Big Fernand, London
Big Fernand has ventured to London to set up their burger workshop, focusing on French flavours and Parisian finesse. There are no hamburgers here, it is hamburgés that Big Fernand deals in. It marries the comforting American classic with French gastronomy to deliver the crème de la crème.
In 2013 I went to Paris with Food for Think’s very own Sarah Kemp. During our three day trip, our feasting would have given Marie Antoinette a run for her money; but one restaurant in particular remained prominent in our minds.
Just before catching our Eurostar home, we embarked on an adventure to Big Fernand, a French-inspired (obviously) hamburgé bar with a queue of hungry Parisians spilling out of the door. We agreed we had possibly just eaten the best burger of our lives and calculated schemes to bring this unique idea across the Channel. Luckily we didn’t have to as the team at Big Fernand were already planning their next venture.
I could not be more excited to try a hamburgé on home soil. Big Fernand is conveniently located in central London, a stone’s throw away from Tottenham Court Road on Percy Street. Downstairs hosts bare wood seating and a bespoke bar where diners place their order before waiting in line, tray in hand, for a freshly grilled burger. Upstairs, Agathe Convert has designed a beautiful vintage-inspired French/British open plan room using handpicked kitsch furniture, which creates a relaxing, homely feel.
The secret to these hamburgés is the cheese, French of course, which is delivered in wheels from the French countryside to be sliced up each morning. Choose from a specially curated classic burger menu or ‘build your own’ from 3,840 possibilities! Burgers are filled with beef, chicken, lamb or veal, all sourced from the best breeds. Meat is accompanied with your selection of French cheese, grilled vegetables, sauces and herbs, and all loaded into locally baked sesame buns.
I devoured the Le Bartholome beef burger, served blue as requested and smothered in raclette cheese. Also inside my warm bun I found bacon, caramelized onions, chives and barbeque sauce. It was not the burger I tasted in Paris, but it was equally as memorable. The French fries were crisp, salty and subtly spiced with home-made seasoning. Ask a smiley ‘Fernand’ at the end of line for a couple of home-made dips to scoop with your French fries. They are not on the menu, but a must-try accompaniment.
Does Big Fernand deserve a warm, British welcome? Oui Oui, bon appétit.
Burger £7 – £10
French Fries £3
Bottle of House Marius Red £20
19 Percy Street