Earlier this week, thanks to a friend at work asking me for some burger recommendations, I got fixated on going out for a night of burgers and beer. So on a bit of an impulse I rounded up five other burger-hungry friends from the office and we jumped on the 134 to Kentish Town to visit the Lucky Chip residency at The Grafton pub.
There’s not much to say about Lucky Chip that hasn’t been said by plenty of others before, myself included. Their burgers remain among London’s best and they’re firmly established at Netil Market, the Sebright Arms and now at the Grafton. The Grafton itself is a lovely bar with the upstairs space that hosts Lucky Chip lovely and bright thanks to plenty of large windows.
Despite having been to Lucky Chip more times than I count, there’s much on their menu I’ve still to try so I was hoping my appetite would hold up so I could attempt to squeeze in a few little extras on this trip. But first of course was the question of burgers. We ordered quite a few Kevin Bacon’s while I opted for the always reliable Royale with cheese. I so wanted to try the Bill Murray special with the soft shell crab, but me and crab just don’t get on, so I didn’t want to run the risk!
Service at the Grafton is remarkably fast (especially compared to Netil Market where you can often have to wait a while for your burger) and barely 10 minutes after ordering our masses of food arrived at the table. My Royale with cheese was exactly what I needed – juicy, perfectly cooked patty, with American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, tomato, lettuce, pickles and their oh so special sauce! Usually if I see a burger topped with a thick slice of tomato like this one I’d run a mile (they’re usually terrible tomatoes, watery and tasteless), but somehow Lucky Chip make it work.
But this visit was not just about the burger, we also ordered a few plates of chilli cheese fries, croquettes, and chicken wings. While the cheese and ham croquettes were nice and crisp and gooey in the middle they weren’t to my liking and I couldn’t really taste the ham, but everyone else loved them. But on the other hand I loved the chicken wings and the chilli fries.
The chicken wings were slathered in a sticky, sweet barbecue sauce that was surprisingly not spicy at all. I’d been expecting something that delivered a punch of heat, but these were a very nice surprise, nice and crispy with enough of the sauce to create a mess while eating them.
And what to say of the chilli cheese fries except make a drooling sound! This was so good, a mix of pork and beef it packed in the flavour. Sadly having almost finished the burger before I really started on the fries, the chilli pretty much defeated me and some of it had to be left.
The last thing to mention is the drinks. The Lucky Chip part of the Grafton is also located with their upstairs cocktail bar, and having recently become a little obsessed with Old Fashioneds I had to give theirs a try. Their version is a Gingerbread Old Fashioned, using I assume a gingerbread flavoured sugar syrup. Now if you like your drinks sweet then you’ll probably love this, but sadly for me it was just far too sweet, and the gingerbread flavour was so strong I couldn’t even taste the whiskey. Guess I’ll just stick to the Camden Brewery stuff in the future.
But what of my friend who’d asked for the recommendation in the first place and who had inspired this visit to Lucky Chip? Well half way through her burger I asked her what she thought and in between bites she replied that she was in a world of happiness! Think that counts as a success!