Review – Burger Kult
Burger Kult arrived in Brighton late last year, just as the burger trend was reaching dizzy new heights. This wave of meat and bun appreciation certainly shows no signs of slowing down as we enter the New Year, from longstanding establishments in Hove (Burger Off) to the newest of newcomers (Half Man! Half Burger!) there seems to be no stopping the burger craze that’s sweeping the city.
For Brighton and Hove’s pub scene this means big business. Get a reputation for being the best burger in town and watch as your footfall and profits quickly increase. It all makes perfect sense and well played to The Mash Tun for jumping on this bandwagon and inviting two local caterers with a reputation for clever concepts to rejuvenate their pub grub menu.
Welcome to Burger Kult.
I’ve tried my fair share of burgers across the city including Troll’s Pantry, Burger Brothers, MEATLiquor, New Club, HM!HB! and Burger Off to name but a few. Hell, I’ve even chowed down on a Grubbs before now. I don’t consider myself an expert but I like to think I can tell the great from the good and the good from the guff. The Mash Tun/Burger Kult hybrid very much falls into the borderline good category.
The Mash Tun is certainly not my boozer of choice, not since circa 2004 when I used to drink here on the occasional night out. I don’t think I’d even seen it in daylight before and all things considered, it didn’t look too shabby. Sure, it smelt a bit funky and was in need of a good deep clean but as pubs go, Burger Kult could do a whole lot worse.
Burger Kult on the whole doesn’t really have a strong sense of branding, except for the neon orange logo and meat cleaver logo. The menu is a jumble of ideas and concepts, none of which really stand as a main theme. For example burgers are named Plain Jane, Titty Twister or Swine & Roses. Appealing? No, not really.
Sitting in the corner and nursing a lemonade, I ordered the Whiplash – pure chopped steak burger with BBQ glaze, caramelised onions, red pepper and tomato relish, gherkins, American mustard mayo and mounds of classic burger cheese (£7.95). All burgers come with a side of fries.
Served on black trays by bored looking bar staff, the burger came out of the kitchen piping hot. Shame the chips were a little on the cooler side.
Burger Kult informed me that their patties are sourced from a local butcher and they use chuck steak with a 70:30 meat to fat ratio. Aside from those facts, no other information was given. The patties themselves were cooked medium to well done but lacked an impact in the bun. Slightly devoid of flavour, the pattie was under seasoned and ineffective. It seemed that the crucial element of a good burger had been an after thought. Disappointing.
The bun also needs some serious attention as it was slightly dry even though it had been steamed. The bun couldn’t handle the amount of filling the burger had and toppings slid out at all angles. Room for improvement there.
However, Burger Kult redeemed itself with the additional elements such as fresh, crunchy lettuce and a tasty slab of tomato. The cheap, classic burger cheese had melted luxuriously all across the pattie and it was a nice change from cheddar or oak smoked cheese. The BBQ glaze was sweet and added a slightly smokey element to the burger. The red pepper and tomato relish was a cooling, refreshing element to the burger and all in all, the toppings and fillings were a highlight of this meal.
The chips came out cool and only got cooler, making them seem dry and unappealing. Burger Kult serve that horrible, cheap mayonnaise in blue sachets which didn’t add to the meal, just subtracted any quality from it.
The burger overall reminded me of a Whopper from Burger King – it did the job it intended to do but lacked any originality or calibre. It seems like ‘Kult and ‘Tun are out to make a quick buck off a passing food trend. But good luck to them as Burger Kult is the perfect addition to said pub, being able to feed hungry students and those that are three sheets to the wind.