So it’s been a while since I’ve been out to eat anywhere noteworthy especially with Ramadan and wedding after wedding! So I used this weekend as an opportunity to try somewhere I had on my never ending list of places I want to eat in London. I had been Stax a few years back and heard decent things about its new sister burger bar in Old Street, named Boondocks. Now Halal Girl About Town, who writes amazing reviews about all the existing halal food places, had rated the diner 6/10. I highly rate her food opinions, so I was on the fence as to whether this place was actually worth a visit. But the memory of Stax motivated me to give this place a chance. Now you may have realised we have had an explosion of halal burger bars in London in the last few years, so we are now spoilt for choice (which is an amazing position to be in)!
Those of you who have been Stax, may know how small the place is and the proximity of the table and chairs to each other. So the thought of eating the same great food in a larger diner (where I wouldn’t have to leave my daughter’s pram outside) sounded quite appealing. I was in a burger kind of mood too (this is quite rare post pregnancy), so off we went. The sudden downpour of rain almost made us turn back, but the thought of chicken and waffles made us persevere through the adverse weather conditions (untreated suede boots in the rain are NOT a good idea).
It was only a 10 minute walk from Liverpool Street station, but as the weather wasn’t so great, we opted to use a bus which stopped right opposite the diner. On entering, I couldn’t help but notice the American themed trendy decor. The walls were papered with sheet music and the chandeliers and light fitments, were fashioned out of glass coca cola bottles. They even had a cute ‘Wall of Fame and Shame’ with pictures of those who managed to complete or fail the Ultimate Burger Challenge (which reminded me of the American programme Man Vs Food!).
Aside from the quirky interior (which seems to be the trend in most burger bars/diners), there was country music playing in the background and a pretty decent atmosphere. There was a large bar area, so if this is a deal breaker for you, then this establishment is not for you. After hesitating (my indecisiveness in ordering food is annoying even to myself) I opted for the Stax Cheeseburger with American cheese (apparently 28 day dry aged pedigreed Sussex beef) and a French Vanilla Milkshake with Skinny Fries. My husband on the other hand ordered the classic Chicken and Waffles, Sweet Potato Fries and a Mojito.
The order arrived pretty quickly. My cheese burger had a generous helping of gooey melted cheese and fried onions. The burger bun was glossy, soft and beautifully toasted. I had ordered a well done burger (I just cannot accustom myself to eating pink meat) and the patty was moist and flavoursome. I took a few bites but eventually the aftertaste of the flavour of the meat was getting too overwhelming on my palate (clearly my palate is unaccustomed to dry aged meat). If you like beef which is dry aged, you will probably love this burger, as I cannot fault its execution.
Whilst snacking on my perfectly crispy skinny fries, I eyed up my husband’s chicken and waffles. He offered me a bite. BIG mistake. The chicken coating was perfectly crispy, the chicken was moist and soft and the waffle was crispy yet fluffy. The sweetness of the maple syrup drizzled over the savoury chicken was a delight. That single bite was enough to remind me of why I loved Stax so much. He kept offering me more but I reluctantly refused knowing I would probably eat the entire thing. For the rest of the meal I kept glancing at his chicken and waffles whilst feeling serious food envy. Why didn’t I order the chicken and waffles? (I kept berating myself for my poor ordering decision). I sat sipping my creamy French Vanilla Milkshake (which was fabulous by the way) pondering on what could have been a great meal. Whilst munching away through the rest of the Sweet Potato Fries, which were crispy, sweet and quite spicy, I resolved to order the Chicken and Waffles on my next visit.
Overall, the meal was enjoyable and if it wasn’t for my serious food envy and poor food choices, it probably would have been the best burger meal I have had in a while. The total cost of the meal was around £40 including service charge. £20 per person is currently the going rate for the slightly premium burger bars, so the cost was expected. Unfortunately, until next time, this place will remain a 7/10.
Can you recommend any nice halal burger bars in London or have you been here? If so, I would love to hear in the comments below. If you like this post and want to be the first to see more halal food reviews, then subscribe below.