The second day of #Burgerweek led us to Dalston to try out Psychic Burgers. Little seems to be known about one of the newest Dalston joints beyond Yelper Tristan J’s 4/5 star review. It was worth a punt and we needed a new place to try out on a sunny Saturday (which then turned into a blustery rainy Saturday unfortunately).
Psychic Burger is located in Birthdays which is a very strange combination of a vintage/2nd hand shop, a large bar, and a collection of tables/booths reminiscent of a rundown US diner. The staff are friendly and welcome you in, but the whole thing seems a bit haphazardly slapped together without a particular reason for being. It didn’t help the tables were sticky and you can smell old clothes but regardless, we’re here to try the food not bitch about a little discomfort. Overall, I found the burgers tasty but the sides distinctly lacking in flavour and substance. It’s fine for popping in if you’re in the area but not worth the trek up to Dalston otherwise.
You can of course hang out as the bar in Birthdays or peruse the various vintage clothing (only for girls unless you blokes fancy a dress). There are a few pubs and bars closer to Dalston overground stations which are probably better suited to while away the time while your group gathers.
So, the burgers.
Together with @beckyhong and @alexshebar, I ordered the Psychic Burger, the crispy chicken burger, and the lamb burger special. On the recommendation of one the PB staff, we also grabbed some chilli cheese fries, pork skin popcorn, shoestring fries, and coleslaw to round out the meal.
Let’s start with the burgers. The PB namesake burger is served up on a brioche bun with a juicy fatty beef patty made up of a mix of chuck and fore-rib meat. It’s a bit of a thinner patty than I prefer but as a testament to the skill of the grill, it was cooked perfectly medium rare which had rendered the fat enough for flavour without sacrificing the tender texture. It was then doused in Psychic sauce (no idea what this was but akin to McD’s secret sauce, just better) which made a messy but highly enjoyable burger. I found it a touch salty for my tastes but my companions loved it so it might be my third was unevenly seasoned.
Next up, and my favourite, was the lamb burger special. The patty was thick, meaty, and well season to bring out the spiciness of the lamb. It was topped with something akin to tzatziki sauce and again served on a brioche bun. This was found to be a bit salty by my compadres so I’m forced to conclude that the seasoning on the burgers is uneven – unfortunate but not unbearable.
The chicken burger was tender and I couldn’t say much against it, but it doesn’t really call out as a winner. Compared to other offerings in the City (MEATMission and Rotary Bar & Diner most notably), it’s a bit of a let down.
Sides were collectively unimpressive from the chilli cheese fries which were covered in thick layer of congealed cheddar to the coleslaw that had seen only the barest smear of mayo. The regular fries were adequate but seemed a bit stale instead of crispy and fluffy as all fries aspire to be and the pork skin pocorn was little more than puffed cardboard.
All that salt making you thirsty?
Having had a fairly heavy night before at Kerb’s Halloween Hellraiser, we opted to stick to sodas. They do have a range of classic cocktails on the menu but at around £9 a pop it seems a touch high for the area. Perhaps they use top notch booze…
Juices are made from concentrate and you get your standard range of beers – a few crafts would have been an excellent addition but were not in attendance.
Worth the dosh?
Strictly for the burgers, yes I’d say it is. For £7.50-9, you get a tasty burger (+/- a bit of salt) which is fun to eat. The sides and drinks seem overpriced so I’d give them a miss and focus on the main event. Personally, given the effort of getting to Dalston, it’s not worth the 45 minutes trip up from central London but not a bad option for a bite before heading out to the bars in the area.
Find Psychic Burger here
44 Stoke Newington Road
London, N16 7XJ
0207 690 0890