As The Hitherto Humble Burger Begins to Make Headline News

We continue our search for Chiswick's finest at Sam's Brasserie

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Sam's Bar & Brasserie

11 Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick W4 4PH
Tel. 020 8987 0555

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I discovered on a recent visit to Dublin that the Irish are having something of a revolution in their burger market. Gone are the days when Supermacs ruled the grill. The humble patty has forged a path to up-market menus and established gourmet burger bars albeit with prices that would turn the most ardent meat eater into a vegetarian!

I then received an email notifying me that Sam’s Brasserie had introduced a burger to their bar menu. Not a personal email I would like to add – I am on their mailing list – but nevertheless I took it as an invitation. Well how could I not considering a) my fixation with sourcing the best burger in Chiswick and b) Sam Harrison informing that his burger was ready to launch “after much trialing and tasting”?

If that wasn't enough temptation, on my return to Chiswick I read that Helen Mirren celebrated her Oscar win not with the champagne and caviar befitting her Best Actress status – but a humble burger!

Even pioneering Prince Charles’ comments this week about banning McDonalds will probably make little impact on the market considering the amount of creative burgers combinations making appearances on some of the most stylish menus in town.

So after such great build up, I commandeered the company of a friend who can be relied on for great chat and honest opinion and set off to Barley Mow Passage.

It’s no secret that I am a great fan of Sam’s and believe he deserves all the acclaimed he has received since opening a mere 18 months ago. Nevertheless I take my burger quest seriously so I was making no allowances.

However, as expected, Sam’s delivered. A juicy, perfectly cooked to order burger smothered in cheese and accompanied by a small salad (with gherkins), thinly cut fries and a fresh tomato relish – in fact exactly like the tempting photo (right) that came with the email!

At £9.50 the burgers aren’t the cheapest but are of a high standard, satisfying, and, in the case of my lunch companion, proved the perfect antidote to a hangover.

Washed down with a carafe of house Merlot (£9.00), our lunch came to £31.50 (including a £3.50 service charge).

According to the Standard's Charles Campion, “during 2006 burgers represented a pretty chunky £2.5 billion in the UK food market” so their escalating addition to the hippest menus in Chiswick come as little surprise.

Of course it does also mean that my hunt for the best burger in town is far from over.

Emma Brophy

March 6, 2007