I admit it! I’ve become somewhat of a burger snob. Before experiencing the Abu Dhabi (AD) food scene, I was content to eat the popular American meal trinity of burger, fries and a soft drink at any of the standard fast food restaurants. You know the ones I’m talking about. This was until a friend introduced me to the gourmet burger!
Since that first bite, I feel like I’ve been on a quest to find the best burger around town. As such, I’ve come across quite a few in the past couple years. Most have been good and lived up to the reviews (word of mouth or otherwise). A few of them have come with a somewhat hefty price tag that, I believe, is more a reflection of the popularity of the establishment rather than the quality of the sandwich.
The other day I came across a new burger in town. It’s being offered by the recently established Leopold’s of London located in Sun Tower on Reem Island. Their Black Angus Burger is poised to be a strong contender on the AD gourmet burger scene. The amply portioned beef patty is lightly seasoned allowing the flavour of the meat to take center stage yet not overpower the other elements of the sandwich. For example, the buttery sweetness of the toasted brioche (that acts as the carrier) is not lost on the palate. In fact, it perfectly complements the earthiness of the beef and accentuates the smoked, salty goodness of the veal bacon. Still, the patty is the star of the show and I suggest ordering it ‘medium’ as, in my opinion, this retains the tenderness and juiciness.
Much thought and care is given, not only to each component of the dish, but also to how they are brought together in harmony. The burger is served open-faced with a delicately dressed coleslaw nestled on top of the bun. On the side are thin slivers of pickled cucumbers and small pots of aioli and homemade barbecue sauce. What I like about this semi-deconstructed presentation is that it gives the diner more control of how much (or how little) of the condiments and “fixings” are to be added. It also prevents having the limp vegetables and soggy bun that often accompany hamburgers that are served fully assembled. Who would have that this humble American staple could be elevated to such culinary heights?
Of course, the meal would not be complete without fries. The ones that come with the burger are thick-cut and fried to golden perfection. A drink has to be ordered separately, but even so, you will spend under AED 100 for the entire meal. That makes this burger a real contender on the AD burger scene as it offers quality food at a good price.
If you’re ever on Reem Island, make your way to the Boutik Mall and try out this new eatery, relax on comfy sofa seats inside or outside (you decide) and sample their absolutely delectable Black Angus Burger!
By Richie Chin