Monday, 8 April 2013

Bread Street Kitchen Vs Barbecoa, St Pauls, London

Jamie Vs Gordon. One lunchtime. Two burgers. 

Website: Bread Street Kitchen - Barbecoa
Twitter: @breadstkitchen - @Barbecoa_London

I had visited Bread Street Kitchen a few weeks before this post. My planned visit to Disco Bistro was on a Monday night, their night off. Alas you're never far away from a recommended burger in London these days, so it gave us the chance to visit Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen.

In an attempt to improve the quality of photos in my posts I decided against publishing a review and was happy to visit again and take some better shots. I booked a solo revisit last Thursday lunchtime, when all of a sudden I had a genius idea(I thought it was anyway). 12 feet across from Bread Street Kitchen is Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa, who I'd seen recently boasting about their burgers on twitter.

Gordon Vs Jamie. One lunchtime. Two burgers. 

Bread Street Kitchen first. Time against me I'd barely sat down before ordering the burger. The BSK short rib beef burger comes with Monterey Jack cheese and smoked tomato ketchup. Hand cut chips are ordered separately. My medium rare request was declined. Anything above medium was explained. Medium it is then. I understand there is a greater risk, but surely if I have requested it to be cooked that way I should be able to get it.

The burger arrives after about 10 minutes. The chips, didn't. I had expected them to follow, but they never did. With another burger coming I decided against getting the waiters attention for them. I had them previously and they were up there with the best chips we'd tasted and certainly the best 'chips' I can remember. They are wedged cut, fried to a glass like crisp on the outside and full of fluffy tasty potato on the inside.

The top of the bun felt quite dry upon touch and sadly it was ever so slightly(the bun was perfect on my first visit). Despite this the burger is fantastic. The short rib beef is clearly a high quality mix. It has a course texture and the flavour really has a beefy punch. Seasoning spot on, cooked with a pleasant pink centre and still will all the tasty juices inside. The texture could have been a bit smoother but all in all very good.

The toppings here come together brilliantly. At the bottom we have shredded lettuce mixed in with a smooth mustard sauce. Up top we have the smoked tomato ketchup, which is spread under the top of the bun, almost purée in consistency, it has a sweet flavour which all combined with the salty pickles, creamy melted cheese it's mouthwatering good.

Burger cost £12.50
Bread Street Kitchen Burger Rating 8/10
Bread Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon Square Meal

Straight into Barbecoa. Again my medium rare cooking preference was declined. This time however I was told that all burgers are cooked to the same internal temperature, which didn't fill me with confidence. The burger comes with Gubeen Cheese, Bone Marrow, Tomato & Onion Chutney and is served with chips.

Just over 20 minutes wait for my burger here, which seemed like an eternity sitting on my own drinking water. First impressions here weren't good. It appeared to be no more then a pub chain burger, however picking up the soft seeded bun gave me some confidence. How wrong I was.

The bun, despite the sesame seeds either falling off or getting stuck to my hands was good; a tiny bit sweet but firm with a good bounce to it. Good points out of the way, onto the bad. The beef was horrible: over cooked, tough and with no flavour other than salt. Any beef or other topping flavour that there should have been however would have been destroyed by the worst topping I've had since I started the blog. Sitting on top of the patty, rings of heavily burnt onions. These brought back memories of horrible burnt, crispy onions you would get at 2am coming out of a nightclub. I had thought these were a distant memory, certainly not what I would expect in a £16 burger and chips meal from the world richest chef, or maybe it is.

The chips were a disaster as well, worse than frozen oven cooked chips. Soft on the outside, tasteless on the inside. I didn't finish the portion.

Burger came with chips at £16.
Barbecoa Burger Rating 3/10
Barbecoa on Urbanspoon Square Meal

I was really expecting a closer comparison here between these 2 burgers, but there was no comparison - BSK is in a different league to Barbeccoa. Oliver's hot dog and burger joint, which was announced last month, has to do some serious work to become less laughable than it already is.

I highly recommend Bread Street Kitchen. Have you been to both? Do you agree with me?

For further pictures check out my Flickr page


  1. Great post BA, went through St Pauls on a bus today and was planning on taking a wonder round to see what has popped up recently so thanks for helping me to not make that mistake. Hold on....come to think of it isn't this the same man who has campaigned against burgers and hotdogs, what a hypocrite. So is this a case of if you can't beat them, just create a piss poor attempt to follow. Or is he purposely bringing the standards down so we all revert back to pasta and fish. Boring . Do one Mr Oliver, do one.

  2. Thanks Movember Heros. This isn't new it's been open a few years now. Jamie Olivers' new hot dog and burger joint is going to be opening on Shaftesbury Avenue I believe.

  3. Been to Both. BSK Burger is superb, Burger me gives 9.5, I give 10.The Stone bass ceviche starter was also superb.
    Chips at Barbecoa were amazing, steak was good, beautifully cooked. Desert at Barbecoa was a bit to stodgy American dinner for me. We had some steak from Barbecoa butchers, pretty good, very good price. I believe the person serving us now has The Butchery, he knows his stuff, that's for sure.

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