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Chef and Brewer Wagyu Burger

Chef and Brewer Wagyu Burger

Review of Chef & Brewer Wagyu Burger


What they say:

Wagyu beef has a unique marbling which gives it an intense, luxurious flavour and a silky, buttery taste. It originated in Japan where famers reportedly massage the cattle and feed them beer. Our new burger is made from Wagyu cattle bred in North Yorkshire, topped with Italian prosciutto. Served in a brioche bun, with sweet potato fries and truffle mayonnaise.

Price: £12.99.

Calories: 1,371 kcal.

I really don’t like writing a bad burger review anymore than I like eating a bad burger.

This burger wasn’t bad, but it was just very disappointing, and thus ends up with a close approximation of a bad review, and I feel bad too.

Anyway, backtracking a bit, and I’ve visited Chef and Brewer before.

Last time was for their Game Burger and this time to have a look at their new (ish) burger line-up which, on paper anyway, should be rather good.

Burgers on the menu…

They are all over Britain, with (I think) much the same menu everywhere. This particular branch was the Bell Tree just on the outskirts of Dundee. Lively, great service, nice decor and so on.

Pre-BL® I’ve had many a very respectable family meal at Chef and Brewer and always thought they were above average in the pub chain menu stakes.

This time round, Commodore Junior was extremely disappointed that the Spaghetti Bolognese had vanished from the children’s menu, and further that his second choice of fish fingers wasn’t available today.

He ended up with chicken of some sort which was OK. Warspite had chicken risotto which was good, apparently, and Valiant had gammon steak, also good. Little Miss Dauntless had a bit of everything and threw her peas on the floor.

Yours truly had a burger, and decided for the Wagyu Burger with triple cooked chips.

I also asked for cheese to be added. I have pretty much ended up considering cheese, along with bun and patty to be the necessary trinity of burgers, with bacon closely behind. A burger without cheese feels a bit like Monty Python without Chapman.

What you get for your cash…

However, you know there’s something wrong with the burger when it’s the chips that are the best thing.

In a place like Honest Burgers with their outstanding Rosemary fries, that might be understandable (but even then the burgers win out), but here the triple cooked chips were good but not outstanding.

I’m not even sure what the point of triple cooking is. They looked a little thicker than Valiant’s ordinary chips, but tasted pretty much the same.

As for the burger, where do I start?

Wagyu generally is bloody amazing, but as with all things, needs to be both prepared and cooked right.

I’ve had excellent ones and it is very much one of my favourites. This, I say with a heavy heart, was not a great representative of the breed. It was overcooked and as such, most of the taste and texture had gone.

And so dry, that the cheese I added had to work overtime to counterbalance, and simple couldn’t manage.

There was a slice of tomato underneath, which I couldn’t bear, so removed. The brioche bun was toasted, perhaps a little too much. There was something else in there which I could see but not taste. Bacon, I think, but by this point I didn’t care.

Chef & Brewer Wagyu Burger…

The beef of course was the crux of the disappointment.

It should have been lovely and marbled, and juicy with a bit of pink in the middle giving tremendously beefy tones. Instead it was just xyz chunk of beef. Definitely beef, for sure, but no juiciness at all. And certainly no pink.

The new burger line-up includes five distinctly different burgers and I can tell that a considerable effort has gone into the development.

That makes me feel so awful having to say that, in my opinion anyway, for what that’s worth, it hasn’t worked.

It wouldn’t take a great deal to improve this one. Offering the beef medium or at least offering a choice, would make a world of difference, as would dressing it in something that isn’t dry.

I know it came with two sauces (a white one and a brown one) on the board, but that’s just not the same as prepping the burger properly in development.

Lifting the lid…

Despite the disappointment, I’ve no doubt at all we will be back to Chef and Brewer. The rest of the menu is perfectly decent. But I would be quite unlikely to have a burger, certainly until the next menu refresh.

Again, I feel really bad. I hate having to give a thumbs down or a raspberry to any burger, but can only hope that it’s in some way constructive and the company is able to produce something a little juicier and tastier next time.

This got a thumbs down…

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