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Friday, 17 February 2012

Burgher Burger

If you want a ticket you need to be quick. Like, these tickets sell out in under eight minutes, quick. So you can imagine how pleased I was to be invited to the first Burgher Burger event with Chef Neil Forbes, especially as our own kitchen is non existant right now.

This event also marks an new milestone for the pop up dining scene in Edinburgh which I don't really need to say, we're passionate about and, although it sounds gushing, is something we really wished for when we first established Charlie and Evelyn's Table. Now, curious diners are really embracing the concept with a great range of over 12 supper clubs and pop ups to choose from. The diners we sat with at Burgher Burger were a brilliant example of an outgoing, friendly couple, new to Edinburgh and looking for a unique way to discover the city, meet new people and have satisfied bellies! They'd so far tried seven of the pop ups on offer and were still keen for more.

Anyway, back to Burgher Burger. I'd listened and salivated while listening to Neil and Aoife, who is behind the concept, on BBC Scotland's Kitchen Cafe and was excited to get chance to join other eager diners at a venue I'd never visited and to eat a pro chef's ultimate burger menu. I felt I was someway to understanding the challenge he faced as a supper club hostess, working in a small kitchen, to produce the best food we can. I really wondered what it would be like for Neil and his team, out of his usual kitchen, with equipment that probably wasn't fully functioning, no hot pass and a new menu, a far cry from his usual restaurant, but still with the same quality standards. [If you're reading Neil, please leave us a comment and let us know how it was for you.]

We arrived to a buzzing cafe environment, the lighting was low, intimate even, the chatter was loud, the music lively and the retro tables set to be brought alive with something they'd never seen before. We were ready.

Innis and Gunn were in charge of drinks and they were seriously free flowing. The lighter beers, raspberry and Blonde at the start of the meal were my favourite but it would have been rude not to try the Original and Rum cask bottles on offer. Burger eating is thristy work after all.

Slick service was all down to the waiting staff moving quickly and getting the food on the tables and that they did.

The seafood cocktail starter was a real highlight for me. The fresh prawn and crab combination, a simple take on the classic with the added discovery of a mussel or two and some salad crunch. Delicious.

And then, the mighty burger with all the sides you might expect and more condiments than you could wish for (including jalapenos). Mmmmmm.

And finally, as if you hadn't had enough, a very gooey brownie and ice cream.

The combination of the concept, quirky venue, the carefully created atmosphere, the challenge the chef faced and quality of food and beers on offer was winning.

There is a common misconception that because we are such avid eaters and we run a supper club that we feast every night on gourmet menus and only go to "fine dining" restaurants. It's false. The truth is we like things that taste good. Comfort foods like scrambled eggs, a quality bacon sandwich, fresh cauliflower cheese, and of course burgers are all common place and highly ranked in our home but we always use the best ingredients we can get out hands on and we felt that this ethos was something Neil worked to as he put his mind to burgers. As for fine dining, we love to do that when we can but we also enjoy eating in smaller, simpler venues and discovering new ways to eat out in Edinburgh. At the rate the pop up/supper club scene is currently growing, we need to get eating to keep up.

And, if you can't wait until the next tickets are available or you missed out, keep trying but so you don't go hungry, we'd really recommend Friday Night's at Moo Cafe, it's every Friday (not quite as exciting) to satisfy your meantime need for burgers in the Burgher, until you get a ticket for the real deal that is.


  1. Thanks for the great write up! Aoife

  2. Burger-tastic! Neil really enjoyed it - so much so, he wants to do another one ;)


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