Review: Burger Meats Bun, Edinburgh

FOLLOWING A RECOMMENDATION from a Michelin-starred chef, there was considerable expectation burdened on the shoulders of Edinburgh’s latest burger joint, Burger Meats Bun. As a graduate of Hamburger University (yes, go on, laugh) I reckon I’m suitably qualified to assess their credentials.

We had actually visited BMB a few of weeks earlier, and were impressed by their sincere customer service following a slight mix up with Sarah’s order. I firmly believe a mistake should only be judged by the manner in which it is rectified, and the apologetic team more than atoned for that error.
Anyway, that was a different visit, long before the sky began getting dark at 7:30 p.m.

Co-owner Ben would escort us through the BMB experience this evening, and he welcomed us in. The restaurant sits on Forth Street, just off Broughton Street, with the original branch located in Glasgow city centre. Besides the fact that the restaurant is at full seating capacity on a mid-month Wednesday night, the first thing I pick up on is the attention to detail in the BMB menu: provenance of produce, top suppliers (Gartmore Farm and George Mewes Cheeses), seasonal specials, quirky cocktails, and a rotating range of craft beers. I also rather like their branding and menu format.

So, how would the food measure up? First off, I delved into a tub of honey and chipotle chicken wings (£5.50), the evening’s special, and special they were. The tender bites of chicken, oozing with a sweet and slightly spicy glaze were rather moreish, and they tempted you to try the other menu offerings too.

I opted for the seasonal burger, which came in the form of a venison patty, haggis, pickled beetroot, Bonnet goats’ cheese, bramble jam with kohlrabi and remoulade, priced at £9.50. Now, I have two main gripes when it comes to burgers: 1) I hate it when the patty doesn’t sit proportionately on the bun and 2) when the bun disintegrates half way through eating.  Don’t expect any of those issues at BMB; the robust, yet soft, brioche bun was a perfect foil for the venison patty, which was a healthy size in itself.

The beautiful scent of the deer tantalised my taste buds Ainsley Harriott-style as it found its way into my mouth.  The beetroot and kohlrabi illustrates that this is a chef aware of seasonal produce, and the earthy, zingy notes married with the venison as if nature intended. I particularly enjoyed the tang from the Bonnet, and the way it acted as an impromptu cheesy sauce in the process.

Sarah ordered the “Hot Chic” chicken burger (£8.50), which consisted of a crispy breast, Toma Ranschera cheese, and chipotle sauce (she omitted the mayo).  The chef nailed the cooking of the crispy breast, ensuring it was impressively moist inside.  While she enjoyed the chipotle sauce, she would have liked a bit more of a kick from it.  We shared some cheesy fries (£2.50) and the house salad, priced at £3. The chips were crisp with a fluffy interior and covered with what I suspected was Barwhey’s cheddar.  The salad was a fresh and crunchy offering, coated in a superb lemon dressing that was a complete triumph.

We chatted with Ben throughout, and were surprised to learn that the aforementioned Michelin-star chef (Geoffrey Smeddle from The Peat Inn) was a previous employer of both him and chef/business partner James. I had actually just mentioned to Sarah that the little touches like her butternut squash cocktail and quality ingredients could separate BMB from being just a burger house – learning of the owners’ background explained a lot.

For dessert we split the donuts with dipping sauce (£4.50), with today’s offering being strawberry and black pepper.  The donuts were good, but the sauce was so delicious (and I was so full) I ended up just sticking my finger in and licking it. Enough said.

We were very impressed with the BMB experience.  Great burgers might sound like a simple concept, but is it really that simple given how many places do it so badly? You could easily come here, spend £16-18 on a meal with a drink, and leave just as satisfied as if you had visited a high-end eatery and paid double that. James and Ben clearly know what they’re doing, and I’m sure (and look forward) to be hearing of further success for the pair.  A+.

 Phone: (0131) 556 7023
 Twitter: @BMBEdinburgh

1 Forth Street, Edinburgh, EH13JX

Opening times:
Tues- Sun 12-9:30pm
 Closed Monday

Burger Meats Bun on Urbanspoon


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