Gourmet Burger Kitchen Hot Diggity Review
*** GUEST REVIEW ***
What they say:
American & mature Cheddar cheese, chilli fried egg, basil pesto mayo, habanero jam, paprika onions.
Gourmet style burgers are now as common as coffee shops, opinions on Birdbox, or unnecessary pop culture references on burger reviews.
My first experience of the trend towards premium burgers was at GBK when they opened in Cardiff Bay well over a decade ago.
Being served a (deliberately) pink burger was a new experience, and one which certainly left an impression.
To me, GBK will always be the standard by which others are measured and I’d normally go in with high expectations.
This time, my expectations are somewhat dampened by the burger I was going to be sampling: The Hot Diggity.
This burger is GBK’s 6oz grass reared 100% beef, served with both American cheese and cheddar, sounds good so far.
But my concern is raised by toppings of chilli fried egg, basil pesto mayo, chilli jam and paprika onions.
Chilli, egg and pesto are all things I’m happy with on their own, but together? I was not convinced, mostly by the appearance of the basil.
The restaurant was quiet. In fact, we were the only people there. Service neither quick nor slow, and I was happy to be asked how I wanted my burger done – always a good sign.
Cloudy lemonade was sour, as you’d expect. I’m not convinced sparking water improved it. Still water would have made it more pleasant in my mind. God I sound middle class.
Finding chunkier fries can be hit and miss, I opted for the skinny fries utilising them to scoop up more of my GBK favourite – their garlic mayo.
It punches with the full harsh force of garlic and a strong tang of lemon. I clearly chose right as the baby decided the chunky fries were worthy of being floor decorations rather than a tasty treat.
My wife ordered the vegan Jack-in-a-bun. It features a homemade butternut squash & quinoa patty which is soft and dense topped with smoky Korean pulled jackfruit.
It’s pretty good actually and a definite hit with the long complaining veggie wife (her words not mine).
The Hot Diggity looks the part. It doesn’t feature salad, which is the right decision for this burger. Lettuce and tomato wouldn’t work here.
I cut in two to make the eating part of this easier, the patty was a beautiful pink, almost verging towards red. It’s exactly what I want. Would this be OK after all, was I right to approach this burger with trepidation?
I bit in. It was….good.
Besides relief, the first thing which hit me was the sticky, sweetness provided by the jam followed swiftly by the smoky paprika onions.
This works well with the beef to create a rich combination, offset by the gradually growing spice from the habanero and chilli egg.
These three things partner well and are further elevated by what is essentially double cheese, with a cheddar strong enough to hold its own against the other ingredients.
The patty is (in my view) the biggest strength at GBK, and I’m not let down. Slightly coarse, but soft and with the perfect amount of moisture.
The beef taste you’d expect is there and it is cooked to perfection. This is the reason GBK set the standard for gourmet on my first experience.
Of the ingredients I was more concerned about, the egg and the basil mayo, my concerns are negated in part due to the mildness of the basil mayo.
At first, I thought it may be deliberate, that it was never meant to be strong, but I tasted some along with the bun heel and it was barely detectable on its own.
That prevents it from being unpleasant, but does make me wonder what the point of it was?
The egg was much more prominent but providing both a highlight and a lowlight.
The bites with the yolk were the best of the burger, with the yolk flavour and texture contributing to the already sticky and rich jam. The chilli also adds to the heat which has a degree of strength.
However (and this is always my problem with fried egg) the egg white added little in the way of taste and only created a rubbery layer which was slightly distracting.
I can’t help but feel this would have been a better burger without the egg, unless someone can invent an egg which is 100% yolk. Do your stuff science.
I enjoyed the Hot Diggity much more than I feared I would.
The jam, onions, beef and cheese is a great blend and layering of flavours. But it isn’t flawless and while I’d consider having it again, there are stronger burgers at GBK.
I’d have that jam on any burger though.
Featured image courtesy of SirCraigius on Twitter
*** GUEST REVIEW ***