Proper Burgers (American) – Leyton
Proper Burgers is a well-known and well-established restaurant at least by East London’s Leyton-standards.
What distinguishes this from so many other Halal burger restaurants in London though, is that it’s only a select few to have gone that additional mile in further verifying its Halal status by securing a HMC-certification.
Another peculiar fact that distinguishes them from all other Halal burger establishments perhaps, is that while they have a live web address in form of www.properburgerslondon.com, they appear not to have a website, despite having opened in 2015. Instead, it merely links back to their Facebook page. Now that’s confidence for you!
While the restaurant offers modest seating for six outside its premises, we’ve been told it can cater for around 50 indoors.
With a brightly lit open kitchen and coffee bar, the place itself is equally bright, airy, and spacially set out, and boasts an attractive wall feature made up entirely of 80’s cassette tapes that extends across one side of the restaurant.
Although they open fairly late during the weekdays at 6pm, and at noon during the weekends, we can confirm that the restaurant offers an all-day breakfast.
NOTE: Proper Burgers has a sign displayed on its counter which inconveniently declares that only cash is accepted!
Isn’t that Cosmopolitan beverage elegantly presented? Alas,”a sin prevailing much … who give their eyes the liberty of gazing”! This was a clear case of style over substance: lack of flavour; too much ice; all in a fancy glass.
The Strawberry Mojito, on the other hand, despite being presented in a small glass, contained fresh strawberries that demanded far more of the mint flavour to come through than it did. In the end, however, the sheer quantity of ice drowned out much of the flavour. Thus, while it didn’t deliver that tangy edge, it was a good drink, but one which, given its size, didn’t justify the fiver price-tag, at least not by Leyton’s standards.
Although this was one of the better BBQ sauces we’ve had, being thick and viscous, not only was its ratio far too much in comparison to the modesly-sized wings, but perhaps it would have been more efficacious to use the sauce as a marinade while the chicken’s being grilled so as to achieve that deliciously smoky glaze. Each to their own though!
Boy was this a hot and fiery hot sauce, with a flavour reminiscent of Tabasco. However, its watery consistency allowed it to come across as manageable without being overpowering.
And while both sauces are recommended, 6 wings for £5.95 is pretty steep for Leyton.
But if we’ve learned one indisputable fact from all the burgers we’ve tried over the years, it’s this: the bigger the burger and the more condiments therein, the more difficult the task of achieving a balance between the many flavours.
In this particular case: a whopping 8oz beef patty, whose true nature will always be difficult to conceal. This, sadly, lacked that natural umami taste of good quality beef, and was far too fatty and chewy in texture. A pity, since the rest of the burger was pretty well executed, from the beautifully caramelised layer of grilled onions, which couldn’t have been done any better, to the copious quantity of creamy mature cheddar. The green chillis, however, weren’t that potent, and the lack of chilli jam was overwhelmed by the competition. There’s definitely room for improvement here!
The restaurant’s signature was let down by the sheer quality of the meat.
Additionally, the Dijonaisse, which should have packed more of a punch than it did, came through tamely.
This was, indeed, an American burger where the fried onions didn’t quite cover the lack of a meaningful burger sauce.
Standard fries done ultra crispy, with a generous amount of melted cheese on top. Ergo, these went down a treat!
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED TOILET
At the conclusion of our visit, however, we were left underwhelmed by our expectations. In terms of presentation, there's definitely a charming rusticness to them, with the lopsidedly-cut buns, and especially with the knife driven through their middle. Taste-wise is where they are let down though, with the quality of the meat being mediocre at best. Overall, they're good without being anything spectacular.
As such, if you're in the immediate vicinity, it is, for the moment, the place to be. But it certainly isn't a place we'd necessarily travel for from afar.
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