Lucky Chip has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a market stall in 2011. Founder Ben Denner has since taken his burgers through a range of pop-ups, markets and pub residencies, and is now settling down in his first permanent site: Lucky Chip Burgers & Wine on Dalston’s Ridley Road.
In case the name hasn’t given it away yet (keep up) the main addition to the Lucky Chip lineup here is an expansive wine list, an excuse to both signal that the restaurant setting is a step up from the company’s street food origins as well as denoting a pairing not found too often elsewhere. The list boasts more than 100 different bottles, but you’d better get your wallet ready – things kick off at £28 and climb quickly, climaxing with a £500 bottle of red. Anyone willing to lay that much down to drink alongside wine is certainly bolder than us.
The burger list is a more compact five entries long (including one for the vegetarians among us), focusing mainly on classics like the Cheeseburger, the Kevin Bacon and the Royale with Cheese. If you’ve got £4 to spare (though you may not after you’ve picked your wine), you can upgrade your beef to 50-day aged Galician.
If the burgers are so far conservative, the starters seem more ambitious – at least for your traditional burger joint. Carrying on the kitchen’s obvious strength with beef there’s a robust rosemary tinged beef tartare. Meaty mightiness aside, this is rapidly outclassed by its tuna equivalent, dripping marinade off crisp lime crackers. In sad contrast, the onion bhaji corndogs are about as successful as you might expect – stuffing a chunk of warmed up frankfurter inside an over-spiced bhaji does not an appetising meal make.
Vintage Budweiser lamps, burgundy banquettes and dark wood panelling are supposed to evoke an all-American ‘80s steak house, but the result is a hint of American movie staple, the mining town dive bar – especially true of the basement dining area.
Still, if the aesthetic is more down-and-out than up-and-up, it’s hard to complain too much with a mouthful of their (rightly renowned) burgers. Whatever you think of spending half a month’s rent on a bottle of plonk to go with your fries, there aren’t many better burgers than these to make it worth a try.
Words by Dominic Preston
Images: Tom Bowles