Honestly, I can’t tell you how much I love Honest Burgers. So, when I found out they had a new flavour on the menu, I thought: ‘honestly, I gotta try this out!’
This tasty new delight is called the NIGERIA burger, created when Honest Burgers teamed up with the world’s first ‘Nigerian tapas’ restaurant, Chuku’s, to launch the limited-edition bringing a taste of Lagos to all Honest Burgers restaurants from 5 October – 1 November.
The great thing about eating-in at Honest Burgers (although you can order on Deliveroo) is the casual dining experience you can enjoy with friends on the fly (if they have space), so me and a pal casually dropped in on a midweek food hunt as the weather went from summer to autumn in an instant.
As mentioned, I had to try the new NIGERIA burger (£13.50) and my friend went for the classic Tribute (£12.50). As always, these come with insanely moreish Rosemary slated double-cooked fries (they win me over every time!). The NIGERIA combines the signature Honest beef patty (I had it rare to medium) with Fanta-candied bacon, cheddar, Jollof sauce, plantain crisps, Chuku’s spicy mayo, red onion, spinach and pickles which had a perfectly balanced mix of flavours complementing each other – without anything too hot to dominate the dish. This melted into my mouth and was devoured in quick, albeit messy, bites as I forgot to breathe, munching like I’ve never eaten before.
Adam Layton, Honest’s head of collaboration tells me the recipe testing sessions for this menu have been like feasts. “I’d tried all of Chuku’s recipe kit dishes over lockdown, so I asked them to bring everything,” he says. “They always turned up with a big hamper of ingredients (with extra plantain crisps for snacking) and it was a real deep dive into Nigerian cooking.” What they created together is, in essence, a love letter to Nigeria in burger-form. Adam just hopes their mum approves.
As I was feeling in the mood to wash it down with something ‘strong’ (it was a midweek of course) I went for a large Aperol Spritz (£9, I think I thought it was still summer, even if the weather disagreed with that), but were informed by our friendly server Lulu that it is best paired with Eko Gold, a lager from British-Nigerian husband and wife brewers Anthony and Helena Adedipe of Eko Brewery, which features on the Honest menu for the duration of the collaboration.
Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick started the first Chuku’s menu by playing around in our kitchen with Nigerian dishes, while straying faithful to the authenticity of the flavours they grew up with. “In some ways, the development process with Honest Burgers felt like returning back to where we began,” they tell me. “We’re proud to have created a burger which is as fun as Chuku’s, with the Fanta-candied bacon, but it also feels very Nigerian and we’re super excited to see the flavours of Jollof Stew reach an even wider audience.”
Being the gluttons we are, we also opted to share some sides (why not, ay?) and went for the Buffalo wings (£6.50) doused in Frank’s RedHot sauce, ranch mayo and crispy shoestring fries (do ask for lots of kitchen roll!!) and probably the largest onion rings I’ve encountered (£4). Just look at that pic.
Safe to say neither of us left too fast after this feast. I recommend you try the limited-edition NIGERIA while on the menu!