Christmas Afternoon Tea at BRGR.CO
In the last few years we’ve seen an influx of diner-style burger joints in the West End, courtesy of Meat Liqour, Honest Burgers and Burger & Lobster, all within walking distance of Soho Square. In nearby Covent Garden, Five Guys (allegedly President Obama’s favourite burger) and Shake Shack fight it out for the crown of best American burger experience.
While most foodies have been debating London’s best burger for months, Soho-based vowel-deficient favourite BRGR.CO have attempted to change the conversation by offering a burger-inspired afternoon tea menu. Perhaps not the most obvious pairing, but it certainly is a unique concept from the Wardour Street favourite – better known for serving mammoth burgers such as the 8oz The Masterpiece made with cuts of well-marbled steak.
Sadly, this afternoon tea is simply a case of fusion food gone wrong. To start with the confused looking drinks consisted of a Lemongrass Iced Tea that resembled dishwater (both in appearance and in taste) and a disappointingly one-dimensional glass of Mulled Wine. The mains gave some hope in an otherwise bleak menu, with a reminder of what the restaurant is capable of delivering – three well-cooked mini burgers in buttery, soft brioche buns presented in the style of little bite-sized sandwiches, with a small side of American fries. Instead of cucumber and salmon however, these sliders were filled with a seasonal turkey burger, a signature Butcher’s Cut burger served medium rare and our personal favourite – a slightly more luxurious lobster burger. The only crime here was that the burgers were too small, even for the miniature glossy buns.
Unfortunately, an unexciting and mediocre dessert course followed. Far from the indulgent sundaes and milkshakes on the usual menu, a small tray of mini-desserts was served – including a frustratingly disappointing Strawberry Cheesecake, with a bland filling and flaccid biscuit base. Being served in a tall shot glass did little to inflate its appeal, but instead just added to the frustration of the eating experience. A reasonable Vanilla Milkshake (also served in a shot glass), served alongside a dry and tasteless brownie square and an equally unremarkable mince pie, was the only enjoyable element of the dessert tray.
With competition for the title of London’s best burger escalating, it’s unlikely that Patty and Bun, Lucky Chip, et al, will be scrambling to emulate BRGR.CO’s twist on afternoon tea. The reason American fast food and English afternoon tea have never been put together before is simple – it’s one transatlantic pairing that doesn’t work. The concept, whilst original, lacks any conviction and suffers from a poorly constructed menu that isn’t confident in its own identity.
By all means visit BRGR.CO and try their generously juicy burgers, smoky hot dogs and crispy fries, but leave the scones and sandwiches where they belong.
BRGR.CO Afternoon tea: 35/60
To book a table at BRGR.CO Soho, 187 Wardour Street London W1F 8ZB, visit here.