We tried the menu at Lewis Hamilton's vegan burger bar... and it's a formula win

10 November 2019, 18:58

Believe it or not, these burgers are 100% vegan-friendly
Believe it or not, these burgers are 100% vegan-friendly. Picture: Neat Burger
Emma Gritt

By Emma Gritt

Heard about the Beyond Meat burger taking the US by storm? You can sample it in all its glory just seconds from London's Oxford Street at Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton's restaurant.

Vegan burger joints might have lost their novelty somewhat, but London’s newly opened Neat Burger still managed to get this group of veggie burger lovers through the door.

While it’s definitely a casual joint, don’t be surprised if you visit and see people glammed up to the nines - or wearing something slightly ridiculous.

Part-owned by racing driver Lewis Hamilton, the central London restaurant is an Instagrammer’s dream - and the burgers themselves have an A-list thumbs-up after they were dished up to some of the models backstage at London Fashion Week earlier this year.

From the moment you step on to the two-floor burger joint’s tiled floor, you’re transported in to an influencer utopia; pearlised tilled walls, large mirrors, palm trees, retro mint green seating and perfect lighting - and the toilets, decked out in pink and gold are just as visually delicious.

Read more: London's new Peruvian restaurant is serving vegan ceviche

But for those concerned that Neat Burger is style over substance, the food is enough of a draw by itself.

Central to their totally plant-based menu are Beyond Meat products — including the recently launched Beyond Sausage - and "THIS Isn't Chicken" Chick’n burgers.

The US company is valued at over $3 billion, and described as the most ‘meat-like’ meat-free product currently available.

Read more: Vegan calls police after cruel chicken nugget prank

And after sampling most of what is on the menu, it’s not hard to see why.

While the menu is quite limited, featuring the Neat Burger, Cheese Burger (described by The Independent as a taste-twin for a McDonald’s cheeseburger), Beyond Sausage and Chick'n burger, this was high-end vegan junk food at its best. There is also a veganised Chick'n Caesar salad for people looking to enjoy a lighter bite.

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The extras also got a thumbs-up from us. Sweet potato fries, vegan mayo, and tater-tots, think thumb-sized hash browns, all made for perfect accompaniments, and there was also sustainable beers and juices to wash it all down with.

On the insistence of the chain's friendly manager, we also tried the dessert offering, a vegan Eton mess, the meringue element made from 'aquafava', more commonly known as the liquid from cans of chickpeas! Despite its gloopy (and cat food smelling) origins, the meringues really were delicious. Crunchy, sweet and definitely passable for the real thing.

One of the brand's longterm aims, other than opening nationally across the UK, is to entice more meat eaters over to the green side, even if just for a few meals or days a week.

But if you thought the most photogenic burgers were served upstairs, you’re in a for a treat in the basement.

Here, a huge burger-shaped chair doubles up as the perfect selfie spot - and it' the only place you’ll find real flesh squashed between two buns.

Click here to visit Neat Burger's website