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7 August 2012

The Burger Bulletin: Tommi's Burger Joint Review

A hip but low-key Icelandic burger joint in Marylebone sounds about as unlikely as...well, a hip but grungy Marylebone burger and cocktail joint above a strip joint. Pretty likely then. And so Tommi's Burger Joint enters the increasingly competitive London burger stakes. I often walk home along Marylebone Lane and I've been waiting for weeks for it to open and yesterday it finally did. They are still in soft launch phase, which means no shakes, but 50% off the already fairly reasonably priced (for W1) menu.

Tommi's Burger Joint, Marylebone Lane

After an hour of queuing for Paralympics tickets in the rain this evening, I decided to treat myself to a burger and fries on my way home. I walked past Meat Liquor and winced at the size of the queue, hoping that the masses hadn't yet found about Tommi's. I didn't need to worry as there were several perching spots available at the 25-seat diner, and judging by the attire of the clientele--several suits and no one apart from me in skinny jeans--it's mainly locals who have discovered Tommi's so far. I had high hopes for my burger: pre-launch: the window was filled with glowing reviews of the Reykjavik original, including a position in this list of the 50 best burgers in the world, of which I've only been to Corner Bistro, Shake Shack, Jo'Burger, Meat Wagon. Luckily, it lived up to my expectations.

Yes, this is an Icelandic diner in Marylebone

In many ways, Tommi's is like a much cooler GBK but with better burgers and, well, character. You order at the register and can then either take your food away or perch at one of the tables. I waited less than ten minutes for my food. At £5 for a burger, £5.80 for a cheeseburger and £8.90 for the "offer of the century" (burger, fries and a soda--50 p extra with cheese), the prices aren't bad. Plus, there is no "optional" 12.5% service charge; you can leave a tip in the jar, of course, and I did. As they were doing 50% off today, I decided to go for the offer of the century with cheese, leaving the bacon for another visit. In all the excitement, I forgot to make my usual pedantic requests--a plain cheeseburger, cooked medium rare--and then when I went back to ask for my burger to come plain, I forgot to ask for it medium rare. Fortunately, it came how medium should be: pink and beautifully juicy. The fries were tasty--skinny and not too salty--and there were just about the right amount of them too.

A very good cheeseburger

"Best burger in London" is a difficult competition to judge but Tommi's is definitely in the running. True, you can't have a cocktail, à la Meat Liquor, but you will be able to have a milkshake. I think the takeaway option will prove dangerous too on those nights when I'm feeling too lazy to cook. You should check out Tommi's before the hype and inevitable queues begin--at least at Meat Liquor, you can queue under a shelter, whereas at Tommi's you are left to those harsh Marylebone elements. It's a tough life.

Tommi's Burger Joint. 58 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2NX (Tube: Bond Street). Website. Twitter.

2 comments:

  1. Had the pleasure of trying one of these last month in Iceland for the first time, best Ive ever had! Will be visiting the London joint in the very near future for sure.

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  2. I'm looking forward to visiting the Icelandic original--when I eventually make it out to Iceland. It's nice not to have to go to the US to get a great burger any more.

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