Goodman, Mayfair

Thursday, 25 March 2010 | |

Note: The pictures in this blog post were taken by my friend Danny Morris with his Bronica SQ-A.

If you've ever read a London-based food blog before, you'll know all about Goodman, with their hamburger in particular garnering a lot of praise from foodies. For those of you who are die-hard Will Eat For Money fans, swearing that you'll never set eyes on another blog, then let me explain a couple of things. Goodman is located on Maddox Street, a side street branching off Regent St and is what some may call a 'steakhouse', whilst others prefer to avoid the Angus trap and dub it a 'steak restaurant'. Whatever you wish to title this Russian-owned, American-inspired restaurant, it promises fantastic, USDA prime quality meat which is dry-aged in a specially built room in house. After attempting to make a reservation the night before and failing to get a table as they were apparently fully booked, we decided we would attempt a walk-in and found, to our surprise, that the restaurant was half-empty. Or half-full, with a 100% hit rate of men in suits. Feeling under-dressed and overly-indie in my customary checkered shirt, we sidled in to a table at the back of the dark-brown/leather heavy restaurant, perusing the a la carte and set lunch menus. The set lunch seemed a good value at £15 for two courses (with a £3 supplement if you wanted steak, so lets just say it was £18 for two courses) but we were here for burgers. Ordering a Meantime Pilsner (£4) from the waiter (who wore the same clothes as the chef that day, how embarrassing) we continued to pretend we were reading the menu before we each placed an order for a medium-rare burger with grilled onions and crispy bacon. The extras here are free of charge, and you have a choice of the aforementioned onions and bacon as well as sautéed mushrooms, a fried egg or some cheddar cheese. My recommendation would be to skip the temptation of ordering a burger with everything, as the meat speaks for itself and you won't want the unnecessary toppings hiding that flavour.

The Goodman burger.

The Goodman burger autopsy shot.

The burger was an unbridled joy, and halfway through I mumbled that the 50% of brioche bun and loosely packed, juicy meat sandwich I had just eaten was probably the best example of the genre I'd ever consumed. My dining partner, who had advanced in his eating, wiped down his nectar-drenched forearms and claimed that, without wanting to reveal anything, the other half was just as good. The 'rabbit food' (lettuce, tomato and [red] onion) were fresh and crunchy, working well with the luscious meat. Condiments included ketchup, mayonnaise and strong, sinus-clearing English mustard, sensibly served on the side. The burger did not need anything added, not even a smearing of Special Sauce, as it was perfectly seasoned and the prime offcuts spoke for themselves.

Goodman chips.

The chips which accompanied the burger were huge, man-sized chips. With a crunchy exterior on about 30% of the chips, I wasn't thrilled by them, but they did retain a good flavour and the pillowy, white potato beneath the often limp skin was a pleasant enough accompaniment to the burger, and a good vehicle for the sauces on the side.

The final bill for two burgers, chips and two beers was £36 (including an already added-on, 'optional' service charge of 12.5%, at £4). We decided to skip dessert, to the surprise of our friendly waiter, who took a look at me and said "REALLY?" when I claimed I was full.
The question which arose when we were finishing up was not a new debate: is a burger meal ever worth £12, or £18 if you figure in the service and a pint of beer, with no starter or dessert? I was firmly in the 'yes' camp, claiming that it was basically a minced up steak, in which you could quite clearly taste the provenance of the meat and it was perhaps the best burger either of us had ever had. My friend couldn't agree, stating it is a burger, the food of the everyman and it simply should not cost £12. For comparison, a burger and some chips from Byron will cost you about £10, and that's just for the basic burger, as the price would slowly increase if you were to include extras such as cheese or bacon. The famed burger from The Hawksmoor goes for £15, or £16.50 if you include some of the incredible smoked streaky bacon. 

Ultimately, Goodman now stands at the top of the London burger pile for me, and actually may surpass the stunners I had in New York City from Shake Shack and Corner Bistro. It's hardly a surprise though, as the burger was the culmination of two weeks of burger geekery in which I read through the story of In-n-Out and George Motz's superior volume Hamburger America, whilst also checking A Hamburger Today religiously and keeping up with the Ain't No Picnic burger blog. Motz uses the term 'whole burger experience' to describe a great burger which is enjoyed in the right setting and I was completely in that mindset eating this burger. 

Goodman on Urbanspoon


M. A. Salha said...

I want that burger.

vikram said...

ohhh In-N-Out! they are amazing

Adam said...

1. I would quite gladly pay £12 for a good burger. Not much more than you'd pay for the crap you get in Nando's, is it.

2. How come no cheese? Flavour or lactose?

Ibzo said...

Exactly Adam. It really isn't that much more than a poor main course from Wagamama or something.
I didn't get cheese because the cheddar would be wrong. Only Kraft singles should be used on burgers, really!

Greedy Diva said...

I LOVE Goodman and their burger, and agree its good value compared to other burgers around.

Adam said...

Went for lunch yesterday. Was okay. 6/10.

hotels in Mayfair said...

Did you make these shot by yourself. I like Goodman but the burgers look even more amazing than I remember them.

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing, pix look like they were taken by a professional camera, but they did not do the burger justice! I can understand the great professional look, but the most important bits in the burger & chips were out of focus!

Mike Lincoln said...

wow that's the real beauty of Mayfair London, nice post.