No, I make no apology, dear reader, for introducing you to a burger restaurant, for that is exactly what Haché is. It’s a family business, established in 2004 but they have certainly not modelled themselves on the ubiquitous fast food chains. The food here is strikingly different and appeals to adults with educated palates who want good quality food served in a pleasant environment.
Haché pride themselves on using the best produce to make and garnish their burgers. The beef is 100% prime Scotch steak. The chicken, fish and vegetables are delivered fresh every day. Desserts are made by Haché and the burgers are designed by Haché. Yes, there are burgers here that are exclusive to Haché and well worth a try.
There are only two Haché restaurants so far, one in Camden and the one in Chelsea in the Fulham Road which was our destination. The first thing one notices about a Haché restaurant is, well, the restaurant. The fact that it was a real restaurant was reassuring, and a very welcoming one it was. The tables and chairs are in dark wood and rather reminiscent of classic tea shops, but from waist height Haché is all glitz and crystal, owing more to sumptuous Viennese coffee houses than a golden arch. The Chelsea branch is a tranquil lunch venue for locals but the evening finds it the favourite dining spot for cinemagoers.
We settled ourselves to peruse the menu, which was cosmopolitan and imaginative. Haché Burgers are served on fresh Ciabatta buns rather than the more typical soft sesame seed varieties of Macwendykings the world over. This makes for a more substantial meal. You can have a green salad instead of the bread if you are watching the calories. The standard garnishes are Roquette, beef tomato, sliced red onion and the house mayo, although you’ll be offered numerous other toppings to complete your gourmet patty.
It’s the nature of a burger to be most often made of beef, and it’s true that Haché offers a good selection of these, but there are also several lamb burgers: Lamb Moroccan – chopped lamb with spring onions, coriander and smoked paprika, served with a spicy Harissa dip – will be the undoubted choice for my next visit. Fish lovers are also catered for with Fresh Tuna Steak and Fish & Chips – beer battered fish with tartar sauce served with chunky chips. There are a good number of chicken dishes including Honey-Moutarde chicken burger with grilled bacon and melted cheddar cheese. For a lighter poultry option there is Chicken Caesar Salad and for vegetarians the salad section also offers Grand Avocat – avocado, pine nuts, cucumbers, vine tomatoes, French beans, roasted red peppers on a bed of mixed leaves tossed in Haché dressing.
Tempted though we were by the aforementioned we each had our own idea of what might make a suitable Monday lunch. My companion, in true manly fashion, chose red meat. He was almost persuaded by the Steak Canadian – bacon and mature cheddar cheese with perhaps a side order of onion rings, but the waiter remarked that their Steak Catalan served with chorizo sausage, fresh chilli and tomato jam was the most popular of the beef burgers. This arrived cooked to medium as requested and proved to be a good choice. The beef was flavourful and tender and the sausage was well seasoned with paprika and a hint of warming spice.
Although I am not a full-time vegetarian I often choose the meatless option. Most of the vegetarian burgers at Haché are chickpea-based and I rather liked the sound of the Falafel Blue Cheese burger. Our waiter suggested that the delicate texture would be best enjoyed with a salad rather than the bun and I ordered a tomato and red onion salad on the side. The cheese gave a tang to the soft and light falafel. This was made into a burger shape rather than being the traditional hockey puck or doughnut shapes found in Middle Eastern snack bars. A surprisingly hearty plateful.
It’s the fate of a restaurant reviewer to self-sacrificingly indulge in dessert even when one is not needed. Haché have a short but thoughtful list of sweet delights including Chocolate Brownies served with whipped double cream or Haché Ice Cream (said to be one of the most popular puds), and the classic Eton Mess. We chose Banoffee Pie but be warned – you need to have a sinfully big appetite for this one. It’s a confection that is quite often found on restaurant menus and is frequently a disappointment. This example was memorable in size and sticky deliciousness. Have an espresso and take your time over this one.
Haché Chelsea is a restaurant that introduces its clients to the smart side of burgerdom. It’s about ingredients and effort. If you are going to eat a burger then eat the best quality you can find. If you take the trouble to eat out then find a restaurant that has ambience and cutlery. Haché is a fine example of fun casual elegance. We enjoyed our meal and will return.
329 – 331 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9QL
Tel 020 7823 3515
Visit Haché here
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018