Honest burger The Honest

Beef, red onion relish, smoked back bacon, mature cheddar, pickled cucumber and lettuce.

When the ‘Americana’ craze first exploded in London, I was fortunate enough to be living just up the road from the first Honest Burger in town and I was told all these stories about it being the “best burger in London, and the best chips to go with it”.

While I must admit that Honest didn’t quite reach the top dog status, it did sneak straight into the number 3 spot in my heart. The juicy pink Patty and salty beef were perfectly complimented by the sweet tingle of the red onion relish, in a bun so soft and fluffy that it melted in your mouth. On top of that, although I believe that the sides have no place in a review, the chips were eye opening. Crispy, soft in the middle, slightly salted and doused in rosemary. They were almost better than the burger itself!

Honest Burgers’ popularity since that fateful day has been mirrored by their meteoric rise, as they now have 21 locations. The risk with such a rapid expansion, however, is maintaining the quality of the original product. Can the suppliers provide enough of the original product, and how well will it travel? Can they get Chefs in who can match the original creators talents? Or, god forbid, will they rest on their laurels, and let their standards slip? When the Honest Burgers opened in Peckham, I had to find out.

Well, in many ways, this burger aroused a number of familiar feelings. The Patty was certainly cooked to the perfectly pink, medium rare. The mature cheddar was so melted that it simply oozed down the side of the burger, and the gorgeous, rich juices dripped through the bottom bun, both of which were the perfect compliment to the aforementioned onion relish, and the bun was as soft as ever.

This was all great, but there still seemed to be something missing. The burger somehow seemed to be slightly less juicy, and slightly less packed with flavour, than I remembered. Perhaps I had been looking through rose tinted glasses. Perhaps the plethora of competition has raised the bar. Perhaps the chef had a slightly off day. Perhaps it was even that the chips were too salty and lacked enough rosemary. I will leave that decision up to you.

Regardless of the reasons, Honest burger is still a great burger, but they have lost a touch of the magic that once filled this blue eyed boys heart. For the first time in a few years, I am sad to say that they no longer make my top 3 Burger Joints in London.