Review of Hawksmoor Christmas Burger
What they say:
Our Christmas Burger comprises a juicy slab of crispy fried turkey topped with a sausage patty made from Ginger Pig Tamworth pork, along with smoked bacon, sprout tops, spiced cranberry ketchup, a cheeky slice of Ogleshield cheese and turkey gravy for you to French Dip the whole thing in.
Hawksmoor. The temple of steak. Well, in London and Manchester anyway. I’m delighted to be here to review a new burger. Burgers, of course, are not their thing, but whatever they do, it’s done well (as opposed to well done) and you are never going to have a bad experience at a Hawksmoor.
The Seven Dials London branch has done a Christmas burger before, I think, maybe some of the others. This year, despite the lady doth protesting, Manchester has decided to put it out too.
Christmas burgers are typically a display of decadence as we know, and Hawksmoor’s is no exception, with turkey, sausage, bacon, sprouts, cranberry, cheese and gravy. But from the promo pics it also looks like it balances the excesses with some restraint in terms of the size, while the turkey and cranberry ketchup seem to ensure it tastes Christmassy.
The food and service (and drinks when car keys aren’t a hindrance) are all second to none, and it’s no surprise that Hawksmoor regularly makes most top-whatever lists. Even the seating is fantastic and I love the classic timeless decor of the place. The only grumble is the lighting, which is a bit dim for pictures unless you get a seat by the window (which I did today).
Sorry, Lawrence Llewelyn wotsisname must have taken over there for a moment. This is a burger review, so off we go. I’d happily while away an afternoon in Hawksmoor’s bar.
Anyway, the Hawksmoor Christmas Burger looks like it is stacked from bottom to top with turkey, sausage patty, cheese, bacon, with everything having the same sort of diameter in a neatly composed build.
|Christmas burger from the meat experts…|
It arrived looking almost exactly as it does in the promos, and that’s a rare thing. A lot of places simply don’t put the same effort in the build for customers as they do for their professional photographers.
Greenery was provided courtesy of the sprout tops which looked distinctly unsprouty as they were large leaves spread out across the bottom, doing the job that lettuce or rockets might otherwise do.
The other thing I noticed was that the turkey was breaded and, tucking into that, it was something delicious. A light crisp and fantastic seasoning, I pulled a bit out to try by itself. The turkey, along with the light smattering of distinctive cranberry ketchup on which it sat, was the stand-out part of this burger for me. Just as with a beef burger, the “patty” whatever it is, should be the best part, such as was the case here.
|Aesthetic perfection with tastes to match…|
That’s not to say that the supporting acts aren’t terrific too, because they are. A special word for the Ogleshield cheese – this is idea, for this sort of thing (well, any sort of thing if you ask me). Its thick racletty consistency makes it ideal for melting over meat with tremendous effect. It blabbed all over, under, and through the bacon at the top of the stack, which was not only delicious, but a hell of a lot of fun too.
|Ogleshield – the best burger cheese…?|
On top of that gloopy glory was a few drizzles of what looked like mustard. There were a lot of clever touches in here. The bluntest instrument was probably the sausage patty – a flat, round sausage (of the Ginger Pig Tamworth) variety. Along with the bacon, it gave the obvious pig-in-blanket effect (albeit this little piggy’s blanket had been somewhat gobbled up by a melty blob of one of the best cheeses around).
The sausage and bacon together, with their savoury strength, threatened to overshadow the turkey, and might have been had it not been crumbed and fried in a crispy suit of armour. That emphasised the turkey and as a result balanced out all the flavours in here, and kept the sausage in check.
I’d be surprised if there hadn’t been considerable development in this, although I know not every staff member was involved in the tasting (!).
|Lots going on inside…|
There’s still a full week of November to go and I’ve had two Christmas burgers already. A sign of the times perhaps, but as well as a showcase of skills and the joy of excess, food decadence and festive gluttony, the bar seems very high so far.
You’ve got several weeks to have this third burger at Hawksmoor in Manchester (or London if you must) and I strongly suggest you do, if you can tear yourself away from the best steaks in Britain, that is.
Finally, the sidekick to the burger is Christmas nuggets, a variation on Hawksmoor’s legendary short rib nuggets – a little box of which I took home to enjoy later.
|Christmas meat excess…|
(Disclaimer – this meal was stubbornly provided free of charge, something for which I am eternally grateful, although I only discovered that as I tried to pay and had already written my notes. In no way does it affect my opinion of the Hawksmoor Christmas Burger – at BURGER LAD® you know us better than that!)