Flippin’ Good | Burgerac’s Burger Shack At The Royal Oak, Marylebone, London
We’re all for following your dreams (although it may have taken us a while to pluck up the courage to do so.) That’s exactly what blogger Burgerac’s Gavin Lucas has done with his Burger Shack pop-up at the Royal Oak pub in Marylebone.
Like us, Gavin is from the world of journalism and blogging – we had a fair amount in common so it felt only right to try his burgers. In case the name of the blog didn’t make it glaringly obvious, Gavin specialises in burgers and has eaten a fair few in his time so we were very intrigued to see what he’d come up with. Despite mixing in the same burger-filled circles for years, our paths crossing frequently, we had never actually met until now.
The Royal Oak in Marylebone is a little off the beaten track but worth seeking out. It felt a little like a secret burger emporium, with the unmistakable and mouth-watering smell of burgers in the air.
Being designers ourselves (another thing we have in common), we were drawn to the branding for Burger Shack which was art directed by Gavin himself and created by Rob Flowers and Crispin Finn – you may recognise this duo’s work from Byron Hamburgers. Fun and playful – what burgers are all about in our opinion. In fact the whole set-up did remind us a little of Byron back in the day.
There was plenty of craft beer on offer, I went for half a Camden Town Brewery Ink stout and Ade a full-sized Camden Town Brewery IHL, meaning Indian Hells Larger – an IPA resurrected as lager. It was late lunchtime on a Tuesday, drinking a beer in a pub felt somewhat indulgent. But not as indulgent as the table of three next to us who got through at least a couple of bottles of wine.
Gavin had that very day launched his Christmas burger so insisted one of us tried it, we weren’t going to argue. What he’d created was the Yuleshack (£12) – buttermilk-fried chicken breast, smoked streaky bacon, Southern-style sausage gravy (infused with sage and onion), cranberry and port ketchup, lettuce, parsnip and carrot crisps in a seeded brioche bun.
This was our first and only Christmas burger of the year and it was gorgeous, the sauce made it not much of a looker but who cares when it tastes so good. All those essential festive flavours worked together seamlessly, no one ingredient overpowered the other – it certainly beats a regular Christmas dinner in our eyes. Everything is served in those nostalgic plastic red baskets you’d have as a kid (that’s presuming you’re not a millennial).
We also ordered the Amazeballs (£5) – deep-fried balls of pulled pork but they didn’t arrive, they’d already bought us the wrong beer and wrong burger so we didn’t bother chasing them up. Other sides such as Chilli Poppers (£3.50) and Chilli cheese fries (£6.50) sounded mighty tempting too (for Ade anyway).
I went for the signature Burgershack (£10.50) – a 6oz beef patty, Keen’s cheddar (although I skipped this because i don’t like cheese), smoked streaky bacon, chipotle burger sauce in a brioche bun. Gavin proudly sources his meat from Nathan Mills of The Butchery, it certainly was an extremely tasty, succulent and juicy patty. Although if I had to criticise, I’d say it was just a tad too small for the bun. If only more burgers used bacon of this quality, I guess that’s one of the huge up-sides of sourcing from a such a well-respected butcher.
The pressure of making burgers when you’re a burger blogger must be immense but Gavin has done an outstanding job at Burger Shack. So much so that we reckon it won’t be long until the big boys try and get their hands on him.
Find out more here
The Royal Oak, 74-76 York Street
London, Marylebone W1H 1QN
Telephone: 020 7262 1513
Mon-Fri 12pm–3pm, 6pm-9pm
Sat 12pm–4pm, 5pm-10pm
Nearest station: Marylebone (4 mins walk) Baker Street (8 mins walk)
We ate as guests of Burger Shack, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty