Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Hole In The Wall, Little Wilbraham

£12 with chips. Hannah Summers, author of the Burgers and Bruce blog, filed this glowing golden report from Little Wilbraham in Cambridgeshire...

London-based Hannah who writes the Burgers and Bruce blog recently headed to Cambridgeshire to hunt down the well-reputed burger served up at The Hole In The Wall in Little Wilbraham...

Little Wilbraham is about 60 minutes from London by car and well worth the journey for a brilliant burger in a great location. There are some amazing burgers in London, but if you are looking for a truly exceptional and different burger experience, along with some fine ales and countryside air, then the Hole In The Wall's is a must-try burger.

The pub is run by two young chefs relatively new to the restaurant scene (they have owned the Hole In the Wall a year or so). The Head Chef is that friendly bearded face from the 2010 Masterchef final, Alex Rushmer. His cheffing partner is Ben Maude, Alex’s university friend who brings a new style of cooking to the restaurant from his time spent living in Tokyo and Hong Kong. The chefs have put together a creative menu and the burger is one of their carefully and lovingly crafted dishes.

Now, when I say that this burger is different, I don’t mean it's smothered in a load of wacky sauces; it’s about the overall taste of the burger. There are so many elements to this burger I think it will be easiest if I break it down...

The bun

The chefs set the bar high with their bread, baking their burger buns in-house to ensure the very best quality and freshness. You have to raise your hat to them for this – there’s some good burger buns out there but the majority have been shipped in from an expert bakery, so full marks to the chefs for making their own bun, which was soft and bouncy, yet firm enough to hold together throughout the eating, which was helped by it being toasted on one side. With a bit of sugar and a high level of fat (cripes), the slight sweetness of the bun contrasted nicely with the rest of the burger. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this is the one of the best burger buns I’ve tried.

The patty

This is where the burger starts to get interesting. The Hole In The Wall buy their steak locally from Gog Magog. Using the highest quality steak mince, the fat content is then made up with minced pork belly. Not only this, instead of adding a slice of bacon on top of the burger, bacon is also minced into the patty, creating the most heavenly flavour combination.

The moistness of the patty is incredible, thanks to the addition of soaked bread instead of breadcrumbs and very finely chopped onion. The patty isn’t thick, which did concern me initially, but the combination of meats makes it more than filling. Some purists out there might think that technically this is more of a meatball than a burger, and maybe that's true, but when it tastes this good, frankly, who cares!?

The cheese

‘Shit cheese!’ No, not because it tastes bad or because of the quality, but because when I enquired about the type of cheese they use for the burger, this is what I was told. Shit cheese, in this case, can be translated as 'mature cheddar'. It is grated on to the patty after the patty has been fried on both sides, before a short oven session where it melts and oozes down the side of the patty. Glorious.

The onion butter

Why have onion when you can have onion butter? Taking on the classic flavour combination of beef and onion, the Hole In The Wall adds its own twist. Almost a puree, it doesn’t add the same texture element as rings of red onion would, but it still delivers that onion flavour in a richer onion butter.

The salad

A small salad was served on the side with tomato and pickled red onion. Dressed in splash of vinegar dressing, even the salad was incredible and the crunchy texture of the pickled onions combined with the sweet and sour really counteracted the richness and softness of the burger. There’s nothing worse than a sad looking salad, so I was relieved when this looked and tasted so good.

The sauce

The sauce is served in a pot on the side and included things like capers, pickled shallots and gherkins. The interplay between sweet and sharp works really well and it adds a welcome twang to the burger, where you can control how much you actually want to taste. I would recommend keeping the sauce on the side and spread a little on every other bite, because the sauce is so good you want to save it for your chips, and appreciate the pureness of the burger without any other flavours taking over.

The chips

Oh the chips! I’ve eaten great burgers but often felt the chips have been bit of a let down. But these are without question the BEST chips I have EVER tasted. Just look at them! Triple cooked to perfection, I did not want these to end.

You can tell that the chefs behind The Hole In The Wall haven’t just put the burger on the menu for the sake of it. These guys are meat lovers AND creative cooks. The burger is a well thought out dish and, most importantly, it’s in keeping with the rest of the food and philosophy of the restaurant, creating dishes that are interesting and fulfilling. The burger is sensational, the perfect meat combination, soft bun (baked on site) and the most more-ish chips going.

Not only that but the setting of the Hole In The Wall adds to the burger greatness, it’s a cosy pub that also has a sunny beer garden - a perfect burger choice for any time of the year. If you love burgers and fancy something and somewhere a bit different, you HAVE to try the burger at The Hole In The Wall!


The Hole In The Wall
Primrose Farm Road
Little Wilbraham
Cambridge CB21 5JY

Tel: 01223 812 282


1 comment:

  1. NICE! I have actually been meaning to check this place out for ages. Will have to make the effort when I'm next back up in the CB's.