The Hallyu (Korean wave) that swept many cities the past years not only brought about the fame of Korean culture, K-dramas, and K-pop, it brought along the popularity of Korean cuisine, too. We used to just refer to their grilled meat as Korean barbecue, which when viewed might be like your normal barbecue day anywhere. But no, gui (grilled dish)/ Korean barbecue includes thinly sliced meat (beef in particular) that has been marinated in a sweet-savory sauce.
My love for Vietnamese food has grown so much through the years, there’s not a week that I don’t eat a Gỏi cuốn (summer roll), Chả giò or Nem rán (fried spring roll), or a simple mango salad of their specialty. I’ve learned to cook some of the easier dishes but whenever I feel like indulging in Phở, Bun Nem Ran, or just anything with shrimp and coriander, I go to Chap In, an eat-all-you-can Vietnamese restaurant near Vienna’s Westbahnhof.
It’s supposed to be a sunny spring afternoon, but as April would have it…there was some rain, gray skies and quite cold winds for this time of the year. It does happen often in April, dubbed as the crazy-weather month that does what it likes in this part of Europe. The sky would have been perfect in blue, as a backdrop for the tulips that I, unfortunately, didn’t see much this season.
“Just because I can’t sing, doesn’t mean I won’t sing.” – My mantra since I have friends who can really belt out high notes and can manage to cover new hits without so much a sweat. Now, double that singing gathering with good food and I will really give it my all. While the Philippines, Japan, and Korea among other Asian nations will have karaoke bars in literally every street possible, Vienna has very few.
We’ve been often dining at Burgerista, but I have totally forgotten to write/feature it. School off started so we now have some time to spend outside, also on the bed if they want to. ^_^ Since it’s a Saturday, we went out for a quick shopping trip to the mall. The kids only had bread after waking up later than usual so we went straight to Burgerista to have a small meal. (Dad is somewhere up north, that’s why he couldn’t be with us).
Burgerista’s drink-all-you-can feature is an effective attraction for the kids to choose it over any other food establishment. While they have in-house lemonades, iced teas, there’s also a selection of non-alcoholic beverages. We always tend to get lemon iced tea.
Love at First Bite
Some may argue that “it’s just a burger”, but a good burger is one that has juicy patties. Burgerista’s beef patties are not juicy, they’re cooked right and tender. Burgerista offers add-ons for a price and also reductions to their burgers. Their lowcarb burger essentially substitutes burger buns with lettuce. While there are still the usual ingredients with carbohydrates, you can opt to remove them.
Being Creative Not Just with Burgers
Burgerista offers notepads and colored pencils,so one can doodle while waiting for food to be served. These are then displayed on their corkboards, sometimes on their instagram account as well.
Kids had better burgers than these cheeseburgers for kids. The sizes for each burger is rather small even for kids. Not ideal if you are really hungry and there are 3 of you sharing. But since it was an after snack snack, there were no complaints. I guess they really just wanted the all-you-can-drink option. ^_^
Choosing Dips and Sauces
Burgerista’s table are loaded with sauces and dips you can choose from. For kids who like potatoes a lot, they have a wide range to pick one that matches your mood fort he day. Some of their favourites are steak fries and apple barbecue.
Here Comes Freshness
Burgerista cooks their burgers in the open, you can literally watch as the cook your burger patty. And because it’s a build-your-burger joint, you can easily pick out what to put in. For additional cents, you can include bacon slices and more cheese, and remove the tomatoes, if like me, you don’t want them in burgers. ^_^
You get a pager when you order, it will vibrate when your order as ready as with other restaurant pager systems.
Another interesting offering from Burgerista is the lowcarb option for all burgers. Instead of the usual burger buns, you can opt to have your burger in lettuce instead. I usually have this – with bacon, cheese, mayonaise, and no ketchup/tomatoes. Yeah, it seems boring to some, but it works for me. And the potatoes go to the kids’ trays. 😀
Never thought I’d be back in London this soon; just after 5 months and with a special reason too. That’s meeting up with a dear friend I haven’t seen for years. B is a foodie, despite it not showing in her very small frame. She’s introduced me to the sinful (well, that was how it was identified back in the days) Sisig, a Filipino dish made from parts of pig head cooked in three phases: boiling, broiling, and grilling. She even introduced me to the kind with crab fat and sunny-side up egg on top!
On Sunday, we were on a quest to find Tramshed, one of Mark Hix concept restaurant.
B and I boarded off Old Street station clueless on which direction to go to. Gladly, there was a friendly guy who noticed our predicaments and asked if we needed help. We politely asked if he can perhaps point us to Rivington Street, and he went beyond and above just answering by leading us there. ^_^ Mind you, he seemed to be doing something important with a street fixture, we were really grateful.
Rivington street would be two streets away from this stand point. We saw a number of interesting graffiti on our way to no.32. Tramshed is located at what was supposedly a facility for the Tramway System. I couldn’t find a photo I took of the exterior though, it’s definitely not the usual restaurant facade, and you won’t think it’s one if you do not know the street address. ^_^ The industrial overall look of the restaurant works well, the installation in the middle, Cock ‘n’ Bull by Damien Hirst will distract you from waiting for your food.
Good thing we do not need to be distracted. Per timestamp on the menu photo, it was 10:53 in the morning while the starter plate below was at 11:12. We did arrive early, the 9 minute difference in photos show how fast they are, or probably that’s because we were the first ones to arrive. ^_^ The staff were friendly and accommodating, and we didn’t hesitate asking for water or such and such from time to time.
I got the De Beauvior smoked salmon “Hix cure” with shaved fennel and pickled cucumber along with slices of black bread. B got some Berkswell truffled chips and salt ‘n’ vinegar onion rings for sides.
Our mains took just about an ample amount of time to be served. I shared the above photo on my facebook timeline and got a lot of laughs. Coming from a country where all parts of a chicken are cooked appropriately for a certain dish, this whole chicken leg all with feet and nails is unacceptable (and hilarious). Apart from the appearance, the chicken was good paired with the different sauces and dips provided. Meat was tasty and Juicy, not at all gamey, which should be and the skin though not crispy-done was good to bite.
B is a steak person, she’s always been. I can’t remember which she had but she paired hers with red wine, I got a lemonade *lol*.
We had a lot to laugh at and talk about as we dine. Not divulging here though. 🙂
Tramshed has three other spaces apart from the ground floor, one is Mark’s Kitchen Library where Hix’s personal cookbook collection can be found. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the area, since we didn’t book it. It is meant for events such as a private chef’s table for at most, 12 people or cocktails and mini-dish event for 25 people.
The mezzanine offers a beautiful view of the whole restaurant. It can sit up to 50 people for a private event. From there, the Cock ‘n’ Bull installation is eye-level, and can be ‘admired’ without straining your neck.
The installation, a whole cow with a whole chicken on its back in a steel and glass tank preserved in formaldehyde, is the center-piece of the restaurant. Hix and Hirst have been good friends, thus, this collaboration.
The common area – we didn’t know there were private rooms and such at that time, and there were anyway only two of us, was spacious and cozy. The usual buzz of servers going about and the
clanking of forks and spoons gives the atmosphere a busy but charming vibe.
Back in college, B and I would go around the art scene to cover art competitions, art exhibits, and artists. She as a writer, and I as a photographer. We were delighted when one of the servers told us that there is a gallery below Tramshed. He guided us and chatted with us a bit, and we told him of our fascination of the arts. He told us about the artist on display that day, and we shared how we ended up there in London (prompted by his qeustions – we’re obviously not locals). And then he went on to allow us to admire the artworks on display.
The gallery shows works of arts by different artists, even new and emerging ones, others straight from art school (Hix).
B and I weren’t able to get dessert at Tramshed so while walking by the Tower bridge, we got us some Cadbury Flakes soft cones. And we both love Flakes. Here’s to more travels, flakes, art exhibits, and food adventures with a friend whom you can sit on the porch, without a word, and then walk away with the feeling that it was the best conversation that you ever had in your life.
32 Rivington St, Hackney,
London EC2A 3LX, United Kingdom
Call: 020 7749 0478
Monday 11:30- 9:30pm
Tuesday 11:30- 10pm
Wednesday to Friday 11:30 – 11pm
Saturday 11:00 – 11pm
Sunday 11:00 – 9pm
Edit 2019: BTS Namjoon ate at Tramshed and I couldn’t help but regret not going to their London concert. We’ve bought tickets but couldn’t go in the end. 🙁