It’s hard to criticise a restaurant that just serves burgers. Though the cynical side of me desperately wants to reject yet another addition to our burger obsessed city streets, my contrarianism melts away as I clamp my jaws around one of those meaty tastes of heaven. Especially when they are this good.
The burgers at Psychic Burger are PROPER burgers (sue me Byron); this means that the patty is cooked only to the point that it stops moving, the cheese and tomatoes actually taste of something and the gherkins add something other than the morbid impression that someone has just put a few slices of toad in your brioche bun. The Psychic sauce is tangy and balances the burger’s overall ‘umami-ness’.
Elsewhere on the menu, the BBQ Beans were a surprise triumph with the perfect balance of saltiness and sweetness, and bonus bacon. With hindsight, my side of chilli cheese fries needed to be attacked early on in the proceedings; I left mine too late, the cheese had cooled and the fries had become a little soggy under a healthy spread of tasty chilli con carne. It should be noted that describing this dish as a side represents a terrifying nod towards a future of unrelenting gluttony. Post-burger I could barely contemplate half of it. The final dish laid out in front of us (our kind leader, Nicola, joined me in this heart-stopping adventure) was a perfectly crunchy and creamy coleslaw which did what it had to do – i.e. create the illusion that there was something healthy about this meal.
Having washed this all down with a tasty London Fields beer, I started to come to terms with the fact that it was my duty to try dessert. The sacrifices I make! The choice was chocolate cake or blueberry cheesecake. I chose the cheesecake, and it hit the spot but I would have liked a few more blueberries. I accompanied the cheesecake with a rum and ginger beer-based cocktail called ‘Dark & Stormy’ which was very good; the rum came through perfectly without unbalancing the overall flavour.
Thanks to the burgers new-found ubiquitousness on our city streets, I think more diners tend to take into consideration other factors in coming up with their favourite burger joints. Psychic Burger is based on the ground floor of Dalston nightspot ‘Birthdays’ which has gone with the classic “diner” look. It has an open front and large windows which encourages a sense of relaxation and it has a comfortingly simple and rustic decor. It could be a little better lit, but with the option of al fresco dining there should be a spot to suit all tastes. The service was prompt without being pushy.
Frankly, Birthday’s have got it absolutely nailed. Psychic Burger is perfect pre-or-post night out food, served quickly and at affordable prices (£7.50 for the eponymous Psychic burger sans bacon). Troops of hipsters, hung over from raving away the previous night to an Atoms For Peace DJ set downstairs, no longer have to use their limited hungover cognitive powers to come up with where to eat the next day. Psychic Burger, with the customary Veggie burger in tow has all hungover bases covered. All Birthdays needs now is a vintage clothing sale and bike mechanic and they’ll be laughing – ironically, of course.
What was the last thing that made you stop and stare?
“I’ve lost my glasses, so life is a blur…”
Head Chef of White Rabbit & Psychic Burger