"Wow!" i hear you say, "What a tasty looking burger!" Well yes, isn't it! A bunch of cheeky Frenchmen from the successful Big Fernand chain over in France (9 restaurants have opened in the last 3 years. 6 in Paris) have invaded our shores with the intention of showing us RosBifs how burgers should be done.
Recently opened on Percy street in Soho/Fitzrovia the venue has a woody decor downstairs and there's an upstairs seating area too, decorated more like Cath Kidston's living room. Its a lot of fun.
Whole un-pasteurised cheese wheels are shipped in each week from the French countryside. This chap had just delivered these bad boys on foot! Just Kidding! He used his trusty Renault 4.
Now BigFernand offer burgers cooked blue, but I can't help but associate the colour blue with shivering cold. And the thought of a cold hamburger makes the baby Jesus cry. So we went for our standard medium-rare order for the three most exciting looking options on the menu.
Starting with the very handsome looking "Le Big Fernand" (top pic) which contains "Tomme de Savoie" cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley & their own home made cocktail sauce. The beef patty was cooked a perfect med-rare and delivered a powerful beefy flavour. They source their cuts of Ribeye, chuck & bavette from Hg Walter in London, and we are looking at a minimum 20% fat content. Tasty! But what really hits me is the wonderful cohesion the ingredients have with one another. Each element complements the next perfectly. This is a seriously well designed burger, the flavours are wonderful. A bargain at £7.
Next up is the £9 "Le Victor", which contains - sacré bleu! - a Veal patty covered in "Fourme d'Ambert" which has a mild and smooth flavour for blue cheese that matches the delicate veal flavour beautifully. They throw in caremalised onions, coriander and a sweet mayo just to finish off your taste buds. This is a special burger.
Lastly the £9 "Le Bartholomé" is their bacon burger. They use Raclette cheese, Pork bacon, caramelised onions, chives and their bbq sauce (they wouldn't tell me the recipe, but its ace). Its very decent, but not quite as interesting as the previous two offerings.
My only niggle with the BF experience is the presentation of the burger. They arrive wrapped in greaseproof paper, and when unwrapped you see a seeded bread roll with very little peeking out of the sides. But that said, part of what makes Big Fernand burgers Big Fernand burgers is the way the sesame seed buns almost completely encase their contents. After eating one, you'll understand why they do it.
Big Fernand is probably the most unique burger spot London has seen in some years. Its as if they come from a different country! They create burgers unlike everyone else, and they are excellent to boot. Get down there sharpish. The Veal burger MUST be tried.
19 Percy St, Fitzrovia, W1T 1DY