As a bearded and tattooed gentleman, Urban Taphouse is the kind of place that I could wander into and be lost amongst a camouflage backdrop of facial haired, inked up, craft beer drinking brothers. The graffiti on the walls, the array of microbrewery labelled bottles, hand written taps, retro arcade machine, bare brick and wood makes for a hipsters paradise. If you add a pretty impressive sounding burger menu into the mix, then you can see why this place is so popular. Thursday nights are a bit special at Urban Taphouse.
Thursday is the night that a brand new burger is unveiled, in the flesh if you will. I’d booked the table to coincide with a visit from a work colleague from Scotland, as I had planned to introduce him to some of Cardiff’s finest burger and beer establishments. It also happened to be my first time eating here, it hadn’t been my first attempt at it, but it was the first successful attempt in 3.
I picked the special. I’d been struggling to decide before the special had even been announced on the Wednesday on Twitter (follow @urbantaphouse and @tinychefrebel), as soon as I saw the burger, I was pretty sure I wanted it, but would the rest pick others and let me have the Hoisin Duck Burger with grilled pepper and spring onion. I totally lucked out. This delightful burger would be mine.
A little bit of insight into my brain…..when I go to an All You Can Eat buffet place, I struggle to get past the starters, unless, like the clever people at FeD, you give me a “passport” and make me try everything. So a burger that tastes like my favourite oriental starter, well, that makes it a bit of a no brainer.
The burger arrived in a toasted brioche bun, in my opinion it was a bit over toasted, it had some fresh lettuce and tomato and then the patty….the juicy, flavoursome, perfectly cooked, handmade duck burger with the wonderfully crunchy, sweet, grilled vegetables, drizzled with a sweet and savoury hoisin sauce. The thing about burgers on the specials board, is that when you find one that is truly a work of art, which you know could be a top seller every day of the week, and possibly even your “usual”, well, it can’t be, because it may never be on sale again.
What you know will always be on sale are the selection of sides on the menu. I opted for the beer battered gherkins and convinced a fellow Super Burger Bro to trade some onion rings in a practise known locally as “half and half”, in other places it may be referred to as swapsies, one for one or sharing. The sides were brilliant, the batter was thick with a fluffy interior and crunchy exterior. The gherkins were like molten lava inside; damn my impatience!!! Once I let them cool down a bit, what I mean is that I ate some chips and then ate one of the gargantuan onion rings that arrived in batches of 4. Now, ordinarily, four onion rings would be a pitiful portion to deliver to a table, but not these ones, they were like the rings of Saturn, sprinkled with onion flavour, battered and fried. The fries were skin on skinny fries. The longer the fries, the softer they were. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, the best bit about the fries though were the tiny little scraps that were in there. It was like the stuff you get at the bottom of a packet of McCoys Ready Salted crisps. How good does that sound? The food was accompanied by a bottle of a Tiny Rebel Brewery’s (@tinyrebelbrewco) Dirty Stop Out Stout. I’ll leave you with what it said on the bottle as all you’ll get from me is “yeah, it was a good drink.” The scores for Urban Taphouses special Thursday burger, The Duck, is 4.25 out of 5. Good job chef!
Other burgers we’ve eaten at Urban Taphouse –