Brioche Burger – New Menu (Part 2) – Walthamstow
When Brioche Burger contacted to inform us that they’ve employed the skills of a Muslim Executive Head Chef who’s worked under Michelin chefs (Angela Hartnett no less), has over 10 years experience in various world class eateries, and was formally head chef of a 2* Michelin Restaurant, you’ll forgive us for immediately prioritising a visit there over all other arrangements.
Hence, this review will be of two parts:
Part 1 – A separate review that sees FtL return to the original branch in Green Street to try a variety of new menu additions including a Wagyu burger.
Part 2 – A review of their Walthamstow branch in this article where we sampled their Wagyu steaks.
The difference between Brioche Burger’s original branch in West Ham’s East Shopping Centre on Green Street, and their recently opened second at the bottom of Hoe Street in Walthamstow, is such that if you were to pay a cursory glance at the outside of the latter’s shop front, you’d probably think it’s nothing more than a posh cafe or a glorified kebab shop.
This particular restaurant has its own feel and character which includes the restoration of some of the old brickwork and tiling from a Sainsbury’s foodstore that was originally there as far back as the 1920’s.
The place is essentially made up of two rooms with the main area able to accommodate 29, and a slightly smaller side room offering around 15.
This smaller room has bags of character too, influenced no doubt by the owner’s quirky youthful tastes and past times, with its very own arcade machine (coin-operated, of course) that offers up some classic 90’s retro games including Capcom’s quintessential beat’em up Street Fighter 2. In addition, not only are there a couple of Sega Megadrives complete with joypads adorning the walls, but also some children’s annuals, such as Sparky and Dennis The Menace, from the 70’s and 80’s.
Yup; Brioche Burger 2 is certainly an historically inspired trip down memory lane.
And so here’s what all the fuss was about: 10oz Wagyu Rump Steaks, something, it has to be said, we were very much looking forward to particularly after the extreme highs enjoyed over in Green Street that including the unbelievably tasty Wagyu burger – The Super Saiyan.
It should be noted that we were served two separate plates of the above. Yet, while the contents of each were precisely the same, the quality of the two steaks differed markedly in both quality and taste.
Sadly, whilst one turned out to be fatty and ultra-chewy, the other (pictured above) was far better cooked, far leaner and tender, and thus far more enjoyable.
Now, given the standards set by the food served up at the original branch, it’s true that we went in expecting a Street Fighter 2 “Perfect” for Round 2.
But, while at least one of these steaks would have been amicably received under normal circumstances, we expected far more from a steak, and that too Wagyu, costing a hefty £29… far more!
In the end, the entire meal with grilled red onions, sharp and tangy vine tomatoes, large juicy jalapenos, slices of pickle, chunky chips and salad, would have been satisfyingly received if had at any other place except BB.
For the record, while the mushroom sauce was good, the rich gravy was divine (some of the best we’ve had) with a lovely almost sweet meaty taste to it.
- CHILD SEATING
"Gourmet" burger owners take heed: here's an example of ambition and endeavour bearing its fruits. And there's no reason why others can't do the same.
In the end, however, both reviews - Part 1 & Part 2 - have been combined to determine a final score.
With that in mind, had this review been based on the contents of Part 1 alone, then BB would undoubtedly have deserved top marks.
As it so happens, the steaks we had weren't good enough in terms of both their price and, more importantly, what they're being touted as, to justify this.
In the end, and despite having the pleasure of trying two of the best burgers we've ever had, an incredible tabouleh, and a seaside-inspired burger, BB misses out on the first burger restaurant to receive 5/5 Roars.
And one final word on the recent availability and novelty factor of Halal Wagyu. As is true with almost all other food types, and without getting technical, the quality of Wagyu beef can vary tremendously ranging from the very best to the worst. In this case, we're not entirely sure whether these steaks were the best the supplier's could provide on the day, or, more worringly, whether these are the de facto standard currently available. If it's the latter, then this merely begs the more important question of whether we should be content, as consumers, in paying top bucks for what is, in all honesty, mediocrity?
It's safe to say that over the past year, ambition and hard work has seen a number of restaurants, among them HS&Co. and Meat House London, really raise the bar when it comes to Halal steaks. It took years for the same to happen with the country's Halal burger scene with top quality burgers now emerging that we can finally be proud of.
We're hopeful, however, given BB's pedigree, vision, ethos and ambition, that it's only a matter of time before they wow us with their steaks too.
Read Part 1...
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