Adiós to Rita’s Bar & Dining meant Hola to Birthdays‘ brand new diner Psychic Burger. With a relatively small menu, it was a great spot for my first food review since my return to London. Entering into the east London burger arms-race, Psychic has positioned itself in a market with tough competition. So what’s their secret weapon? It has to be the Crab burger. Light and sweet, crab burgers are perfect summer food. Their white flesh is cheaper than lobster, though just as tasty, and full of omega-3 fatty acids (Butter, 2013). The Evening Standard lists Psychic’s Crab Burger as one of the top five finest catches in London.
I first encountered Psychic in Emerald Street’s Cocktails and Cappuccinos column which again, raved about the must-try crab. Considering I’d come across a number of different reviews and PRs about Psychic I did expect it to be a lot busier on a Saturday night at 8pm. Travelling from my new South-West abode to Dalston, it’s a straight walk from Dalston Kingsland overground station to Birthdays.
On arrival we ordered a drink from the bar before choosing where to sit. The waitress requested a credit or debit card to keep behind the bar in order to secure a food tab – a little annoying, but not unusual in many relaxed eateries these days. Our order was taken quickly and we were served our food within a 15 minute turn around. I, of course, chose the Crab burger (£9.50) and my dining partner went for the Chilli Cheese burger with bacon (£8.50 +£1 for bacon). Unfortunately they were out of bacon explaining that it ran out the night before – we also shared one portion of fries.
The Chilli Cheese Burger did look good. And it did steal my attention when it was placed on the opposite side of the table to me. And it was dipping in juicy oily burger goodness… My dining partner smugly consumed his burger explaining that the combination of Psychic Sauce, Pickles, Beef Chilli, Monterey Jack and Brioche worked well together. His only real criticism was that it was too big to pick up (clearly a MEATLiquor virgin) and that it needed the bacon for that added saltiness.
Next, I introduce to you the Soft Shell Crab Burger, deep-fried crab, served in a brioche bun with smoked garlic aïoli, sweet chilli sauce and an onion ring on top.
No, it isn’t exactly what I thought it would look like either. But don’t let the crunchy battered fish fool you. Inside that soft shell was some delicious meat. Moist, flavoursome and fishy. In fact the flavour of the crab did somewhat overpower the smoked garlic aïoli and sweet chilli sauce. It might have been better if the aïoli or sweet chilli were served in a small dish on the side, like tar-tare sauce when you’re eating fish and chips. Then you could have applied more or less when you pleased. It was very tasty, but I have to say it wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever eaten. Perhaps the best crab burger, but then again it was my first.
To complete the meal we shared a generous portion of shoe string fries. Cut with the potato skins on still they were salty and warm, a great addition to the meal. I would definitely recommend a trip to Psychic Burger – and I would go again if I was in the area. As for the crab, I’m still on a mission to find the best.
ADDRESS – Birthdays, 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8BJ
CONTACT – Email email@example.com or Telephone +44 (0) 20 7923 1680
OPENING TIMES – Monday 18:00 till 23:00, Tuesday – Thursday 12:00 till 23:00, Friday 12:00 till 02:00, Saturday 11:00 till 16:00 & 18:00 till 02:00 and Sunday 11:00 till 16:00
WEBSITE – http://birthdaysdalston.com/food/
TWITTER – @PsychicBurger
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