Tommi’s has been on our list for what seems like an eternity. They first came to our attention when they popped-up, just around the corner from Bond Street station last year but they came and went before we got around to sampling their burgers. Pigs are patient creatures though and we knew they’d be back.
Sure enough, they soon announced plans to open up in Shoreditch, but for one reason or another it never came to fruition. Instead they have now found a permanent home on Thayler Street in Marylebone, just a stone’s throw from the scene of their pop-up and of course in close proximity to the competition, Patty ‘n’ Bun and MEATliquor.
We’d been hearing lots of good things about their food, both from people who know their burgers, as well as those who probably don’t (but make plenty of noise all the same). Anyway, we crossed our fingers that it wasn’t just Twitter hype and headed over there early on a Wednesday evening.
The restaurant itself is fairly small and was busy when we arrived (of course it was). The queue wasn’t particularly long but we did have to linger for a few minutes to get a table. There is no ticketing system either, you just give your name when you order then wait for the waitress to find you.
I ordered an ‘offer of the century’ which got me a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink for £11.50. My partner in crime, the Hog went for a steak burger with cheese and Bearnaise sauce.
They have a wide selection of sauces and pickles on the counter so people can help themselves at no additional cost. We grabbed some gherkins, chilli sauce and Jalepenos. This was a nice touch.
The food arrived but there was only one portion of fries in front of us. To be fair though, this was quickly rectified at no cost, even though they didn’t have them down on our order.
Now onto the burgers, where to start. We ate the bacon cheeseburger first and looks-wise, it seemed promising. As soon as I took a bite though I knew it was going to be a let-down. The patty was juicy and messy like any good burger should be but it seriously lacked flavour. The bacon was flabby and tried to escape in one piece with each bite. The patty itself was under-seasoned consequently the meat didn’t really taste of anything.
We then got to work on the steak burger. Surely this would be better? Unfortunately not! The patty tasted identical (ie. of nothing) to the regular burger. The only discernible difference was that the meat was more coarsely ground. However, the steak burger’s biggest asset was the Bearnaise sauce, which was an excellent addition and something that really differentiates it from the competition.
The atmosphere was great and the staff were all very friendly and helpful but the food just didn’t match up. We really wanted to love this place but we left feeling disappointed and a little hungry. We had definitely eaten enough to fill us up but we’d developed a burger sized itch that didn’t get scratched. We even discussed calling into Patty & Bun for an Ari Gold on our way back. Luckily, good sense prevailed and we managed to get to the station without any such excess.
Of course I’m only criticising Tommi’s by the standards of London’s top burger joints. We are now spoiled for choice and what was once considered great now just seems mediocre. If I’d had these burgers at a pub or from take-away I’d probably be singing from an altogether different hymn sheet.
All the same, it’s hard to imagine that the burgers we’d just eaten were the the same ones that everybody is raving about. They weren’t appalling but to be considered as a top burger, the meat needs to carry much more flavour than this. Perhaps we were unlucky but with so many other great options around, I doubt we’ll be back to find out.
Total cost: Approx £26 (equivalent to what we spent at Shake Shack if you ignore the concretes)
Address: 30 Thayer Street, London, W1U 2QP
Phone: 07823 557 945
Find them on Facebook: facebook.com/TommisBurgerJoint
Follow them on Twitter: @BurgerJointUk