Review of The Diner – The Diablo Burger
What they say:
Our signature 8oz burger served with crisp bacon, US cheese, & our Diner burger sauce on a Rinkoff’s smooth bun.
The Diner or Goodlife Diner is a chain of restaurants based in London, offering American comfort food in a classic diner setting.
A quick check of The Diner’s website reveals a total of 10 locations across the capital including Camden, Shoreditch, Soho and Covent Garden.
Today I would be checking out The Diner located a couple of paces away from Gloucester Street Underground Station on the Circle Line. But first I had to attend to some business at nearby Burger King.
What do you do when you sample three new burgers at an exclusive BK tasting event? Stroll down Gloucester Road and straight into The Diner for another burger of course!
Whenever I travel down to London to preview one of the “big three’s” next promo, I always try and squeeze in an independent or chain you won’t find in other parts of the UK.
Inside The Diner, elements have that classic US-diner look – with booth seating, shiny but tasteful décor and semi-dark lighting with spotlights shining on your individual table. The tunes playing during my visit were cool too…
On the table you have a selection of condiments, a chrome napkin holder and as I look around the place I note how much I love the signage above the open kitchen and the neon lighting pointing out the location of the rest rooms. Miss Milkshake would LOVE it in here…
The menu consists of an array of tempting comfort foods, ranging from all day (US-inspired) breakfasts, hot dogs, sandwiches, plates (i.e. Meatloaf, Mac & Cheese etc), salads, desserts and sides. And of course burgers…!
On the Admiral’s instruction I have opted for The Diner’s signature burger – The Diablo.
There is nothing in the description here not to like the sound of… an 8oz patty, crisp bacon, US cheese, burger sauce and a Rinkoff’s smooth bun.
My knowledge on baked goods isn’t what it used to be, but a Google-search of Rinkoff’s, reveals that this is a London-based family run business established in 1911 that have been producing speciality bread, cakes and rolls for over 100 years.
Speaking of the menu description of The Diablo burger, I’m hoping there are no hidden surprises after the Lucky Chip debacle… I’m praying this doesn’t come slathered in ketchup and mustard too!
My eyebrows were also raised when the waiter asked me how I wanted my burger cooked. So it seems The Diner have joined others such as Byron and GBK in paying for the process to enable them to serve burgers medium. Obviously I went with medium…
Presentation-wise it looks impressive and actually quite imposing – but maybe that was my stomach reminding me what I’d just consumed before!
You can barely see the 8oz signature patty as it has the American cheese seductively melted over it, and the crisp bacon lies across that in a criss-cross format. I must say, it does look good and the bun is certainly shiny! And… delivered to me with no additional sauces! Yay.
I wanted to get a cross-section to see how medium my burger had been cooked and what was revealed inside could scare some people. I think even I felt a little intimidated by just how pink this had been cooked.
I would definitely say this was more medium rare… but maybe I’ve just been served over-cooked medium burgers in the past?
Pinkness aside (and to be fair, the waiter asked if everything was OK and I could have said it was slightly under-cooked for me) it is pretty fantastic tasting and you can really appreciate the fresh and quality Speyside Highland Beef The Diner uses.
The signature 8oz patty is really quite good, seasoned and seared on the outside, pink on the middle and a great coarsely ground consistency.
When you bite in, you instantly recognise that classic combo of almost textbook burger flavours. I’m loathe to say it’s like a Big Mac in terms of components, but it is.
You get that beautiful beef accompanied by cheese, lettuce, onion, pickles and burger sauce. Rather good and certainly recommended!
That sauce is a talking point. It’s the classic mayo-based “Big Mac style” burger sauce. This variant is runnier than the McDonald’s one and I think, contains some sort of virgin olive oil or vinaigrette. It gives proceedings a slight acidic taste but is bloody marvellous though!
The Diablo ticks all the sensory boxes for me. Salty, smoky, crispy bacon. Crunchy, sour/vinegary pickles – texturally it works wonders with the soft, buttery beef. All of it melds together and satisfyingly gets between your teeth as you munch through quality ingredients.
It’s a great burger, all held within the shiny, ultra-fresh bun from Rinkoff’s… it is no wonder it is proudly name-dropped in the menu description. I can’t fault it except for IMO being cooked more medium-rare than medium.
And those squeamish to a bit of pink (or a lot in this case) should definitely opt for theirs being cooked well-done!
I was unable to finish The Diablo burger after my earlier BK exerts, but I can assure you (and I did the waiter) that this has nothing to do with the quality or tastiness of the signature burger from The Diner.
Served in a plastic burger tray with accompanying branded burger wrap and wooden skewer it certainly looks the part when it arrives.
The beef is a very commendable quality and is enhanced by that classic combo of lettuce, onion, pickles, cheese and burger sauce. The crispy bacon then takes this to the next level and the only reason I couldn’t finish this today was due to my excess at my prior engagement.
Note: a discretionary service charge is added to your bill, so this takes The Diablo over the tenner-mark. However, this shouldn’t put you off visiting one of The Diner’s ten London locations for their very much recommended signature burger.