Burgo Bar 3.8/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 4/5
NOTE: ALL MEAT IS HALAL. NO ALCOHOL IS SERVED ON THE PREMISES.
After a week of breaking our fast at home, ShakerFries and I decided to venture out for a Friday night Iftar. We had been relatively healthy during Ramadan so far, bar the odd ‘standard fried samosa starter’, and so now fancied something which would satisfy our fast food cravings.
After checking all our favourite halal blog pages for Iftar ideas, we created a short list. Unfortunately, we had left booking a table too late, as most of our chosen restaurants were either fully booked, or much to my annoyance, couldn’t provide a sisters prayer facility. Enter my side note rant.
Why on earth would you put on an Iftar menu during Ramadan and NOT provide a prayer space? Am I wrong in assuming that the majority of muslims would want to pray after an 18 hour fast? It doesn’t help when the staff point out that ‘there’s a masjid down the road’, because those masjids don’t accomodate women. Are ‘brothers’ the only muslims who are permitted to break their fast outside of their homes, purely because it’s more convenient for them? I can’t pretend it dosen’t annoy me, especially living in London. This never happened in Birmingham where I regularly had Iftar dinners in Baders, La favorita, and Tru Burger, and was always offered a space to pray. Anyway, exit rant.
Finally, we were left with Burgo Bar, a fairly new burger joint on Ilford Lane. We reluctantly looked at each other. Burgo Bar was at the bottom of our list as neither of us was especially keen on the thought of consuming yet another gourmet burger. On the plus side, Burgo Bar was just around the corner from our house, and they offered a Ramadan Menu where you paid £9.99 for a three-course meal. You can’t go wrong really. By this point we were so deflated (and hungry) that we called to check if they had a prayer space. They kindly said they could offer us a corner and a prayer mat, so we proceeded to book a table for 2!
At 8.30pm we turned up to an empty restaurant and were shown to our table, which was prepped with dates and rose water. The restaurant was clean and modern, with a classic ‘American Diner’ feel. Much to our confusion, we were handed the normal extended menu, and then had to request the Ramadan menu. This highlighted that if you didn’t realise there was an offer on, you probably would have missed this amazing deal.
ShakerFries went for the spicy wings and classic beef burger with extra turkey rashers, whereas I opted for the classic hot dog (which I had been dreaming about for days), and the cheesy garlic bread. Both mains were also served with skin on fries which was an added bonus. For dessert we both opted for the Burgo Falooda.
The restaurant filled up fairly quickly, and was heaving by Iftar time, with people being turned away at the door. Our food arrived promptly, and after breaking our fast and completing our salah in the corner of the restaurant, ShakerFries and I were ready to tuck in!
ShakerFries’s spicy wings were cold, which was a shame as they were actually really tasty. The skin on fries, in my opinion, were above average. Tasty, peppery, and not too dry, they were perfect. But my hot dog.. now that hit the craving spot. Succulent beef sausage encased in a soft fluffy hot dog bun, topped in juicy fried onions, ketchup, and beautifully tangy French mustard. I’m salivating right now thinking back at it. It was JUST what I needed. Not too filling, and not too meaty.
That being said, ShakerFries’s burger was both meaty and filling, yet equally as satisfying. Cooked to a surprisingly perfect medium, the burger was tasty and tender, making it excellent value for money. My only criticism is that they forgot the turkey rashers and even when we requested them they never came. But you could tell they were working incredibly hard to get everyone’s food served on time, and were doing a great job despite being a little understaffed.
Getting our bill was a bit of a task in itself, so we ended up grabbing our sweet, creamy falooda to go, and going up to the till to pay.
We both walked out feeling a tad bit guilty at assuming that we would be disappointed with the food. That being said, it’s better to expect less and have a restaurant overdeliver than the other way around! The food was quite decent, although nothing out of the ordinary. The service was a bit slow, but I think they did well under the circumstances. Overall, the food exceeded my expectations and was excellent value for money. I will definitely be visiting again soon to sample something from their extended menu, especially since Burgo Bar is right on our doorstep. I know there have been mixed reviews on Burgo Bar, but I would definitely recommend giving it a try on a day when you’re feeling a bit more spontaneous!