Monday, 3 September 2012

Tommi's Burger Joint

Tommi’s Burger Joint is indeed a low key burger joint in a rather unlikely location. The Wigmore Street end of Marylebone Lane is more known for boutiques and kitchen showrooms than indie burger places, so this is quite an interesting addition to the area.

It’s an Icelandic chain (which probably explains the ability to pay the W1 rent) and an uncomplicated set up. One room of about twenty covers, order and pay at the till and take a seat for the burgers to arrive.

The menu is straight forward, with a few oddities such as BYOB (in a burger place? not for wanting of trying I’m sure) and free coffee. The décor is carefully careless, with the feeling of an indie bar or possibly student union, staffed by Aryan giants.

Burgers come as steak (rib eye, rump and fillet mince) or regular, which I had. It features the inevitable brioche bun, a good sized patty – nicely charred and yet medium rare – and even with the cheaper burger, you can see the roughly minced evidence of meat of quality:

Fries are forgettable, I wouldn’t bother order them next time. Me and my friend actually thought we’d get a third burger and split it. It was very good. Cheese wasn’t fancy, but perfect. The burgers are £5-7 which is great value itself, or £8-9 with fries and a soft drink.

Comparisons are predictable and rife, especially in this burger-sodden age. Apologies for being deliberately pretentious by going abroad, but I would suggest it closest to Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien in New York, or Golden Brown of Tokyo’s Omotesando Hills. In London, I’d probably say Byron. Fries not as good, and missing a trick on the craft beers (although I’m guessing that’s a licence thing), but a better bun and mature, relaxed approach to medium-rare cooking which Byron now sadly shy away from.

I like this place. It has a simple, indie feel to it – you’d pop in for a burger and pop off just as quickly, but far more contented. The area around Selfridges has always been a little weak on the food and drink front. The best of Marylebone is a trek away, St. Christopher's Place is chain-heavy, and until Workshop you couldn’t get a decent coffee for miles.

Now you can add a decent, simple burger to that list, notwithstanding the MEATliquor experience of course, if you fancy dabbling. And it’s good to see some recently-maligned Icelanders bringing some of their spirit back to London.

Food – 8/10
Drink – 4/10 (cult-followed milkshakes to follow but not up and running yet)
Service - 7/10
Value – 8/10
Tap water tales – 0/10 (none on the sideboard, asked but directed to bottled water fridge)
Staff Hotness – 8/10 (if you like Vikings and East German baddies from '80s films)

Tommi's Burger Joint on Urbanspoon 
Square Meal

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