This past Monday I had the great joy of going to my first proper Burger Monday event. As some of you may know I have been following the Burger Monday Championships, although I was told the original Burger Monday pop-ups are very different. I went with a large group of friends to the BurgerMonday with Andy McLeish & Alex Tynedall, where they had a created a simply stunning menu for the occasion.

– Crispy pork belly, kimchee, pickled cucumber, miso dressing & quail’s egg
– Chapters USDA beef burger, ‘cracklinaise’, bacon, triple cooked chips
– Warm chocolate & pecan brownie, caramel and honeycomb ice cream

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Andy McLeish, the Michelin-starred chef at Chapter One in Kent, and Alex Tyndall, the head chef at sibling brasserie Chapters in Blackheath, came up with a menu to show Daniel Young (founder of Young and Foodish) for his Burger Monday events. The original menu had the belly pork with the cracklinaise, but Daniel with his vast burger experience suggested having it with the burger instead. Thus came about the kimichee sauce which replaced the cracklinaise for the starter dish.

The cafe that it is set in looks like any other diner cafe you may find the in the UK. Not like american diners though. So when our starters were brought out I found it very funny to contrast the casual seating in the cafe with the very fancy presentation of the food. The contrast didn’t matter though, if anything it was much more fun! It’s not often I get to enjoy a really nice dinner in a very comfortable and casual setting with good friends.

The cripsy belly pork came out nothing like I was expecting. The belly pork was cut into large cubes and deep fried in a batter. It was served with pickles and soft boiled quails egg as well as kimichee sauce. The belly pork was cooked perfectly, very tender and soft on the inside. I couldn’t tell if the pork cooked before being deep fried or only deep fried once in batter. Belly pork has always been one of my favourite cuts of pork and I think it’s under appreciated in home cooking, although getting a lot more recognition in restaurants now. Quail eggs are also my second favourite eggs, and they too were cooked perfectly. Soft boiled quails eggs I’ve found are really hard to do, because I always break them when I peel them! The kimichee sauce was also different to how I was expecting it, rather sweet and an interesting flavour to add to the dish. Certainly it must have changed how the overall dish tasted compared to the original script of being served with cracklinaise. I want to see how that tastes also. Overall it’s certainly a dish I would order again!

The burger came out very soon after the starters were cleared away. The first thing I could think was “Wow! This thing is huge!’ It was much bigger than anything I could fit in my mouth easily and so I took it apart and ate it with a knife and fork. Yes, i cut my burgers up and eat them with knives and forks on many occasions. The burger was good. Simply put, it was a good burger. The cheese was a good choice also, strong and accompanied the burger well. There was also cracklinaise in the burger as well as dollopped on the side. This was an interesting mix of crunchy and creamy, and I can see why it would be hard to make. Overall I enjoyed the burger thoroughly but I probably wouldn’t order it again. It was a great treat for a one-off event though!

The chips were cut chunky and huge, I couldn’t finish them! There was so much food given, and all of it very rich. I wasn’t sure I would make it to the dessert. However when the dessert came out I also couldn’t say no. I have to say it was probably the best honeycomb I have ever eaten. I’d like to just buy a huge bag of that stuff!

Overall the event was a great meal out with my friends. I enjoyed eating dishes I normally wouldn’t come across. Our host and chefs were exceptional. I do however prefer the burger championship events more, but I certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on another sit down meal in the future!