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Restaurant Review: Goodman in Mayfair

London seems to go through food phases and now is definitely the time of the infantile.  It is burgers and pizzas.  And why not?  When done well they are some of the purest and best dishes one can eat.  But then, inevitably and like a spoiler comes the question; which is the best one?  Where can you get the best burger, the crispiest pizza?  It becomes infectious and a game of one up manship that unfortunately magazines like Time Out have become in thrall to.  Each issue is now Top Ten “blah” and in being so loses a certain depth and appreciation of the variety on offer.

Anyway the answer to what is the best burger and best pizza is pretty simple. For the first Hawksmoor (here) and for the second nothing in London (here).  But let’s move past that, let’s go past that listing obsession and focus on what Goodman can offer.

When Goodman first opened it got a raft of well, thanks, that’s pricey and nice but… reviews.  Then they entered the burger warfare game and those of limited means (bloggers) descended on it to enjoy a bit of entry level high dining.  And they were right to do so.  The Russian owed restaurant has a nice American dark wood booth feel to it.  It feels like a place to eat meat and smoke cigars.

Their burgers are good untroubled burgers (with a brioche bun).  The meat is one type, ground and seasoned.  My preferences on burgers are clear, I like the troubled and disturbed darkness that comes from different cuts of meat thrown together where they flavour off each other to create something more.  This is not that but it is still fine one taste stuff.

The brioche bun was something I expected to have more difficulties with.  I have always been a bit of traditionalist on the bun front.  Thankfully, it didn’t attempt to be much more than a bun.  It didn’t do what some burger joints do and pack itself so full that you need to cantilever your mouth to get it in or to forgo meals for a day before so you don’t fill up on bread alone.  It was a container for the meat. 

The meal itself was plain easy.  The staff were forward, friendly and efficient. The Argentinian red Malbec the perfect accompaniment to dripping blood burgers.  The price cheap for the location and quality (£13).  They also do some very affordable set menus where you can get some USDA steak.  It is somewhere I would happily opportunistically revisit as it is just off the hellhole of Oxford Street but probably wouldn’t travel to (but that is because Hawksmoor is 10 minutes walk from my flat).

Price – £12 for the burger but more with the wine

PS I am probably the last blogger in London to visit but I really dislike Oxford Street. I  can’t really find any bloggers who dislike Goodman.  The most interesting post I have read is probably Mathilde’s here as it throws in some history on burgers.

Goodman on Urbanspoon

7 Comments

  1. London Chow

    Dripping blood burgers… nothing beats a medium rare burger done really well (erm, you know what I mean). You just have to convince yourself that the juice that runs down the edges of your mouth isn't really organic fluid.

    I'm currently rather satisfied with my local Bryon burger (I'm easily satisfied). Will take a trip down to Oxford street for Goodman. I know Wife will be pleased. It's her territory over there.

  2. Dave

    You are not the only one to dislike Oxford St. For me it is a hell hole, and could be the reason why I have not eaten at many places around it.
    But may have to take a deep breath and go eat at Goodman.

    I'm not really a follower of trends, but I also have been eating a lot of pizza and burgers recently. But I'm putting that down to the fact that I just missed them. Also eating a lot of curries recently. 8 months in Latin America does that to you.

  3. Tom

    London Chow – just responding to your comment is actually making me seriously want a burger… I have this week off work and think it might be time for a Bar Boulud truffle and other stuff burger as a treat. You are right, there really is often nothing better than a burger.

    I went to Byron's new burger place in Islington the other day and was, as ever, impressed. Considering it is a franchise it does pretty awesome, repeatable, good service, low prices stuff. Definitely a favourite.

    Dave – the only reason I have historically been to a few places in the area is because I used to work down by St James park. I still miss my breakfasts at The Wolseley…

    1 month in and around Bolivia made me do a desperate trip to Argentina for some proper meat. Oh god, I could spend 8 months there.

  4. The Grubworm

    I went to Goodman, had the burger and it was a definitely "it's very nice but…" kind of place. I might revisit if I were in the area, and in the mood, but then again, there is a Byron on Soho. And if I'm honest, I enjoy the whole burger eating experience there more, it just kind of fits better.

    I thought the steak in Goodman was very good, but not sure I'd want to shell out quite that much, particularly now I hear that Hawksmoor's opening a sister branch in the West End. For my money, they do a better steak. But that probably comes down to my preference for grass-fed English and Scotch steak over grain fed USDA meat.

  5. Tom

    I definitely agree with you on when they open Hawksmoor I will be going straight there instead.

    About to try Bar Boulud as all this posting about burgers has made me hungry. Very curious to see if that develops anything.

  6. Lizzie

    I haven't been to Goodman and I work just round the corner. It's close minded of me, but I keep going back to Hawksmoor. I know what I'm getting and I love it.

  7. Tom

    Not really, you also can guess what you will get at Goodman without going and if Hawksmoor is doable, it is probably the better choice… And they will be opening their new branch near you soon which will give you even more excuses..

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