Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Handmade Burger Company - Leeds

The Handmade Burger Kitchen is as new to me as it is to Trinity. I haven't previously visited one of their restaurants although their website tells me there are 17 of them in the UK, mainly in the North and four of them in Scotland

Their philosophy as detailed on their website is:

"To make & hand press the tastiest burgers, we regularly visit our suppliers to make sure that we get our produce from the best farms & source only the freshest, finest tasting, traceable ingredients for our chefs to work with. We apply the same attention to detail to everything we make. From our freshly peeled & cut chips to the relishes we hand make in our kitchens, we’re proud to say that the food we serve tastes great. And why do we do this? Because we want to make sure that you enjoy the widest variety of the finest handmade burgers every time you visit."

Sounds like a great venture. So when four of us were feeling a bit peckish one Sunday afternoon we decided to give it a go. 

Their menu is quite extensive (and expensive - perhaps not a cheap bite to eat with the kids) and I found it hard to decide what to have because there was just SO much to chose from. In fact there are over 40 burgers to chose from... add that number to the number of variations you can make as you can tailor your burger to your own taste and that makes... too many for me to calculate without making my brain ache a little. (View the menu here)

We were shown to a table for four when we walked in and handed some menus. A bit like Nandos you order and pay at the till and then your food is brought out to you when ready.

The drinks are refillable (something I am always grateful for) and you go up and help yourself, a bit like... Nandos.

I decided to order the Mexican Salsa burger which is made with 100% prime 7 ounce Scotch beef in a bun topped with crushed avocado, Mexican salsa, mayo and salad.

J ordered the Char-grilled chicken skewers... he wanted honey and mustard but they didn't have it.. so he instead ordered peri-peri. 

J also wanted some corn on the cob to accompany.. but again they were out of stock.. so instead he ordered some char-grilled vegetables. 

C ordered a lamb burger... pretty much plain. Okay there is a bit of rocket on there too. 

The pictures on this post are bad.. but it gets worse (sorry unplanned meal review so only had my trusty iPhone). L ordered a lamb burger too which came with rocket and mint sauce.

We ordered two portions of chips between us. 

So what did we think of the food? We all agreed that the bread was just awful. For a place that's prime dish is a burger they really need to get the bun right, if not perfect. The bun felt slightly stale and crusty around the edges... not a good crusty, the kind of crusty that turns in to dust when handled. The bun disintegrated as we ate our burgers and left us with saucy fingers.

Even though I had beef and C and L had lamb we all thought that our meat was over cooked. There wasn't a slight hint of pink or rose in any of our burgers. We agreed that another option for the burgers should be how well-done you like them as most people want a bit of juice or even flavour in their burgers.

The chips... well... they were just god damn awful. They were hard and plastic like. We assumed they had managed to get this texture by being cooked in a deep fat fryer and then left to warm for a considerable amount of time. Two bowls between four was not demolished at all.

You will notice that there was a orange-ish dip on some of the pictures... this was incredibly hot and we struggled to pinpoint the flavour. We tried adding mayo to it to try and make it less spicy but try as C might try we weren't convinced it tasted any better.

J ended up feeling like he had a poor Nandos... and to be honest by the end of the meal we all wished we had gone to Nandos instead.

A big hand to the service staff however as they were very attentive and genuinely friendly (none of this fake smile business).

I don't think any of us will be returning any time soon...

Handmade Burger Company
Trinity Leeds

Handmade Burger Company on Urbanspoon