Monday 29 June 2009

Hache - Camden

I recently had to deal with the rather traumatic news that my office location was changing from Clerkenwell to Kings Cross/Camden. Not only would it be further out for me to travel (OK - one more stop on the tube), but to my mind, in comparison to the culinary hotbed that is Clerkenwell - Kings Cross and Camden are gastronomic wastelands.
Luckily for me - after much wailing and childish tantrums, it turns out things aren't quite as bad as I first thought. There are gems in the area, and Hache in Camden is one of those gems.

When it comes to burgers Hache is regularly singled out as providing the best in London, which is quite a reputation to live up to, so it was with pretty high expectations that I visited for lunch with a work colleague.
Unusually for Britain, on the afternoon I visited the sun was blazing, and Hache has a nice open frontage with a few tables overlooking the pleasant street outside, it's perfect for a spot of people watching. We grabbed a prime front of house table and studied the incredibly varied menu - pretty much every combination of burger contents you can imagine with a variety of meat options, Scotch beef steak, lamb, venison, chicken, duck, fish and a pretty extensive Vegetarian selection.

I ordered the Steak Canadian, a Scotch beef steak burger with sweet cure bacon and mature cheddar cheese, I asked for this cooked medium rare. On the side I ordered some frites.
My work colleague, being a veggie - went for the 'Le Grand Champignon' which consisted of portobello mushroom, roasted red peppers, courgettes and pesto - to this she added some goats cheese as an extra and a bowl of chunky chips.

Our order arrived rapidly, and it was pretty impressive to look at. Huge burgers, and massive portions of chips (Think we could have got away with one bowl between two).

So, is this the best burger in London?
Quite possibly.
I haven't tried all of the pretenders to the throne - so who can say.
But, what I can say is, It's certainly the best burger I've ever eaten, in London or anywhere else for that matter. It was great. Perfectly cooked, the bacon and cheese used in my burger were obviously quality ingredients and tasted good- I was impressed. My work buddy was equally pleased with her food.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. (or should that be burger?) And despite the massive portions - I scoffed the lot - clean plate - including the frites, which were also very good....especially dipped in the mustard mayo thoughtfully provided in the selection of mustard's and sauces with the meal. I also managed a fair few of my colleagues chips who's appetite, thankfully isn't quite as bottomless as mine.
There were desserts on the menu, but I was stuffed silly and couldn't even look at them, that's unusual for me, I almost always shoehorn one in.

Service was efficient, fast and the staff very friendly.
The two Burgers, two bowls of chips, and two diet cokes, including service came to around £13 a head, which considering how damn nice the food was, is a total bargain in anyone's book.
So, all in all Hache gets my vote I'll certainly be visiting again.

24 Inverness Street
Camden Town

Telephone: 020 7485 9100

Final Note -
If anyone has any great lunch suggestions for the Camden/Kings Cross area - please drop me a line.


The Ample Cook said...

Looks like a really good lunch. Had a look at the menu - quite impressed. You might do quite well in the area for food after all!

Anonymous said...

Love a good Hache, and this is clearly a brilliant write up because just reading this is making me want to have a burger for breakfast! Will have a think for some suggestions in that area.

Jonathan said...

Sounds ace. You've convinced me to give it a try...

Ollie said...

They're bloody good burgers, aren't they? There's a couple of other branches dotted about town - it's probably the best burger I've had in London. But then I've never been to Hawksmoor...

Dan said...

Jan, yeah things don't look quite as dire as they did a few weeks ago.

Gastrogeek - thanks.

Jonathan, I'd certainly recommend for lunch. Very nice indeed.

Oliver, certainly are. I've been to Hawksmoor a couple of times, but never tried the Burger either. Although, isn't it only available at lunchtimes?

Kake said...

Teachi (RGL) and Yum Cha (RGL) are both worth a look, as is Snazz Sichuan (RGL).

I'm guessing you're probably too far from Konstam for that to be an option?

Dan said...

Thanks Kake - great suggestions. I trekked to Konstam last week from the new office, but its a good 25 min walk there, and 25 min back - so pushing it for lunch.

Kavey said...

I used to work in Camden - well, Mornington Crescent actually, in the Carreras Black Cat building just opposite the tube station.

We used to enjoy El Parador tapas restaurant just behind the tube station, at the top end of Eversholt. I know it's still there as I've been back over the years, though not this year, I think. Their desserts do nothing for me but I enjoy their tapas dishes.

Cafe Delancey is, I think, now defunct. So too are a number of other stalwarts we used to visit.

There are a range of neighbourhood restaurants down the high street between Camden and MC tube stations, nothing special that I can think of, though something new might have opened...

North of Camden station you have more options, as it's a more visited destination, what with the markets.

Helen said...

I really enjoyed the burgers at Hache - although as you know I am most definitely not a fan of the ciabatta bun - it just doesn't make any sense to me using an Italian bread for a burger. I like a proper burger bun. The best burger I've had in London though is the Hawksmoor burger, although yes, it is only available at lunchtimes. Worth it though if you ever find yourself with a day off! It has bone marrow in the burger and they actually managed to improve on the burger bun by making it a brioche burger bun which is not as sweet as it sounds. Yum!

Boo said...

I must say I prefer the Hawksmoor burger too but the sheer variety at Hache is remarkable! And the portion sizes of course. If you like sushi/bento you should check out Bento Box opposite the Camden Odeon.

Dan said...

Been in Paris stuffing myself silly last few days, so a bit slow in replying to the comments.

Kavey - my twin brother used to work in the same building. Copywriter for an Ad Agency. Thanks for the lunch suggestions!

Helen, Boo, well - looks like I must get over to Hawksmoor one lunchtime to try the burger. I saw the email, remember the blog buzz about it - but just haven't had the chance to try it yet. Have to be a day off for that now I'm Kings Cross way.

Thanks for the lunch suggestion as well Boo.

Hollow Legs said...

I loved my burger at Hache, also because they cooked it perfectly medium rare too.

rich (them apples) said...

I often end up in London for the odd night for work purposes, a stray Northerner, wandering around a bit lost and maybe confused, a little in awe of the city.

And what a city.

It takes my breath away every time the train pulls into Kings Cross.

Anyway, I normally end up eating badly in the Big Smoke, mainly because I don't have the inside knowledge in the same way that I do for, say, Leeds. I'll plan better next time, go to this place and have a massive burger.


Thanks for sorting me out.

Dan said...

Lizzie, Thanks for the comment.
Them Apples, Glad you found the Hache review helpful.

Marco Valente said...

I went to Hache in Chelsea last night with three friends after reading about the restaurant in the press. I booked in advance and confirmed the day before only to arrive on the night and discover that my name wasn’t even in the reservation book. We all ordered burgers and after finishing our meals, unanimously concluded that there is only one word to describe the food and that is mediocre, mediocre and again mediocre. We were astounded at how small and thin the actual meat burger was, probably equivilant to the golden arches. Even worse thougth, was the complete lack of seasoning and flavour in the meat itself. We all ordered thin cut fries which again were tasteless and without flavour.
All in all a rather dissapointing experience and certainly not the best burger in London by a long shot. If it’s the ultimate burger in town that you are looking for, then Bar Boulud at the Manadarin Hotel in Knightsbridge is the place to go.