If there's one thing every Londoner will tell you it's "there are a lot of burger restaurants around here." They'll then carry on telling you that London is an expensive, lonely, sometimes slightly smelly city but the main thing is that there are hundreds of places to buy a burger. You can get dirty burgers, honest burgers, scotch egg burgers and crappy burgers that make my guts hurt thirty minutes after consuming them (sold by a hip burger chain called "McDonalds.") I've been to most of these places but one that has slipped me by is Lucky Chip, who have taken up residency in several pubs across London. They have recently opened their own proper restaurant called Burgers and Wine and I paid a visit last weekend.
I was pleased to see that unlike every other trendy restaurant in the capital Burgers & Wine are happy to take reservations. It turns out the reservation I made for a Saturday afternoon wasn't really needed as we were the only customers when we walked in. Located in the deeply unglamorous Ridley Road market in hipster haven Dalston, this is more a place for people in the know - I'm not sure how many potential customers would just happen to walk by. The market is known for selling all variety of animal parts and walking past piles of pig trotters and sheep heads didn't really get me in the mood for a tasty burger.
The restaurant is fitted out in dark wood tones and plush booths and I put the thought of entrails and pigs with no legs behind me while sliding into a booth with The Lovely Jemma. A long bar and open kitchen is along the back of the room. Their website claims the place is meant to evoke a 80's American steakhouse vibe, and if you don't look out the large ceiling to floor windows at the distinctly British market outside you could almost believe you were in a steakhouse in Miami gorging on meat and snorting up coke.
The menu is small and to the point - a smattering of starters, a couple of "counter dishes" including a tempting Chicken Parmesan, and of course the main event - burgers. The Lovely Jemma and I both went for the "No. 4 El Chappo" burger which contains a meat patty, blue cheese, roasted jalapenoes and Ailoi. It sounded yummy and I'm pleased to say it tasted delicious as well - the garlic flavours of ailoi were not overpowering and complemented the meat perfectly, and the jalapenoes gave it a tasty zing. The meat and bun were top quality and overall it was an excellent burger.
Now I know what you're thinking. "This is a beer blog Dave, and you've gone to a restaurant that sells burgers and wine. What about the beer?!" The drinks list is definitely focussed on the wine, with around 100 bottles available and a few wines available by the glass. But there is a well curated beer selection as well. A couple of selections from the Butternuts brewery based in the U.S of A were available, and I tried their Moo Thunder Milk Stout. It was very good - sweet and malty, it was like having a boozy milkshake with my burger dinner.
We finished with a baked cheesecake which was very tasty indeed. With the retro music playing and a small collection of punters enjoying their lunch the atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable, although I imagine this place gets pretty busy and possibly cramped on a weekend evening. If you want to try out, or already enjoy Lucky Chips burgers it is well worth making a trip out here, and with the excellent Three Compasses and Railway Tavern nearby, you could enjoy some delicious ales afterwards as well.