On the basis of five reviews I wrote on Google+ Local, I won the London Google City Experts Burger Contest, and was sent four vouchers to use at Tommi's Burger Joint as a result. Wrangling my friends to go for lunch with me proved a bit harder than writing all those reviews. Coordinating our schedules in the middle of the exam cram period (Because it's not so much studying as shoveling as much information as you can inside) was a much bigger challenge than initially expected, but we managed. Eventually.
"I have to be in the library before 1 pm!" - MF
"I can't make it before 11.30 am!" - DS
"AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" - AT
"Ok everyone, be there at 11.45 am, and we will get this done." - Me
Of all the countries in the world for a successful burger franchise to come out from, Iceland doesn't really spring to mind. Tommi's Burger Joint quite deftly defies these foolishly narrow-minded expectations, with outlets thriving across Europe. Their philosophy? Good beef, a properly cooked patty, and prices you can't fault. Simple, but so effective. A group outing I went on to their pop-up store last year was still an occasion remarked upon fondly by all who attended, and I was quite keen to see how they'd transitioned from pop-up to a permanent home. My verdict: Very well indeed. The decor was simple but bang on trend, with a shot of disco flavour and a few tongue-in-cheek witticisms gracing the walls.
The menu is simple - save for a few rotating specials, your options are 1) A (Cheese)Burger 2) A Veggie Burger or 3) A Steak Burger. Our vouchers were for The Offer Of The Century - a Cheeseburger, Fries and Soft Drink combo, so all we had to do was pick out what we wanted to drink from the cooler near the door. Because we got in at 11.45 am as planned, we managed to snag a table that would fit the four of us comfortably, right before the lunch hoards rushed in. Watching all the harassed office people search in vain for seating while we waited for our burgers to arrive was quietly satisfying in a way that possibly hints at a streak of mild sadism. I chose not to think on it, and to grab some ketchup for our fries instead. For all the simplicity of the menu, there's a pretty wide array of sauces you can layer on to trick out your burger. Not that it really needs it though - leaving it untouched is actually best.
The burger is cooked to perfection, meaning it's medium and juicy. The accompanying vegetables are crisp, and the bits of red onion added a crisp spiciness. No issues with the soft bun. I had one gristly bit of tendon in my patty but no one else had the same issue, and the rest of the burger was just fine. Since I ate my first Tommi's burger, new burger places have mushroomed across London, filling the city to saturation point. Some of the newer places I've tried may have been more of a revelation, but a burger at Tommi's still hits all the right spots.