Murger HanHan Takes The Burger Back To Basics
Us Londoners have been spoilt by burgers, from towering stacks of meaty goodness to gimicky sauces and endless cheese choices. But sometimes you have to strip things back to basics to really appreciate them.
The promo material for Murger HanHan positions the Murger as the world's oldest burger, or meat sandwich. The restaurant itself claims to be London's first authentic Xi'an restaurant, and the vast numbers of Asian diners in there on our visit do nothing to make us doubt this.
In keeping with the theme of authenticity, we order two Ice Peaks — a local orange soda from Xi'an — while we mull over the menu. The resulting cans are much like Fanta, albeit fizzier and with a slightly more artificially sweet flavour.
When it comes to food, the menu keeps things simple, and we opt for a pork murger and a spicy beef murger between us. Our waiter suggests we pick a side dish too, and guides us to towards the biangbiang dishes, created from those famously long noodles.
As it turns out, the noodles arrive at our table first, served in huge, steaming bowls. The tomato and egg dish is topped very generously, while —luckily for our tastebuds — the hotter topping on those spring onion and chilli oil noodles is applied with more restraint.
While the noodles are all well and good, those bowls are deep and much slurping (and a fair bit of mess) later, we're ready to move on to what we're here for — those Murgers.
To our British tastebuds, the Murger buns seem a bit dry at first — after all, we're used to drowning everything in sauce and cheese. After mulling it over for a couple of bites though, it all starts to make sense — the nakedness of the dish really allows the meat flavours to sing through in a way that your standard cheeseburger doesn't. Meaty, salty and tender, the pork to bun ratio is spot on.
A word of warning though — you'll want to have plenty of napkins on hand before you tuck in. Your dirty post-pub takeaway burger has nothing on the amount of grease that pours out of a Murger, lingering on your fingers and running down your sleeves.
Weighing in at under £35 for a very filling dinner for two, including (non-alcoholic) drinks, this may well be the best value menu on the pricey streets of Mayfair.
Murger HanHan, 8A Sackville Street, W1S 3DF.
Last Updated 02 July 2018