Automat was the next stop on the quest for the best burger in London but what a disappointing time. One of my friends had told me about this place reputed to have a juicy burger and some excellent truffle mac’n’cheese. They will also adapt your burger however you want it, regardless of what is specified on the menu. It sounded interesting so we gave it a go.
The entry was fine with a gracious doorman and very friendly (and attractive) hostesses. Actually, the staff were the highlight with a very friendly and welcoming manner. However, it all went down hill from there. To start off, our table for two was barely bigger than a pizza and placed in the most awkward position (quite literally in the doorway) despite having booked ahead of time. I know tables for two tend to get short shrift, but that’s a bit far.
The burger arrived and visually it looked pretty damn good. However, like most things, it started to fall apart (quite literally). The key attributes of a good burger are the patty, the toppings, and of course the bun. The patty was alright, nothing special but slightly overcooked. The toppings of cheese, bacon, tomato, and lettuce was absolutely perfectly balanced with enough salt to keep it tasty but not too much grease to make it oily. The bun is where is all collapsed with each bite sending the top bun crumbling away. It was as if they had stored it in an airing cupboard then toasted what little life remained away. By the time I was halfway through, the top bun was nothing more than dust. Epic burger fail!
The truffle mac and cheese was well truffled. However, be warned, it’s so rich that each bite gives you a heart attack. Still, it’s worth the years off the life for a taste of this truffle-based goodness. Oh, I will admit the fries (skinny fries) with the burger were top notch and I could easily have made a meal of them.
Cocktails however, for a NYC bistro, are pitiful. The Manhattan is made with Canadian Club (when did that become an acceptable Scoth whiskey?) and over diluted. You can request a better quality alcohol but it won’t make much difference sadly.
All in all, one cocktail, two burgers, and a large order of truffle mac’n’cheese came to just over 70 squids. It’s quite hefty price to pay for a mediocre burger and a watery cocktail. Automat, I hope your other food is better but when it comes to burgers it’s time to get your act together!