and with a stomach that was growling louder than an Asian Tiger we descended on Camden Lock in search of food. The many amazing stalls aside (that’s for another time - in short, it’s a foodie dream on a Sunday afternoon) had me drooling but I was on a burger mission and after searching high and low (seriously, 15 minutes) we finally found the entrance to Honest Burger. 

To say that it’s a narrow entrance is something of an understatement. If you blink you will miss it, it’s actually opposite Shaka Zulu and Gilgamesh.

Having never been to the chain before I had no idea what to expect but I had seen a few reviews that suggested I was in for a treat. What struck me first of all was how close the tables were together. While the place was empty when we arrived this wasn’t a problem but as it started to fill up on a warm afternoon it became quite stuffy inside and when I’m eating I don’t particularly like to be nearly sitting on the lap of the stranger sat at the table next to me - it’s one of the reasons I try to avoid places like Wagamama.

Browsing the menu doesn’t take long. Like Dirty Burger the choices are quite limited - a picture of the menu is below.

The menu
The staff were really attentive, they gave us time to cast an eye of the menu before taking our drinks order - I opted for traditional lemonade which looked great when it arrived in a jam jar with plenty of ice. It was so cool and refreshing and set me up for the meat treat on its way.

I ordered the tribute burger at £10 while my partner in crime had the cheese burger priced at £8.50. Not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but the burgers do some with fries. Again, the staff knew their stuff and were attentive, they even came back to check how we wanted the burgers cooked.

The waiting time was reasonable, a good ten minutes to sip at our drinks while watching the world go by and there is no better place to people watch than Camden Lock Market on a warm sunny afternoon. 

As the cheese burger was placed down I think I drooled a like bit with envy, especially when my burger rocked up with a film of grease covering the entire top of the brioche bun. I was so hungry even this couldn’t put me off. There were plenty of crispy fries that were perfectly seasoned and full of flavour.

The Cheese burger
After dismantling the burger to take a look I was impressed that the bacon was cooked really well and was crunchy, just how I like it. There was plenty of American cheese and the relish mixed with the mustard pickles combined wonderfully. The patty was cooked medium and again I couldn’t argue with the preparation, it looked fantastic and as I took the first bite there was a taste explosion in my mouth. The beef patty was rich in flavour and juicy without releasing a spray of grease and fat onto my shirt. 

As we entered I was really hungry but after finishing the burger I was actually so full I struggled to finish the fries. 

My Tribute burger
While I think it is slightly overpriced and I was disappointed by the seating layout, how greasy the brioche bun was I couldn’t argue with the fact that it tasted amazing and filled me right up. Chomping away on a burger where you can taste the rich beef while watching the world pass you by was a fun experience. 

I don’t think I’ll be visiting the Camden Lock branch again unless it’s empty however I will be trying the  larger Honest Burger in King’s Cross on a more regular basis, especially as it is just around the corner from my office.

Honest Burger doesn’t beat Dirty Burger or the specials at Bryon Burger but you could do a lot worse, especially in Camden Market with the ‘special’ £4 Chinese meals on offer.


Where is your favourite burger joint? Why not let me know in the comments below?

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