Review of Big Fernand Le Bartholomé
What they say:
We prepare homemade french burgers with premium meat cooked as you want from raw to burned. Raclette cheese, Smocked streaky bacon, Caramelised onions, Chives, Barbecue sauce (Bébé Fernand), Home Made Cocktail Sauce (Tata Fernande).
French chain Big Fernand opened quite recently in London, with the usual fanfare, fuss and queuing that occur when new food places open in London.
|Downstairs at Big Fernand…|
It seems to fit squarely within the fast casual bracket, with prices to match. A small-ish menu of about six burgers, with a special, a choice of soft and grown-up drinks and fries or no fries.
Basic and simple. Inside, the Black and Tan decor has a kind of rustic appeal, heightened by the checked shirts, flat caps and aprons that all staff wear. Upstairs is fascinating too, kitted out like a forties living room with comfortable sofas, fixtures and fittings.
|Upstairs at Big Fernand…|
And so incredibly welcoming. While there are some behind the counter taking orders and cooking food, when I was in, there were also two young chaps working the floor, chatting to people – even though I’d never been before, it felt like I had.
From the menu, I chose Le Bartholomé which comes with raclette cheese, bacon and chives. A veal burger was also available. Bear also in mind here that they aren’t called burgers, they are hamburgés.
I shuffled up to the other end of the counter and waited for the components of my order to be put on stray, then took it to my table.
The fries came in a neat brown packet, and the burgé was wrapped in a good quality paper marked with the names of all the burgés.
|Slick presentation from across The Channel…|
When I opened this wrap, I was greeted by a pale seeded bun, with a very tall top section. Inside, the ingredients had been very neatly assembled.
You get a choice of cooking method here, and as always, I chose medium. I think perhaps it had been given a few seconds too long on the grill, or medium means something different in France, but there was no discernible pink. But it hadn’t been cremated either.
|Well-made Le Bartholomé Burgé…|
The colours were a real feast for the eyes. Meat was topped with bacon and a rich, dark caramelisation, along with the yellowy-white of the cheese, and generous specks of chives scattered across the top.
It was most definitely a well-made burger, and looked to justify its £9 price. I detoured a little bit to the fries. Thick and dark, with substantial visible seasoning, these were very crispy on the outside. Benchmark fries really, amongst the best.
|Inside Le Bartholomé…|
And back to the burger, raclette cheese isn’t a powerful taste but it is quite unique and draped as it was over the meat, gives a fantastic pillowy texture.
Up top, it was the dark sauce over the bacon that came through strongest. It had a slightly sweet tone that worked really well on this burger.
|Good meat and well-chosen toppings…|
And finally the chives. Again quite a delicate flavour, but put down here in enough quality to occasionally break through the other flavours. It’s a great inclusion.
I loved Big Fernand. Warm welcome, straightforward food, uncomplicated and delicious. Merci!
|Close up – very inviting…|