Friday, 5 June 2009


Imagine. An expedition team destined for the South Pole. Somewhere between Ross Island and 90ºS 0ºW, the team (leaderless of course) realised that they had forgotten the following: a compass, a BE, dogs and ouch…common sense. Thereupon, ‘don’t strive, don’t seek, don’t find, and do yield’*. These words of pessimism describe the service** at Haché.

I like dedicating reviews to people, so this post is for CB (she muttered something about liking the place).

I was going to start my write-up on Haché with ‘The best burger in London’. But then Helen correctly expressed her dislike for the bready Ciabatta buns that Haché champions. Ciabatta is totally wrong for this application (of course subjectivity rules), a soft plain bun (white no doubt) is de rigeur. This awkward situation is thus responsible for causing a dilemma. I was worried that in the absence of the bread the word burger wouldn’t be deemed a complete sandwich, however according to and thank goodness for Wiki, here in Blighty; 'the word burger is used in lieu of the patty'. So ‘The best burger in London’ stands unchallenged.

It’s difficult to tire of the astonishing menu.

Smoothie made with natural yoghurt, apple juice and wildflower honey. Very good but with me being the ever-senseless moron, drinks like this curb the appetite.

Butterflied Chicken breast, with melted Cheddar Cheese, Beef Tomato, Bacon and Lettuce, topped with a fan of Avocado


Bacon, Portobello Mushroom topped with a fried Egg

One word, illustrious.
If you can find a better patty than this, poke me.

Haché Chocolate Brownies
Save some room for this. Although not quite in the same league as Bea's or Choc Star's, it was still very moreish.

Service withstanding (and good luck for that matter), Haché serves the mother of all burgers in the capital. Highly recommended.

*With apologies to Tennyson’s Ulysses, the original and uncorrupted version was inscribed on the cross where Scott and his companions finally rested.

**The barrage of criticisms confirms my cynicism here
. Sometimes I feel that the Casey family who owns Haché have deliberately stuck to this grim service as some kind of trademark to amuse themselves. It might work at Wong Kei's, but it's totally pointless in a burger joint. Sad.

24 Inverness Street

Camden Town


NB incidentally the best burgers that I’ve ever had were in Oxford (years ago when most of you were still pacifying yourselves with a dummy) at a place called Peppers on Walton Street. Pioneering chargrilled bespoke patties in the eighties were unheard of then. Alas the place has long since disappeared. Lamentations remain to this day. Addendum- since reopened, see comments.

My past review posted on Trusted Places-

Talking burgers can quite often evoke and arouse disputations and deliberations among the beef patty cognoscenti on where to go for the best sandwich in town. I’ve been prompted a few times that the burgers served at The Ivy and Maze Grill are the best in London. I’ve tried the one (AA Gill’s determinate choice) at the former on two occasions and it was nothing spectacular, soggy and rather slapdash, and as for the latter I think I’ll only go there for the steaks. If an equivalent of the Premiership league was suggested for restaurants serving the best burgers in the country then I will not hesitate to say that Haché belongs to one of the "Big Four".

These posh tasting steak haché burgers are indeed bespoke and thankfully they don’t cost the earth. Wonderful innovations on the burgers are offered from the Atkins friendly version of Steak Au Naturel to the Le Sicilian (with Parma Ham and melted Premium Mozarella Cheese). Pescitarians can also be equally elated with Haché’s choices of delicious chunky Cod and Tuna burgers. Both fat and thin (to comply with the French theme) chips are available as sides. The puddings are pretty much accomplished; the delicious Banoffee Pie is gregarious in size so it’s not entirely applicable to the solo diner and the superior Chocolate Brownies served with Ice Cream are dangerous enough to postpone any imminent diets. The ambience is lively, crowded and the lighting in the dining room annoyingly incandescent. The service in restaurants of this ilk can be hit or miss, so good luck; but don’t let that get in the way of the food.

To the Casey family who owns this joint, I take me hat off and please do not turn your fine efforts into a GBK, FBC, ABC, or XYZ chain.

28th September 2008


Unknown said...

Are you sure Peppers of Walton Street has disappeared? It was still there the last time I was there (about 3 months ago!)

Thanks for the top tips. Keep 'em coming.

Unknown said...

Ah - by the magic of Google all is revealed. It did shut down, but has now reopened.

Hollow Legs said...

I love Hache too, their burger with stilton was lovely. I don't mind their bread, but I think you can't go wrong with McDonalds' burger buns. Seriously.

bellaphon said...

Dan- Thank you for stopping by and the info. Admittedly the last time I went to Ox. was nearly 10 years ago for a reunion piss-up and ended up in the horrid Opium Den!

Lizzie- Nowt wrong with Macs, I'm with you on this. I was thinking of somewhere lush for our next date but I think now Macs in Marble Arch is perfect. Leave your dosh at home, it's on me.

Ben said...

Cheers for this blog, I was killing time at work yesterday browsing through it and its given me loads of places to check out.

I really liked Hache and it was good to find somewhere that does these kind of french style burgers - I had mine rare. If you ever go back, make sure you have pre dinner cocktails at Fifty Five just round the corner. Happy hour 2-4-1, and very good they are too.

Jerk City is now on my list. I liked the Beach Burrito place until it closed, which was nearby and I think has reopened under a different name.

Don't know what you think are the best Edgware road establishments, but I've always found Al Arez good.

Fish & Chips. I was told Rock & Soul Plaice was good but it was way overpriced and there's something wrong about paying so much for it.

Favourite Turkish is Woody Grill on Kilburn High Rd. It's a kebab house but with waiter service. All their food is extremely fresh, and their hot pide and chilli is to die for. You can have a slap up meal for £7.50.

Otto Lenghi on Upper St has been getting a lot of hype recently. I initially balked at the size of the dishes (for the price), but the food was fantastic. The pork was so well cooked its texture was more like salmon. The nori tuna was nice too. Carrot cake for dessert was perfect.

Indian - I like Tayyabs of course but it'd be nice to try somewhere a bit healthier. I think there's a good vege Indian in Stroud Green. The canteen at Indian YMCA near Warren St is on my list too

Helen said...

An ingenious way of getting around the burger dilemma! I can't stand those ciabatta buns they use - well, not with a burger anyway. I agree on the Maccy D's buns too. I must say, those burgers in the picture look really amazing and I can't remember mine looking as good as that, I need to revisit asap. I might take my own bun though, or go via the golden arches. Actually, that would be a great experiment!

bellaphon said...

Ben- Thank you for your comments and the tip-offs. I'm a teetotaller. The ineptly named Halal Restaruant opposite Al Arez is worth noting as well. Disappointed with Rock & Soul Plaice first time around, will go back but not in a hurry. Woody Grill; now you're talking, I tend to go to the smaller branch on Camden Road and have always found it consistently good. Post in due course. As for Ottolenghi, the plethora of yummy mummies is cringeworthy (not the mums mind you but their topics of conversation!). The hallowed path that leads to Tayyabs- 'tis very good and for me to post a review of it, it has to be exceptional or else it'll just be another hyped and tedious read.

Helen- I dare you! Photos please!

Boo said...

I love the Hawksmoor burger and that reigns supreme for me in terms of the best burger in London. On the back of this review I would definitely go back to Hache and try the chicken burger though, looks great.

Ben said...

No worries. I'd love to get the recipe for the Woody Grill chilli. If you go there, see if you can extract the secret!

I don't know if Rock & Sole use beef fat, but know it's pretty essential as vege oil doesn't get hot enough.

Went to Bea's for first time yesterday and it's definitely on my list for impressing people. Good selection for £7.

I find the whole gastropub thing slightly bizarre. It seems strange that it could become a 'trend' for pubs to start serving decentish food. Only problem is that they can be such a rip off.

Always had a good experience at Fishworks on marylebone high st.

Know anywhere that does U.S style breakfasts? Also need to drag myself to Recency Cafe

bellaphon said...

Boo- Hi there, looking forward to your review of the place.

Ben- Chilli Sauce- that alone is worth blogging about for the best in London. Bea's is totally beloved. You need to go to the Harwood Arms, it might just change you. Fishworks; I'll pass on that, the prices doesn't quite reflect the end results. No ideas on American style fry-ups, perhaps an American based foodie in London is more qualified to answer the question.

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