I must confess. I am officially off the wagon. The burger wagon. I kicked the habit for awhile. Until now. To be honest, the burger I ate at Tommi’s Burger Joint wasn’t one of the best I’ve ever eaten, but what struck me most was just how enjoyable it was, and I realised – I really really do just like eating burgers.
A few months ago, the blog posts started trickling into my inbox. Someone had the gall (or perhaps guts) to open a burger place within a stone’s throw of MeatLiquor. The consensus seemed to be while it lacked the rowdy fun atmosphere of MeatLiquor, Burger Joint was still churning out burgers of a respectable quality. Burger Joint is actually the first UK outpost – of all things – an Icelandic Burger chain; however to walk inside, you wouldn’t know it. Only thing possibly giving the game away was the audible sounds of Scandinavian accents. The inside is decorated with string lights and lamps; a stack of magazines for perusal sits in the window and ‘help yourself’ condiments sit on a ledge to the right. Leonard Cohen, a bit of reggae, and The Cure are all played at various time and the atmosphere is cozy, welcoming and relaxing all at once.
Orders are taken at the counter and the menu is hand-written on cardboard signs near the front. The menu is short and concise and is also printed on little leaflets with tick boxes to make group-ordering a breeze. For less than a tenner you can order the meal deal consisting of a cheeseburger, fries and a drink. For my first visit I shunned the meal deal and went for the steak burger. Adding on fries and a drink brought the total to a little less than what you would pay at Byron.
My basket came out and the fries were positively glistening; they were so fresh from the fryer. A little more well-done than I would like but I’m really just splitting hairs, because the fries were pretty great.
The burger itself was soft and squishy, and the flavor reminded me of a Byron burger. The patty came out closer to medium-rare than medium, making me quite please as I prefer medium-rare anyway, but like to leave it up to chance with the kitchen when I first try a burger, just to see what they think is a suitable cooking level. Tommi’s passed this test with flying colours. The steak burger was coarsely ground, and there were a few bites where the patty was so coarsely ground, you could really tell that yes, it had once been an actual steak as opposed to the unidentifiable mush you usually receive from burger chains.
This burger was entirely a pleasure to eat. It wasn’t loaded up with fancy gourmet ingredients; it was simply good ingredients cooked well. While yes, indeed there are better and perhaps more exciting burgers to be had in London, I definitely wouldn’t write off Tommi’s Burger Joint. You will surely struggle to find a burger place that is more comfortable and welcoming with an atmosphere to match; than Tommi’s.