With the return of the UK Burger Battle a few weeks ago, an event which pits two burger teams against each other as diners choose their favourite, it felt like the perfect excuse to eat two burgers for dinner all in the name of democracy (although probably less said about that the better).
On arrival at Spotlight, the venue for the Burger Battle, it was pretty hard to miss the bright red Drinks Bus which greeted us once we claimed up our wristbands. With DJs housed on the top deck and seating for anyone brave enough to clamber to the top, it was a good way to have two bars running and something to make queuing a little more fun. That said, whilst the first UK Burger Battle had a large number of people turn up at once, this time round there was more of a comfortable, but steady flow of people so the queues never felt too bad.
Drawn in by the pretty bright lights of the Le Bun sign, I headed there first to check out their Le Holy Fire burger. Hailing from London, the Le Bun team’s burger was inspired by the French with a seared Scotch beef patty, with slow cooked pulled pinot ox cheek, American cheese, beef jus onions, pickled chilli, onion rings, truffle mayo, bacon salt, dill pickles and gem lettuce served in a brioche bun.
Newcastle based burger bar Fat Hippo‘s burger was a monster with a Northumbrian beef patty, with slow braised baby back pork rib meat, Monterey Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, jalapenos, homemade Hippo smokey BBQ sauce and chilli jam also served in a brioche bun.
For me, I prefer my burgers a little more on the simple side where you can really taste the flavours of the meat alongside the bread, so it was interesting to try burgers which were pretty loaded with extras. I found that despite the name the Le Bun burger had a pleasant amount of heat – or did until I bit right into a chilli on my last bite! The onion rings were a nice touch, light and crispy to give it an extra texture. Fat Hippo’s burger was nice but a little too much for me – the addition of baby back pork, BBQ sauce and chilli jam had a great flavour but meant that the burger patty was a bit lost and for me, that’s what should be the focus of the burger. I’d quite like to try Fat Hippo’s baby back pork as a standalone sandwich, as I think it could really compete with some of the other pulled pork varieties I’ve tried. Purely because I could taste more of the burger elements, I chose Le Bun as my winner.
Sadly I had to leave early, but I hear it was a close call for the winning burger of the evening; the judges (chefs Luke Tipping, Adam Stokes & Aktar Islam) chose Le Bun and by just 13 votes the public picked Fat Hippo.
If, like me, you want an excuse to eat two burgers for dinner on a Sunday then the next round of the UK Burger Battle, entitled Carnivore’s Carnival, has been announce for Sunday 21 June. Tickets can be found here via Design My Night with early bird tickets priced at £20.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary ticket for having helped out at the previous Burger Battle. I wasn’t obliged to write about the event, let alone be nice about anything or anyone and frankly given burgers are like a pseudo-religion to me I wouldn’t lie about them anyway.