Review of handmade burger Co. Beef Chilli Extreme Infusion and Thai Green Chicken Burgers
What they say:
Beef Extreme – Habanero infusion pod, hot chilli salsa, jalapeños, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato & red onion.
Thai Green – Crispy noodles, Thai green curry sauce, mayonnaise, rocket, coriander & red onion.
Price: £8.95 for the beef and £8.35 for the chicken.
Burger Lad® returns to handmade burger Co. to sample two of a host of new additions to its extensive burger menu.
On 16th February 2015, handmade revamped their menu to add items such as a Peanut Butter and Bacon burger, mini sliders and the Extreme Infusion range. Coming under the tagline “Inspired by you, handmade by us” HBC state that “every one of our brand new burgers has been inspired by one of our customers after we asked you what you’d like to see in our restaurants.”
|Multitude of choice at Handmade…|
Handmade boasts over 60 burgers on their menu, which gives you plenty to choose from every single time. They say “…we want to make sure that you enjoy the widest variety of the finest handmade burgers every time you visit”, and with so many options to choose from they’re not wrong. And not just beef either. They offer up a sufficient amount of chicken, lamb and (dare I say it) vegetarian options to boot, along with smaller burgers for a lighter meal, and the Juicy Lucy style stuffed burgers – so there really is something for everyone. HBC regularly visit their suppliers so their chefs get to work with fantastically fresh ingredients of the finest quality, and even their relishes are handmade by themselves. As well as having plenty of choice, you can go even further by customising your burger with extra toppings, gluten-free options (for all you trouble-makers out there) and even the controversial “bunless burger” option (don’t get me started).
|Inside the restaurant at The Waters Edge…|
It was obviously busy as the staff seemed a bit frazzled initially, and I was standing in the queue for a good ten minutes before I was able to place my order. Table service would tick a valuable box in my opinion, but when the food was brought to our table it certainly made up for this. We did have to wait a bit longer for our drinks though which was a shame.
The “Beef Extreme” burgers let you choose between “Chilli Extreme Infusion” (does exactly what it says on the tin) and “Garlic Extreme Infusion” for those who want to have an intense flavour without the heat. The burger itself is served with hot chilli salsa, jalapeños, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a unique-sounding Habanero infusion pod. Since Miss Milkshake was in town the mayo had to be left off on this occasion (she’ll get there one day) but it still sounded delicious. We were both curious as to what the infusion pod would be exactly (not a spicy teabag as Double M had speculated!) and we were left guessing until the burger arrived at the table.
|Chilli Extreme Infusion…|
Warned by the waitress that this is very hot (pffft…) we got our first glance of the infusion pod. To Miss Milkshake’s delight it was a pipette filled with a fiery looking red liquid. The waitress explained that you use this to inject the Habanero flavour direct into the beef yourself.
|Injected with a flavour…|
If you don’t mind a burger seriously packing some heat (and feeling a bit like a mad scientist) this is definitely one to try. The hot salsa and thickly sliced jalapeño peppers kick things off with a substantial amount of spice, and thanks to the pod your excitement grows with every bite. You’ve injected the burger with the Habanero infusion…but where?! At first I thought it was a bit of a gimmick, but I’ve always loved playing with my food and this burger had now turned into a game of Russian Roulette. Luckily I had my Oreo milkshake (and Miss Milkshake) on standby if the heat got too much.
|Inside the Chilli Extreme Infusion…|
Before we talk about the Thai Green Chicken let’s take a look at the chips including the new Rosemary Salt seasoned chips. At £3.25 per portion these are quite expensive but you do get a very good-sized bowl and after having eaten a burger plus the decadent richness of a shake you’ll struggle to put away one of these each. The Peri-Peri seasoning was good, semi-spicy with a strong blend of chilli and garlic but it was the Rosemary Salt ones that really stood out today. You get a woody, salty fragrant taste which works very nicely and despite not being a major fan of “chips” I did thoroughly enjoy these.
|handmade burger Co. seasoned chips…|
Previously we have reviewed the Hawaiian Chicken Burger but it was another new addition to the menu which caught my eye – the Thai Green Chicken Burger. Personally I’m not a fan of ordering chicken burgers when eating out but it was the combination of flavours that intrigued me and I wanted to know what that Thai green curry sauce would be like.
|Thai Green Chicken…|
The chicken breast fillet used for this is reared in the UK on Red Tractor Farm Assured dedicated farms and looked a good, substantial size. There wasn’t an overly excessive amount of the sauce on-board and this was housed under the top bun and on top of the chicken.
Picking up the burger I noticed that the bottom bun was quite damp and I can’t really find an answer to why this happened but undeterred I took my first bite. You get a strange crunch from the noodles, almost like a small handful of uncooked super noodles have been placed atop the chicken breast. In my opinion they didn’t add anything to the flavour of the burger but they did bring a crunchy texture to the table.
|The new menu items up-close…|
Now I’m a massive fan of Thai cooking and the green curry sauce works well on this burger. With a squeeze of lime over the chicken that and the sauce combine nicely to deliver exactly what it stays on the tin – a Thai Green Chicken burger. The rocket just about came through but I was disappointed to find a severe lack of fresh coriander on here. In fact I don’t actually think I had any on as I could not distinguish its signature flavour which was disappointing.
|Lifting the lid…|
The red onion provided a semi-sharp tang to the proceedings which on the whole worked well but also re-affirmed my belief that beef will always win over chicken when choosing a burger. I’d also liked to have seen the chicken breast fillet have at least one or two minutes more on the grill. The mayonnaise was also (thankfully) kept to a minimum but I am glad to report back that it was the Thai green curry sauce that stole the show… especially with that squeeze of lime from the skewer. I’d like to have seen a few slices of fresh red or green chilli on it as well but appreciate that could be too harsh for some punters.
|Cross-section of the Thai Green Chicken…|
Overall this was an enjoyable lunch. Handmade burger Co. is a decent, fast casual dining experience that today could have possibly added a bit more of a personal experience from some of its staff. However, the guy who took our order was very commendable and after our meal, came and chatted to us and gave some recommendations as to where we could visit for the rest of our day in Birmingham… so well done to you!
For an extensive range of good quality burgers at a reasonable price in a smart but casual environment you won’t go too far wrong when selecting handmade for your dining destination.
|Beef is still our number one…|