An Honest Burger is distinctive. The beef is plump and medium rare, junk-free and in a glazed bun; the crisp hand-cut, skin-on chips glisten with rosemary-flecked salt crystals. As fast food goes, it’s in keeping with the utility-luxe interior.
The original Honest Burgers was an expression of the ad hoc, pop-up feel of Brixton Village Market, with its artisan shop and vibrant café scene.
This second, Soho branch lacks that ambience, but some things are the same: the flow-chart menu (more appealing than it sounds), the white enamel dishes and the tobacco-tinned receipts. The SW9 version is full of light, with its diners leaning back in their chairs to watch the passers-by, but in Soho – a few outdoor tables apart – it’s that little bit gloomier and less bohemian.
Though the beef burgers are the main attraction here - 35 day dry-aged British chuck steak from Ginger Pig topped with the likes of subtly pickled cucumbers, robust cheddar, brittle smoked bacon or sweet red onion relish - the other options are not to be knocked.
The crisp cauliflower, sweetcorn and shallot fritter burger, drizzled with coriander and cucumber yoghurt dressing, make a light, but satisfying veggie option, while the chicken burgers are ample and juicy.
Thanks to its prime Soho location, Honest Burgers number two may well be just as popular as the first one, but as the company continues to expand (as no doubt it will), we wonder just how honestly they’ll stick to the formula of the Brixton Village Market original.