Phat Buns (Burgers) – Western Boulevard, Leicester
If there’s anything phat (slang for: highly attractive or gratifying; excellent) about Phat Buns – a burger place that opened only last month – it has to be its prime location ‘neath the gaze of De Montfort University.
With a branch already well established adjacent to said university on Western Boulevard, the two owners didn’t bat an eyelid in taking the first opportunity to secure the premises next door when it came available.
Phat Buns specialise in American smashed burgers and a menu that involves a 3-step process of building your own by choosing from a selection of four buns, three patties and ten condiments.
What’s good to see, is that the owners have attempted to be as original as they can. Future London Halal burger restaurateurs should take note here, because Phat Buns haven’t just opened up another burger joint, gourmet or otherwise, but have attempted to bring something relatively novel to the UK’s saturated Halal burger scene and in particular their own city.
Having visited them immediately after the unsurprising lunchtime rush hour, we can confirm that not only was the footfall constant thereafter, but also the incoming customers and outgoing deliveries.
Additionally, they appear to be committed to serving burgers as fresh as they can by not just cooking them to order, but also bringing in cuts of Angus beef every morning (said to be sourced from Ireland and Wales), before turning-out batches on site when required to ensure maximal freshness! If that’s not commitment to a cause, we don’t know what is.
A novel selection of Frozen slushies, with the best being the Orange & Strawberry, whose zingy citrus flavours were strong enough to help set it apart from the less tangy combination of Blue Raspberry & Coke, and the fairly sedate Coke.
Their burgers cost £5.50 (meals for £8.00) and are served with lettuce, cheese, house sauce and a portion of potato tots, with the option of replacing said tots with fries for an extra £0.50. There’s a 3-step process to their build-your-own burgers:
- Step 1 – Choice of 4 buns: Brioche, Seeded Brioche, Pretzel or Vegan.
- Step 2 – Choice of 3 patties: 100% Phat Angus 4oz, Phat Chick or Phat Vegan.
- Step 3 – Choice of Extras: Mac n Cheese £1.50, Onion Ring £1.00, Haloumi £1.25, Turkey Rashes £1.25, Caramelised Onions £1.00, Egg £1.00, Cheese Curd £1.25, Mushrooms £1.00, Lettuce or Tomato.
“American greasiness at its finest,” is how one Lion began his glowing praise of Phat Buns’ Phat Angus burger.
Everything appeared to be perfectly judged here, from the succulence of the patties to the amount of sauce and cheese curd used to help masterfully bring this entire burger together into a coherent whole.RECOMMENDED
With a firmer patty like chicken, we opted for the firmer Pretzel Bun, especially with condiments like caramelised onions, mac n cheese (yup; you read that right!) and haloumi.
Of course, it helps that the battered chicken was cooked bang on and served as juicy and as tender as it was. With a beautiful crispy exterior, the chicken contrasted well against the creamy-gooey combo of the soft mac n cheese and the caramelised onions.
We also admired the way in which the sweetness of the caramelised onions married against the piquancy of the two cheeses therein, with the haloumi coming through in the background.
And while the Phat Angus was the favourite for two Lions, the remaining one was sold by this superbly executed burger.
This Phat Vegan, on the other hand, didn’t just fail in living up to the high expectations set by its cousins, but turned out to be quite disappointing in its own right.
The problem? A cakey bun with an almost stale-like texture to it; fresh and crispy lettuce; a rather unflattering attempt at cheese, which, despite a touch of piquancy, could easily have been mistaken as a prop in a toy burger; some jalapenos, which ultimately provided this drab sandwich with most of its flavour; a white watery sauce that tasted like butter more than anything else; and a few thinly sliced mushrooms – all of which failed to cohere in the way the previous two had.
To be honest, the only thing that impressed us, was the texture of the vegan patty itself, which, in terms of its composition, certainly came close to mimicking the texture of beef. Taste-wise, it had a beetroot-cum-bean flavour to it which, though weird, wasn’t unpleasant.
Overall, this requires a revisit to improve both its taste and how it’s all brought together.
To begin with, the selection of half-a-dozen flavours available for their chicken wings are all inhouse made.
After trying all six for review purposes, our favourite were the Thai-Sweet Sesame wings which, though on the dry side, delivered on those South Eastern flavours.
The Mum Sauce wings had a nice herby-chilli flavour making them a pleasant munch. The Sticky BBQ wings are also worth a mention for being exactly that: sweet, smoky and quite tasty. The Garlic Parmesan had a nice piquant edge to it while being good and crispy. As for the Mango, then although subtle, not only did these wings turn out to be extremely crunchy, but the Lemon Pepper too, which had a decent sourness to them.
In all, these were good wings made-up of interesting flavours, with some standing out more than others, but nothing outstanding.
While these Sweet Potato Crisscrosses certainly looked appetising enough, they were anything but – turning out instead to be non-crispy on the inside, yet soft on the in.
The rustic Fries, on the other hand, were good and crispy, just as they ought to be, and quite addictive as a result.
With a light and crispy exterior, the Potato Tots mildly herby filling was soft enough.
These crispy-cum-crunchy Chilli Cheese Bites, though definitely different to the standard stuff one finds at other places, weren’t quite as strong in flavour as they could have been.
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- JUST EAT
The double patty Angus beef we had was phenomenally good - prepared uber fresh and made-to-order to maintain those standards. Granted not everything we had was as good as this or the Phat Chicken, but hey, they only opened last month; it's their first burger venture; time can do wondrous things!
Their website allows for both home delivery, which only comes into affect after 2pm, and for arranging a collection. More over, you can earn loyalty points by registering online with them, and checking for any available discounts (although we're offering our own).
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