Rob examines a Hackney new kid with the careful attention we've come to expect.

As London boroughs go, Hackney is a writhing fucking circus of trendy bullshit to titillate your Marvis-cleansed palate with. Awash with coffee shops selling artisan breads, stores with supplies of all the quinoa, pink rice and borlotti beans you can cram into your Tupperware, and new places, like the porcine-fixated pizzeria Lardo, are sprouting up all the time. It has also incubated and cultivated the new generation of street food markets with the Towpath events, Long Table and, currently, Street Feast.

But this chunk of East London, so often the forward-thinking trend Dr. Frankenstein, has been noticeably lacking when it comes to the burger market.

Pretty much only the old guard of Lucky Chip bravely holds the fort at Netil Market. That's not to say there aren't any about: every pub will offer oft-bastardised incarnations, Dalston barclub Birthdays has cordially invited patty melt and burger vendors to trade from their kitchen, even the fucking cinema sells a fancy pub-style burger. But the opening of The Advisory sees the first tailor-made bricks and mortar burger place round these TFL-underserved parts.

Using the archetypal East London 'Jaguar Shoes' trick of ironically-non-ironically naming a spot after the skanky leftover signage, it's named after the Asian Womens' Advisory Service which inhabited it years before. The sign for which has since been taken off due to tongue-in-cheek linked branding causing morally misconstrued outrage.

The decor strives for the same niche: there are the slapdash plastered walls and ceilings, bare bulbs dangling dejectedly from their fixtures, randomly collected chairs and tables. The classic post-Brooklyn arrangement, with the addition of some eerie neon throwing out a touch of the Blade Runner.

The cheeseburger arrived with a bun lid that looked like a kid borrowing his dad's trilby, but looked delightful in it's simplicity. A leaf of round lettuce and thick beef tomato slices top and tailing a patty blessed with an ample layer of cheese. The soft and flaky brioche trilby was heavy-on-the-butter but air pocket lavished, with a crumbly thin crust and sweet bready texture.

21 Mare St, Hackney
Opening date 13/06/13

...a bun lid that looked like a kid borrowing his dad’s trilby
Lightbulbs. Exposed. 

Lightbulbs. Exposed. 

The cheeseburger at the Advisory, Hackney

The stocky patty oozed medium rare as promised, and was well-seasoned with a noticeable meaty flavour. The cheddar had pleasing cheese toastieness to it and added a good contrasting squidge, although did lack in taste. Not to matter though, as the subtly-sweet tomato mayo-like sauce proved a worthy addition, bolstered by the pickle.

This is a definite flip it and eat upside down immediately kind of burger as the absorbent bottom bun readily succumbs to the burgery osmosis of the juices from the tomato slices, meat and sauce combined. Pro tip, we do this all the time. And so should you.

The poutine also deserves a mention; the combination of thick cut chips lathed in lamb gravy, thick, generous rich pulls of meat and goats curd (which was suspiciously fresh in a Philadelphia-meets-cottage cheese way) was a decent five pound addition.

Residing on Mare street, The Advisory is slap bang next to one infamous local landmark: the notoriously trashy, open-until-you-won't-remember booze palace, The Dolphin (it needs to be seen to be believed). It couldn't be more ideally placed as a pocket-friendly stomach lining facility before getting absolutely paralytic and dancing on a gropey, sticky dancefloor.

And they do brunch too for the inevitable hangover that will ensue. Worth going if you frequent the area.

  • Rob.