Two Buns (Burgers) – Ealing Broadway, LondonHALAL STATUS Fully Halal (HMC certified)
Four years on from our review of Two Buns’ flagship branch in west London’s Harrow, we visit their second, which launched in October of last year, in the happening place of Ealing Broadway.
Just as smartly decked out as its sister-site, with a dark colour scheme expertly styled with contrasting colours and lighting, this eatery is bigger, bolder and brighter, boasting a larger menu that’s introduced a number of exciting new burgers that include vegan options, along side hot dogs and desserts for good measure.
Now, there’s two reasons that prompted us to set up this review. While the first can be seen immediately below in the Burgers section, the second was this curiosity to see how Two Buns, with all its new additions, would compare to the smashed burgers we had at Phat Buns in Leicester, whose Phat Angus was runner-up for our #FtLionAwards Burger of the Year 2019.
And this big beaut’ was the main reason why we arranged this review, after having caught our attention on one of the many Halal food blogging accounts on Instagram that seem to be popping up with increasing monotony!
In any case, The Beast Burger, as it’s been lovingly named, is a mean looking thing that will certainly make an impression on arrival.
Now, you won’t be surprised to know that we’ve had a fair few tower/ loaded/ combo burgers in our time. But, whatever you choose to call them, one thing we’ve found with these instagrammable mountains is that in throwing the kitchen sink at them, most invariably turn out looking disparate and somewhat haphazardly assembled.
This one, on the other hand, with dark slithers of crispy beef bacon, thick battered chicken breasts, and thin pieces of beautifully caramelised smashed beef patties – all brought together with plenty of that attractively bright and gooey American cheese – at least looked somewhat coherent in appearance.
More importantly, it managed to taste pretty good too, albeit in a relatively disjointed way. Unsurprisingly, the chicken, being as chunky as it was, turned out to be the dominant flavour, with the piquancy of the cheese and pickle, as well as the distinct taste of the fried egg, coming through well enough. Having said that though, the beef does manage to battle its way across in some pleasurable mouthfuls. If we were to have this again, we’d request more sauce. On the whole though, this is probably one of the better tower burgers we’ve had.RECOMMENDED
Styled after McD’s Filet-O-Fish, The Fish One was one of those burgers that really did turn out to be a surprisingly good one, with its own distinct uniqueness.
What made this version arguably one of the better fish burgers we’ve had in quite some time was: 1) the size of the cod, which was both thick and meaty, and moist and flaky; 2) and the freshly-made batter, which was light and airy, and ever so delicately crispy.
But, as with all fish burgers, it requires a good sauce to complete the experience. In this case, it was the strength of the creamy tartar sauce used therein, being distinctly tangy, that elevated this to the next level.
As much as we raved about the version had in Leicester’s BRGR.BRO not too long ago (who also won last year’s #FtLionAwards Burger of the Year, though for another burger), this was just as good, if not better!
In spite of all the commendations earned by the aforementioned burger joints in Leicester, it wasn’t all cookies and cream, with our previous vegan burger had at Phat Buns being really disappointing.
This, on the other hand, was really very good. Despite the cheese looking like a plastic toy prop, it certainly had some of that piquancy. But the most impressive thing was the imitation chicken. With a crispy, golden exterior, the inside offered a soft meaty texture, with most of the taste coming from the batter and the zingy white sauce.
If we did have a suggestion, it would be to consider replacing the fresh onions with grilled ones for that additional flavour profile.
This Vegan Burger was precisely the same as the above except that the “chicken” is replaced with a beef-substitute.
And the decision would probably have been a foregone conclusion too, because this new patty is far better, being soft and tender, with a light beetroot taste to it.
We’ll repeat again though, be sure to ask for grilled onions over the fresh ones. We’re certain that the sweetness of caramelised onions would contrast nicely against the sauce therein.RECOMMENDED
The last time we were here all those many moons ago, we went for the standard 2-stack burger which we described as being “packed full of flavour”.
This time, it was the 3-stacker, which was even better! With three butter-soft beef patties topped with plenty of that cheese, creamy Two Buns’ sauce, tomatoes and fresh onions (we’re going to opt for grilled onions next time), this was an umami-rich burger that was full of flavour and incredibly good.
Whatever they’ve done since the first time we visited, this was as good as the smashed burger had at Phat Buns.RECOMMENDED
What made this such an addictive little thing was the generous amount of the watery buffalo sauce used in saturating the crispy-textured chicken fillet.
The herby ranch sauce did well in helping to temper the strength of the tangy tabasco-esque flavour just enough to enjoy the tenderness of the thick, juicy breast.
We really wanted their newly added hot dogs to leave an equally lasting impression as the burgers, especially since Halal hot dogs often tend to disappoint.
Sadly, the sausage, though being tender enough, just didn’t have that distinctly deep, meaty taste of a gourmet sausage. As for the roll, then while it was soft in places, the edges of the bread did betray a little chewiness.
What’s more, the “rich chilli beef” wasn’t quite as rich as we would have liked. Instead, it turned out quite insipid in flavour, with the onions not nearly as fried, and therefore as caramelised, as they deserved to have been.
Crispily made fries topped with diced tomatoes, spring onions and cheese, and drizzled with just enough imli sauce to deliver those little sweet and sour notes we acutely remember when first encountering The Imli Fries. Superb!
Granted this Cake Shake – another new addition to their menu – isn’t the prettiest of freak shakes we’ve had or seen, but it had all the chocolatiness one could ask for in a chocolate cake shake.
The cake plonked on top was glisteningly soft, with our spoon gliding through effortlessly. With the rim of the glass pasted with peanut butter sauce, before the entire dessert being messily drizzled in white chocolate and milk chocolate shaving, this turned out to be a guilty indulgence we just couldn’t help but peck away at (along with, we confess, some shamelessly sly slurps here and there).
They give you the option of four kinds of cakes: Birthday, Chocolate, Red Velvet, and Candyfloss. It should go without saying: this is a heavy thing!
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- UBER EATS
- JUST EAT
Now, it's true that, following our tour of Leicester recently where we encountered the delight of Phat Buns' smashed burgers, we came back criticising most of London's burger restaurants for failing to at least try and think outside the box with good, innovative burgers, which included a mention of Two Buns. However, we're happy to say that "The Better Burger" just got a little bit better!
The new additions to their menu have, by and large, been a success, with one really good version of the Filet-O-Fish, as well as one of the better tower burgers we've had. As for The Stacker, then be sure to get the 3-stack version to really enjoy its buttery umami-richness.
They're also doing a lunch time offer: The Better Burger, The Better Fries, and a soft drink for just £7.95. In addition, there's 10% off for local businesses.
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