The Urbanest Building, 25-27 Canal Reach, N1C 4DD www.cutandgrindburgers.com
Nick only buys himself one burger a year, so it has to be a good one.
I do eat burgers though, but usually ones I make myself in the summer to put on the BBQ. I call them flame-grilled whoppers, hmm there’s an idea, I wonder if anyone else has thought of that?
Photos of’dirty burgers’ on Instagram- sodden buns jammed full of sloppy ingredients and clenched in greasy paws leave me nauseous. The people eating those monsters must have arteries jammed tighter than the Blackwall Tunnel at rush hour with a broken down lorry.
Restraint is what I look for in a bought burger; best quality meat cooked properly and allowed to shine and not get smothered. And that promise lured me to Cut & Grind Burgers, a burger restaurant out by the building site that is still makes up large parts of Kings Cross.
It’s in the ground floor of one of the finished buildings and is modern, sleek, clean and shiny. Cuts of beef hang in refrigerated viewing cabinets and the mincer, or grinder as our American cousins call it, can be seen when it’s working. Which is once or twice a day
The menu shows all nine beef cuts they employ to make their burger blends, and tick boxes show which ones have been used to make that day’s burgers, usually around four cuts.
You can choose to have full on burgers (Juicy), or the same burgers but with reduced fat (Skinny). If you’re the kind of person who eats more than one burger a week, your doctor might well recommend the latter, with a side order of statins and a gym subscription too.
They use brioche buns here, which I am kind of not in favour of as they are all too often pappy and over-sweet. I like a traditional bun, lightly toasted. The bun that is, not me, I keep a clear head.
But I am told these buns are not full on brioche, so I am happy to try. There is a selection of’fries’ – triple-cooked Belgian style in beef dripping come as standard – also sweet potato, truffled fries and, interestingly, halloumi fries too. In the spirit of research J and I order them all, promising ourselves we won’t eat them all. Yeh, right.
Drinks? Well they have a good beer list here. Their own draught pilsner, along with local beers and some Dutch and Belgian examples. Plenty to experiment with, basically
Of the three styles of burger, Beef Brave, Classic and House, we both go Classic – beef bearnaise, lettuce, patty, cheddar, pickles and sweet onion. This seems the ideal quantity, not too messy and not so large you have to dislocate your jaw to get it in. Just a gentle squishing is all that’s needed.
They’re good in a simple, enjoyable way. No insane mass-flavour bomb that you need to’smash into your mouth’, you can mostly taste the juicy, textured, quality meat and all the other components are supporting players. The bun is perfect.
You can even put the burger down between bites and it doesn’t immediately decompose itself. No need to cram it in quick, it’s a civilised meal.
The Belgian style chips are perfect; crispy, fluffy and impossible to stop eating. We do though in order to try the truffled chips, which are very truffly, if you like that kind of thing and I do. I know it’s only fake truffle but it works.
We scoff the halloumi chips, dressed in balsamic mayo, which are gorgeous, but then I love halloumi. Sweet potato fries never seem to be crisp enough to me, no doubt it’s down to their makeup, but they do make a healthy(ish) alternative. Not really my thing though.
Chef likes to add some unusual things to the menu daily, so we also try a head of broccoli roasted with anchovies. It’s very good actually but not really a partner to patties. I’d happily eat it on its own.
We blew ourselves out on all those fries and so, what with the beer and all, we couldn’t eat any dessert so we didn’t try. Looked good though and the coffee was first class, that double espresso shot got me out of my chair.
Cut & Grind may be coming in a bit late to the burger craze, most of the burger crazies are now obsessing over something else, but it has come in solid and with an air of a business that means to stay and ride out fashions and not cash in.
Room photo from restaurant website