Review of Hawksmoor Third Burger (Fish)
What they say:
Deep fried whiting fillet, jalapeño tartare, iceberg lettuce, brioche bun.
I have to start this review with a disclaimer of sorts – it’ll make sense as you read on. You don’t get bad food at Hawksmoor. You might occasionally get something you don’t like, as with any restaurant, but it’s all good food.
Now, with that in mind, I got a message from Hawksmoor’s FOH head Lucy, telling me there’s a new third burger going on the menu this week, and would I like to try it. The third burger (with the first being the Hawksmoor and the second being the Kimchi) isn’t a particularly fixed thing and doesn’t really stick to any particular schedule.
It’s Hawksmoor so I said yes before I knew what was on it. Well, I did say please no bloody mushrooms and there weren’t. I was told it was a Fish Burger.
|Third burger comes from the sea this time…|
In fact, by the time I ordered it, I still didn’t know exactly what it was. It came out incredibly quickly with a description of its build – see above.
I could see why it was quick – it’s about as uncomplicated as it gets. Service at Hawksmoor is always top notch and the waitress explained that a staff tasting session the day before drew the conclusion that this burger works better with house ketchup applied liberally.
So that’s exactly what I did and I’m pretty glad of it. There aren’t a lot of strong flavours in here and the ketchup adds sweetness and raises the tone a bit. If I’m honest (and I don’t think Hawksmoor would expect anything less), it doesn’t go anywhere near touching the legendary kimchi burger.
|Simple build, perfectly presented…|
In the UK, I don’t think that fishy / seafoody burgers ever touch red meat in terms of sales but I don’t know. It’s possibly unfair to compare it to something as established and outstanding as the kimchi one.
So let’s look at it on its own. It’s a great shiny brioche bun that looks wonderful under Hawksmoor’s subdued lighting. On the bottom bun, a bed of that jalapeño tartare, a nice fresh piece of lettuce and the breaded fish fillet (covered in ketchup) on top. That’s it.
The jalapeño tartare was nice but (personal taste) wasn’t spicy enough. In fact it wasn’t spicy at all. It was a nice tartare sauce giving the whole thing a fish sandwich appeal, but I think either more slices of jalapeño or a sprinkle of chilli flakes would have elevated this. I can only imagine there was a conscious decision not to make it too spicy and that’s a shame but maybe gives it a broader appeal.
|Up close, jalapeño tartare in sight…|
The lettuce, as lettuce always does, added nothing to the taste, serving in its main function as a layer of aesthetically-pleasing greenery to separate the fish from the sauce.
The fish itself was really lovely. Thick, meaty chunk and pretty generous, in a well-made crispy crumb.
|It’s a big fillet o fish…|
The problem with any fish, but white fish in particularly, is that it just doesn’t have a strong taste. Not strong enough to wasn’t me away from beef, pork and lamb at any rate.
I’m pretty glad I had it because it’s always good to have a change and it’s good to see Hawksmoor experimenting outside the zone of beef for which they are famous. I’d probably also recommend it because not everybody likes sauce, mess and bold flavours.
As for me, I’ll be sticking to Hawksmoor’s cow-oriented offerings next time.