It was about 8.30 on a cold, Danish, Spring Friday evening and I was hungry. I was up for pulling on my winter woollies and heading out in search of one of my carefully researched Copenhagen burger joints, but everyone else had made themselves cosy on the couch. I had convinced everyone that I had to have a burger and that out of the 3 places I had chosen, we’d find one that would keep everyone happy.
My shortlist consisted of Halifax Burger, Cocks & Cows and Hache Gourmet Burgers. As we looked at the menus for each on our various electronic devices, a new name is thrown into the mix.
Burger & Bun. A rather unassuming name that doesn’t go far in itself to convince you to give them a try.
Legend has it (by legend, I mean my Danish Brother-In-Law) that Burger & Bun was set up by a renowned chef with a Michelin star under his belt and that his work can be enjoyed at a reasonable price.
After a bit of research, I find some proof that this legend is indeed fact and we pour over the menu to see what we think.
The menu is pretty simple; not too big, but still enough variety on there to make choosing difficult.
I toy with the idea of having the most popular burger option, the American; a bacon cheeseburger. But I don’t. I’m drawn to The Australian, two patties made from 170g of freshly minced, organic Danish beef, grilled and joined in a homemade sesame bun by some homemade bbq sauce, fried red onion, homemade mayo, iceberg lettuce, pickled beetroot and a fried egg.
You’ll have noticed that there are quite a few “handmade”s in there, and that doesn’t even include the burgers! Yes, Michelin chef Henrik Yde and his team make pretty much everything from scratch using the finest, organic goods they can find nearby.
I can’t tell you much about the restaurant, other than what I saw online, as my bro-in-law picked it up on his way home. If you look here, on Visit Copenhagen’s website there is a little bit of a write up and a couple of nice pics. It looks like a place that would go down well with diners anywhere on the planet.
What I can tell you about is burgers and sides. The Australian is a combination of flavours that have been tried and tested and proved to be successful in many places. The only way you can screw it up is to use crap ingredients or do a dodgy job on the cooking. What Henrik and his team have done though is they’ve put effort into every aspect of the dish.
But before I get to the burger itself, I want to reflect on the delivery that arrived. A logo emblazoned brown paper bag held in it a selection of cardboard boxes. 1 of which contained my burger (with the corresponding “Australian” sticker). It was delivered to me more like a gift than a takeaway burger. Opening the box, it revealed further wrapping, inside which, was my burger.
It seemed that the packaging acted to reassure me that the effort that had gone into getting this food to me in perfect condition was also symbolic of the attention to detail that had gone into creating the food itself.
The thick, handcut chips, stacked correctly might remind you of a game of Jenga. They were good, but they weren’t up there with any other triple cooked chips I’d ever had. They were soft, had a fluffiness about them and were tasty, without being memorable.
The chocolate milkshake, again homemade from milk and cream from a local herd and dairy, was thick and full of flavour. I had to employ Jedi powers to coax the drink from the cup, through the straw and into my mouth…or maybe it was just that it melted a little with each minute that passed.
The burger was well seasoned. (I think they may have got a bit carried away with the pepper, but that’s just me.) Cooked it perfectly; a deep smokey brown exterior and a pink interior. Again, that’s just my opinion. I removed one of the patties from the burger a) to make it possible to fit into my mouth and b) to get a taste of the meat on its own. Despite removing the patty, it was still a bit of an effort to get this burger into my gob without making a mess.
The peppered meat, the sourness of the pickled beetroot and gherkins, the sweetness of the fried onions, the creaminess of the egg yolk and mayo all combined well in each mouthful along with the sweet and sour combo in the BBQ sauce. I know there was lettuce too, but I honestly don’t remember there being a flavour from it.
Flavour isn’t everything though, it’s probably about 85% of it, but the lettuce brought something to the texture game. That little bit of crunchy resistance was needed in there as the meat was almost melting away. The beetroot was another crunch provider that let you feel like you were biting into something and reminded you to chew. The bun was wonderfully soft and light, but also managed to hold its shape pretty well. When it comes to bakery products, the Danes are up there with the best of them, if they aren’t actually the best already.
You’ll probably laugh at me when I tell you my one and only flaw with this burger. I believe in the laws of physics. I’ve covered the laws of resistance a little already in the section about textures, but this flaw has to do with friction, or the lack thereof.
Confused? Well let me try and explain. If you have a burger, sat on a bun, the burger doesn’t move around too much, unless you’ve over-sauced (if that’s not already a technical term, it bloody well should be!) Now the sauces were fine, but slippage is a big thing for me; it impacts the integrity of the bun and the control that the consumer has over the burger they are eating, or trying to eat.
The next time you have a burger with an egg and a slice of pickled beetroot, I would suggest, nay implore you, not to put the slippery smooth giant beetroot slice on top of the bun and then have the equally slippery fried egg on top of that and if you’re doubling the beef, don’t then put the final patty on the top. Please, for the love of the trees that have to be cut down to make the kitchen roll needed to clean up, just have a think about how the ordering of the tower of ingredients is going to react in the end.
That being said, this was a mighty fine burger and one that a Michelin Starred chef would be proud of. The Australian gets 4.5 out of 5, but I can’t deny that the score may have been bumped up a little if I’d eaten it in the restaurant.