FtLion Awards 2017: Best Burger of the Year?

After the #FtLionAwards 2017 Best Dessert of the Year (sponsored by Smoky Boys BBQ & Grill Haus), we continue with the Best Burger of the Year category.

After much debate and dialogue, we’ve shortlisted the following five nominees.

And while you marvel over these amazing burgers, remember that not only can you also vote for your favourite on our Instagram and Facebook pages, but in doing so you’ll automatically be entered in our prize draw with the chance of winning a £30 voucher to be spent at any of Smoky Boys three locations – Watford, Amersham and Hounslow.

SHORTLIST – Best Burgers of the Year

We want you to either: 1) vote for the following nominees, or 2) let us know both your favourite burger and the place you had it, all on our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.

BAND OF BURGERS

FtL Awards 2017 Halal Burger of the Year Band of Burgers

BBQ Beef Brisket Rilette Burger £9.00

This is the first nomination for Band of Burgers in East London’s Brick Lane, with a solid interpretation of a brisket burger. The sweet and smokey, delicately pulled, BBQ beef was soft, well lubricated, and just right in terms of its sticky nature. The buns were just firm enough to hold up sufficiently, for both burgers in fact. “And the hits just keep on coming” as they say.

THE BANC

FtL Awards 2017 Halal Burger of the Year The Banc

Goats Cheese Burger £8.50

We’ve been having some incredibly good veggie burgers in recent times. Tottenham’s The Banc’s Goats Cheese Burger had a tantalisingly strong aroma that left us momentarily slack jawed. The smooth creamy texture of the goats cheese – slightly pungent without being overpoweringly so – lubricated the whole burger really well. But it was the slight char combined with the sweetness of the peppers, and particularly the creamy onion marmalade, that lifted this one into the stratosphere. Definitely a burger for which “we all need to make time for”!

GBK

FtL Awards 2017 Halal Burger of the Year GBK Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Bruce Leek – Mature Cheddar, truffled leeks, Cajun relish, Sriracha mayo, jalapenos, £9.95
Winner of our 2015 Chef Competition

As the great man himself once said: “Don’t think, feel! It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory. Understand?” Understand this well; this one by GBK is as close to a heavenly chicken burger as you’re going to get. It’s true that the Bruce Leek is meant to be a beef burger harbouring crispy bacon. But, have you learnt nothing? Stop concentrating on the finger, because with GBK’s flexibility of mix ‘n’ matching, and our penchant for knowing why this won the 2015 Chef Competition, we gave the bacon a 1-inch punch and downgraded to the panko chicken. And thank goodness we did too, otherwise we’d miss all that heavenly “glo’y”. The harmony of flavours in this burger was akin to pouring water into a cup and knowing it’ll become the cup. The tanginess of the jalapenos (optional, but be certain of include) went so well with the sweetness of the Cajun relish-sriracha mayo combo. And while the thick layer of mature cheddar gave this burger that soft, gooeyness, the watery truffled leeks provided that additional moistness to a positively crispy and perfectly cooked fillet that was succulent to begin with. Our burger of the review!

MESA KITCHEN

FtL Awards 2017 Halal Burger of the Year Mesa Kitchen

Roast Burger – Rib eye cut with buttered savoy cabbage, caramelized onions, horseradish cream fresh topped with beef gravy served with red cabbage slaw, £14.90

Another Mesa Kitchen entry. Who would have guessed that a burger covered in gravy would turn out to be a bona fide contender for best burger of the year. Yes we know that this is the third such item in this review alone described as a potential candidate for the end of year FtL Awards, but this Roast Burger was genuinely that good! It’s true that you may need a knife and fork to finish this off, but by that stage you won’t really care anyway, we promise you. Here we had a flavourous burger revolving around a couple of succulent charcoal roasted patties, wherein the sourness of the horseradish delivered a tangy edge that married masterfully with the sweetness of the caramelised onions, all brought together by lashings of meaty gravy. The fresh, crunchy slaw that came with this dish also helped to cut through the richness of the burger. Need we say: RECOMMENDED!

ZELMAN MEATS

FtL Awards 2017 Halal Burger of the Year Zelman Meats Wagyu

Wagyu “Gruby” Burger 180g (can be made upon requested if unavailable), £16

New entrant Zelman Meats in Knightsbridge prompted one question: could this wagyu burger be any better? Once you get past the smooth-textured taste of the sweet sauce, a voluminous amount of cheese, and the tangy hints of the thinly sliced pickles, it’s all about the fat-fabulously thick wagyu patty. Although it may at first appear compact in texture, such illusions are immediately dispelled once bitten into. Instead, the lightly charred, crispy exterior gives way to a super soft mouthful which, given the fatty richness of the wagyu, literally dissolves so effortlessly leaving the taste of unbridled meatiness that’ll send you into the most intense foodgasm imaginable. Honestly, this… is… on… another level; and a definite contender for our Burger of the Year.

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