Cattle Grid – Balham

Having moved to within walking distance from Balham, on a hungover Sunday afternoon me and 3 friends were in need of something edible. “Something fried” was my friends only requirement.

I have walked past Cattle Grid several times as it is right by Balham station but have never ventured in. It recently underwent a re-furb and opened up again on the 12th, so we decided to give it a try. This was at about 3.30pm and the place was pretty busy (which I find is always a good sign), there was no space on the ground floor so we were taken upstairs and ended up having the whole top floor to ourselves for the entire meal. Upstairs is nowhere near as pretty as the ground floor, which is lovely and light and has some beautiful tiles on the floor. It slightly seems like they forgot about upstairs! The one nice thing was that we were eye level with all the trains pulling in to Balham station which was nice to watch as we waited.

Being the only people upstairs I was slightly worried we were going to be forgotten by our waitress (a nice blonde Australian lady). It was OK but I’m sure if we were downstairs we would have had a better service. I liked the look of the menu, all on one laminated page and had a “Cow” and “Pig” section. We also were given a bottle of water almost immediately on sitting down which is great. I ordered a beef burger with mature cheddar and bacon, and seeing as how it doesn’t come with chips i ordered a side of them too!

Once again i got overly excited and ate half before taking a picture, and i also apologize for the quite poor picture too! I blame hungover me.

Cattle Grid

So, thoughts. I wasn’t particularly impressed to be honest. The waitress said that the burger is usually cooked medium which was OK for me. It definitely was not medium, it had no pink to it at all! (my friends “rare” burger is what i would probably consider medium) It was actually quite dry and over-cooked, I don’t really understand how though because there was so much juice (fat?) dripping out the end of the burger on each mouthful. I don’t think it particularly tasted of much either which is a shame really. The bacon on top was quite thick and relatively chewy, and the cheese was barely melted in the middle of the burger. The bun was brioche-esque and looked quite dry but thankfully wasn’t, it also didn’t disintegrate which is a positive! There was also a good burger to bun ratio. This chips were skin-on which i always love, and they weren’t too bad! I think they needed an added something though, maybe some sort of seasoning?

All in all, a bit of a let down on the burger front! However, my friends ribs looked awesome so maybe just burgers are not their forte? I’m undecided on if I would go back, maybe to try the ribs. But the more I think about it the less likely I think I will go back. There are just so many other better restaurants out there!

Overall the bill came to £12 for me which included: burger and fries (no drink)

1 Balham Station Road, London, SW12 9SG

Cattle Grid on Urbanspoon


Hache – Shoreditch

Instead of having a romantic night in with the fella, me and my friends decided that we should all have a group valentines day together, as a sort of “screw you” towards the day in question. With several of us being in relationships it felt nice to all come together and just celebrate the friendships that we have with each other. Unfortunately my other half had to work but I substituted him for my good friend and got sufficiently squiffy with her as my “partner”.

As communal lovers of all things burger related, Hache felt like a great option for all of us. We have been several times before and the one in Shoreditch is just round the corner from B@1 with it’s 241 cocktail happy hour (cheeky!). Having booked a table of 10 of us (on valentines day even) we were well accommodated amongst the couples surrounding us. We had a few people arrive late and the waitresses were very understanding. Having worked as a waitress before it really makes you aware of their role and personally I try and make it as easy for them as possible, because I know what it is like to have terrible customers… They took our orders relatively quickly and the drinks arrived promptly.

If you live in Shoreditch, Clapham, Chelsea or Camden then you are lucky enough to have this burger restaurant at your doorstep. Now, the selection in Hache is bavarian hachepretty vast for a burger restaurant and I have to say I have tried a large amount of them. Particular highlights are the Louisiana (topped with peanut butter – definitely a particular taste), the Lamb burger (with mint sauce and redcurrant jelly). However I decided to go for the Bavarian as i am a sucker for anything cheese based, and this comes with a particularly large slab of Bavarian cheese on top. You can order how you like it cooked as well as what bun you would like – Ciabatta or Brioche. I chose medium rare and brioche. I also ordered a side of sweet potato fries as I have a slight addiction to them and Haches are pretty damn tasty.

I got over excited when the food arrived and quickly ate a large amount before I remembered to take a photograph, but here is the burger in all its glory. It comes with a topping of caramelised onions too which really complemented the cheese and wasn’t too sweet so it wasn’t all you could taste. The cheese was Lovely and smoky and melty and yummy. The meat was cooked really well, medium rare how I ordered it (the picture totally doesn’t do it justice) and the bun was lovely and squidgy. All in all a great mouthful of burger.

Overall the bill came to about £23.50 for me which included: burger, fries and I shared 2 bottles of wine between three of us.

You don’t need a best friend, you need great friends. The quote that sums up the night.

147-149 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3QE

Hache Shoreditch on Urbanspoon