Neon Burgers has permanently closed down.
This place was generating a lot of excitement on social media, which brought it swiftly onto my radar. Many people and many other food blogs had given very positive reviews of this place, which made me very eager to get one of their burgers under my belt. Sadly that excitement was short-lived and met with a little disappointment if I’m honest, but I still wouldn’t write this place off completely – not yet anyway.
I visited Neon Burgers back in September for a birthday meal with my college friends. I can really only tolerate them (and birthdays) when there’s a giant stack of food for me to get through. I ordered a “Lamborghini” with an extra beef patty, buffalo wings, rosemary fries and a chocolate and peanut butter milkshake. I was about to sue them for false advertising when they came back with a burger instead of a Lamborghini, but unfortunately I ate it and rendered the transaction complete.
The Lamborghini burger consists of a 6oz lamb patty with aged cheddar and mint and mango yoghurt. Or at least it was supposed to. Whilst the lamb patty and the beef patty (two animals are better than one), were both tender, well-cooked, and of a good quality, there was no sign of any yoghurt or sauce. This rendered the burger overwhelmingly dry, and the flavours from the patties weren’t strong enough to compensate either. The lamb patty did have a very nostalgic homemade-kebab-like flavour to it, which was a little enjoyable, but midway through the burger, I was really just eating it because I was hungry, and I wasn’t really taking any joy or pleasure from the meal. A separate dosage of mustard didn’t really salvage the situation either. A number of my friends also found their burgers to be unbearably dry. When we asked the waiters about it at the end of the meal, they told us that they had started putting less sauce in their burgers because some customers had complained that their burgers had too much sauce and were “too messy to eat”. I’m not going to question as to what kind of fools ask for a burger to be dry, but I am going to question as to why they haven’t been placed into a straight-jacket. It’s a real shame because the burger definitely had a lot of potential. I assume the positive reviews of their food came before the sauce-prohibition, and I’d like to go back soon to see if they’ve taken the feedback on and if their burgers have improved.
The buffalo wings were exponentially better than my burger, which was a complete oddity. The wings were tender and well-cooked, and the smokey barbecue sauce fired strong flavours on all cylinders. The milkshake however, took an opposite direction to burgers and had a little too much moisture to spare. Whilst it came in a generously large steel cup (I love large steel cups), it was unfortunately very thin and runny in consistency, which diluted the flavours far too much to take a liking to it.
Value For Money: 3/5
The food is reasonably priced, ranging from £7-£9 for a single burger, £2-£4 for sides, and around £4-£5 for milkshakes. However, given that the burgers were barren and the milkshakes had the strength of English tea, I’m not sure I really got my money’s worth. Like I said though, maybe they’ve improved since I’ve visited.
Service here is great. The waiters are very friendly and eager to help, and I can’t fault them at all.
Neon Burgers is quite small and cramped, so avoid going in a large group. There’s rustic wooden chairs and the odd set of neon lighting, but I was expecting a little more to the decor given the name. Maybe I was expecting too much. Neon-lighted floors and robocop waiters like an 80’s retrofuturistic film or something. But I think it could do with some sprucing up.
There’s a relaxed atmosphere here, but the cramped quarters can make it a little awkward, i.e trying not to get in the way of diners around you. Still, it’s not too difficult to get into your own zone with your dining companions.
Neon Burgers has been generating a lot of buzz and I’m pretty certain there is a reason for that. My friends and I didn’t have a very positive experience, but I think there is a chance that it was a one-off occurence. They’ve released a new menu since my visit and I’d like to think that they took our feedback on board, so I’d definitely like to give this place one more go sometime in the future. Maybe you’ll see a more positive update. For now however, I’ll have to say that it was a very disappointing venture that didn’t live up to the expectations that preceded it.
179 Stoke Newington High Street
London, N16 0LH
Telephone: 020 3489 6790