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The Natural Burger Company, Restaurant Review, London NW8

Nowadays with the environment and man’s misuse of the planet high on the political agenda it is easy to understand why this message is filtering through to our restaurants.

Take burgers for example, we have come to accept that mostly they can be of an indifferent and substandard nature.

The Natural Burger Company, a small diner in St John’s Wood is trying to put things right. The meat in their burgers is 100% Aberdeen Angus Scotch beef from cattle that they guarantee are grass reared. This is not only to do with animal welfare but gives the meat enhanced taste and flavour.

The day I visited it was pouring with rain which was a real shame as this is somewhere which would undoubtedly come into its own on a sunny day, with French windows leading out onto tables and a terrace that is perfect for people watching. And believe me, there is some people watching to be done with the many celebs living in the St. John’s Wood area, out and about with their kids. Inside, the décor and furnishings are simple with some agreeable still life paintings on the walls, whilst contemporary background music is played at a level soft enough not to be intrusive.

We began with two of the four starters - deep fried squid served with mayonnaise - these had a crisp exterior with a good but tender bite and moist, succulent, chicken wings with a touch of spice and a very good blue cheese dip. To follow we all went for burgers - as when in Rome - although there are quite a few alternatives if burgers aren’t your thing - various steaks including Argentine rib eye, tuna and lamb are on offer, as well as salads and veggie options. However the burger is king here and in my mind the thing to have - and, in fact, what we all ordered with various styles and fillings. I chose an avocado and bacon burger which was huge - loaded with filling - cooked as I had requested it, the meat juicy and flavoursome. These came garnished with plenty of lettuce, beef tomatoes, red onions and stacks of home made tomato sauce. Side orders of chunky, fat, spot on chips and delicately fried courgette chips - as thin as matchsticks that melted in the mouth. I washed this down with a terrific chocolate milkshake whilst my guests preferred to shared a bottle of Chilean Merlot, which they commented was full bodied and fruity and a fine accompaniment to their burgers.

After quite a lengthy pause we made room for pudding, sharing a selection of all three on offer, a gutsy and very alcoholic tiramisu, a very rich and no doubt calorific American cheesecake and a selection of Italian Bindi ice creams.

I can assure you that it was quite a few hours later till I ate again after my afternoon of pleasant gluttony but the memory still savours of those juicy burgers.

Louise Elgin. May 2007.

A three-course meal for two with wine and water costs around £50.00

The Natural Burger Company
12 Blenheim Terrace
London NW8
Tel: 020 7372-9065

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