Burger Review: Are Bunsen Burgers Too Simple Or Simply Great?
December 18, 2017 Chris Caldwell 0 Comments
Bunsen Burgers comes to Belfast via Dublin and from the brain of Chef Tom Gleeson, a chef of some note with his most famous gig perhaps being in Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. He now owns 5 restaurants in the South and is finally making his way North with the latest incarnation of Bunsen Burgers nestled firmly in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter opposite the newly opened Thirsty Goat and alongside ever popular The Black Box.
The concept is simple: they do beef burgers. You can double them or have cheese on them, you can choose some garnish but that’s about it. The menu has exactly seven food items on it and two drinks (sodas and milkshakes of course):
- Double Burger
- Cheese Burger
- Double Cheese Burger
- Sweet potato fries
That’s it, so their burgers better be good, right?
The place is decorated with wood, concrete and luminous yellow and grey chairs. It’s odd but it works to convey that this is fine casual dining, a kind of luxury Scandinavian canteen in a ski hut is the best description I can come up with.
You get served at your table, but it’s cool enough and relaxed enough that you can take your time and feel comfortable in the surroundings. The staff are welcoming and friendly and we are checked on often. The menu is on a business card (it’s certainly small enough to fit on one) and I order the cheeseburger with all the toppings and skinny fries on the side. There’s something wonderfully refreshing in a world of almost unlimited choices to have very little to choose from. I did, however, choose for mine to be cooked medium and am happy to say that that is just how it came. It comes in sturdy disposable packaging wrapped up a bit like a present, with the fries in their cardboard boat alongside.
The first impression when I unwrap it is that this is a handsome looking burger. It’s also a very meaty tasting burger with a nice soft pink interior to juxtapose the roughness of the charred outer that’s been seasoned just enough to bring out the flavours in the meat. The bun survives the whole thing with ease and the salad is nice and fresh. A nice touch is that the lettuce is shredded so you’re not taking big bits with you everytime you bite, it’s something McDonald’s does with their Big Mac and I’ve always enjoyed the texture far more than big leaves.
The fries are crispy and golden and make a great accompaniment to the burger, my only complaint being is that there’s so many I didn’t stand a chance of finishing them. The cheese on my burger was a bit too melted into the burger to really add anything and so I’d like to see more of that in the future or perhaps have it added on a bit later in the process. This is a very tasty burger, it’s unadulterated and it’s obviously been refined and perfected to a degree that’s only possible when it’s basically your only item. So, hats off to the guys at Bunsen because they’re producing a damn fine burger.
I was very impressed on the whole with Bunsen, I feel they’ve got the decor, ambience, staff and food in the right place for the style of dining they’re going for and the prices seemed a tad lower than I was expecting which is always a bonus. Be warned though if you don’t like burgers this is not the place for you! But for the rest of us it’s burgers ahoy, as far as the eye can see!