Burger Bar (Kosher)
You know how sometimes you get a craving for something and nothing else will cut it? That was me last week and the weird thing was that the craving was for something I normally eschew! Hubby and I were on our way back from a medical appointment in St John’s Wood and a combination of relief that the news was good/there was nothing in the fridge/I hadn’t had lunch made me crave a burger! Hubby never needs to be asked twice where burgers are involved, so we called ahead to Burger Bar in Temple Fortune, were lucky to get a table (it was 7pm – we wouldn’t have been so lucky an hour later) and were tucking into juicy burgers within the hour.
As it happens, there are many options on the menu for non-burger lovers (like me!) – sumptuous salads, filled-to-bursting wraps, schnitzel, chicken wings (these are seriously yummy), but the burger was the order of the day.
I went for the ‘Truffle’, which is served with truffle-infused mayo and a fried egg and is seriously delicious.
Hubby opted for the ‘Chilli’ and the home fries, which are coated in sweet chilli sauce. I didn’t think these would work, but they absolutely did!
Burger Bar took up residence in Temple Fortune (next to Bread) last August and is a really great offering on north London’s burgeoning kosher dining scene.
Like the Hummus Bar in Golders Green (another favourite), it has a cool, hip vibe, with a graffiti wall and industrial-style furniture and fittings.
It’s fun, the food is good, there are great options and offers at lunchtime and it has just signed up to Deliveroo, so when you get a burger craving, you can have it delivered to your door.
1 Bridge Lane
London NW11 0EA
T: 020 8455 8080 W: Burgerbar.uk.com
New Place in Town: Chriskitch Hoxton
I haven’t been so excited about a restaurant opening since McDonald’s came to the UK in 1974. Chriskitch Hoxton is the new, super-shiny, uber-cool outpost of the much-loved Chriskitch in Muswell Hill. I have been a fan of Chriskitch since inception and have trotted there for brunch, lunch, a cuppa and a slice of cake in all seasons, plus for cookery demos and, of course, to pick up my own copy of Chris’ much lauded cookery book, Big Flavours From A Small Kitchen.
Chris himself has a seriously refreshing approach to food – no faffing, no fiddling, throw it all together and mix up the (incredibly inventive) flavours. Think Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi rolled into one, with flashes of brilliance that come from Chris’ training under Gordon Ramsay.
Unlike Muswell Hill, which is essentially a daytime hangout with dishes proudly displayed on a butcher’s block at the front, Hoxton is a full-blown table-service experience. The space is airy and bright, with lots of steel and glass and clever lighting, and Chris’ pride-and-joy Robata grill in full view.
The menu is mouth-watering. Cucumber and sesame seared salmon, raw tuna charcoal with pickle apple and basil, crispy smoked potato skins with truffle for starters. These give way to tuna tartare with date purée, blackened charcoal lamb in hay smoke, pan-roasted salmon with anchovy and endive tarte tatin, mushrooms with roasted veg and crispy bean curd, brown sugar and rosemary grilled chicken.
Desserts are a tough choice between caramelised banana with salted balsamic fudge, baked chocolate pudding, violet crumble poached pears (no one poaches pears like Chris!) and more. He has also brought his Australian background to bear on the wine list.
As well as the table-service restaurant, Chris has recreated the Muswell Hill café-style offering in a next-door unit, and Hoxton locals are already queueing out the door to try it.
Chriskitch 5 Hoxton Market London N1 6HG T: 020 7033 6666 W: Chriskitch.com
The restaurant club
There are regular requests for doggy-friendly restaurant suggestions on the Restaurant Club Facebook group.
Last week we ran a poll asking whether people thought dogs should be allowed in eateries.
Just over a third of respondents said ‘no’, another third said ‘yes’, while the remainder said ‘yes’ with certain caveats, including only in pubs, only small dogs, only on certain days and only in one section of the restaurant.
One cheeky member said ‘only on the menu’ – but naturally this wouldn’t work in kosher restaurants!
There are many places that accept dogs, including Bernardi’s in Marylebone, Bluebelles in Mill Hill, Café Loren and Market in Camden, Greenberry in Primrose Hill, LLS Café in Hampstead, Nati’s in Crouch End, The Rising Sun in Mill Hill and The Truscott Arms in Maida Vale.
On the side
Carluccio’s has opened its first restaurant in a hotel at the London Marriott Regent’s Park. It’s a large, spacious unit that also offers in-room dining. There’s an outdoor eating area for sunny days and the option to order a Carluccio’s picnic to take to nearby Regent’s Park or Hampstead Heath (adult picnics £45 for two, children’s picnics £10). The weekday set lunch menu changes regularly and is exceptional value at only £10.99 for two courses.
I reviewed Fitzrovia restaurant Dickie Fitz here a few weeks ago and now I’ve discovered that it is offering a special menu dedicated to the little-known summertime Australian black truffle. Priced at £60pp, the specially-curated five-course Aussie Truffle Menu will be available from mid-June right through the summer, accompanied by a decadent ‘Sweet As’ truffle cocktail. Guests will get to dine on an array of intriguing truffle-infused dishes, including grilled salad with a truffled egg
and cheese dressing.
ANYONE FOR TENNIS?
If you’re heading to the tennis at Wimbledon later this month, you might like to know that the Ivy Café has just opened a branch in Wimbledon Village. Definitely worth popping in there after a day on the courts – even if you’re only a spectator!
MADE OF DOUGH
Karma Bread in Hampstead is launching a cheesecake doughnut to celebrate Shavout. If you’ve never tried a Karma doughnut, now really is the time – think sugary, pillowy sweetness and a rich, creamy filling. Karma Bread owner and passionate baker Tami Pearce (fondly known as the Challah Queen) is always working on new doughnut varieties – the salted caramel version has been a recent hit and a honey tahini option is next in line.