Food: ★★★★☆ Service: ★★★★☆ Atmosphere: ★★★☆☆ Value: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★★☆
Tommi’s Burger Joint is one of the staples of the London burger scene and runs a master class in how to do a simple burger exceptionally well. From the first extended pop-up to the residency at the Princess of Wales, Tommi’s has done a bang up job bringing quality burgers to the capital. So of course, I had to go try out the permanent restaurant on Thayer Street when I found myself hungry after an event at the Nordic Bakery. The restaurant is small and simple but packed with character and a surprising amount of seating (30 covers!). The Icelandic crew are on the ball (mostly) and to top it off there are a ridiculous number of sauces to customise your burger.
There are a number of pubs and bars in the area that work quite well. I like the Marylebone around the corner which not only is a pretty cool pub, but also has a huge number of speciality flavoured shots.
What about the food?
The menu is limited to the standard burger, a cheeseburger, a veggies burger (Tommi’s is nothing if not all-inclusive), and a steak burger. There is usually also a special on offer – in this particular case a New Yorker – as well as the “Deal of the Century” which is the burger plus chips and a drink for just £8.90.
My usual pick is the steak burger which is a great balance of tender juicy meat and just enough marbled fat blended in for flavour. Coupled with a slice of cheese, it’s a very satisfying sandwich at a reasonable price at just under a tenner. If you feel like spoiling yourself, try it with a healthy serving of béarnaise sauce which makes it a richer meal.
On my last visit, I opted for the New Yorker special which is the regular cheeseburger which two long strips of pastrami plus onions and sweet pickles. It’s an interesting take at combining the traditional NYC hot pastrami with a burger but it falls a little flat on the potency of true pastrami. Still, as a burger it’s decent and for £9 quite a decent deal. Grab a basket of fries and you’re sorted!
If the burger feels like its missing something ,try adding one of the many sauces and garnishes available for free. The chipotle barbeque and the fresh horseradish were clear winners from my group and I think that it’s a great idea to add variety while minimising inefficiency in getting the burgers out as fast as possible.
How about drinks?
Keeping with the simplicity theme, drinks are mostly a range of sodas in a self-service cooler near the front. However, the new permanent digs also come with a liquor license so you can also get some wine and beer. Again, a limited menu but well suited for pairing with a classic burger.
The best part is that Tommi’s now does milkshakes and even boasts a proper old school milk shake mixer. Flavours are contained to the big three (Vanilla, Strawberry, and Chocolate) but a thick and decadent in all the right ways.
Worth the dosh?
Yep – it’s a quality burger for under a tenner and the service is friendly, efficient, and above all consistent. The beauty of a simple unchanging menu is that these guys have perfected their product and I’d happily head back any time for another one.
Find Tommi’s here
30 Thayer Street, London, W1U 2QP