Big Fernand, Percy Street

A new hamburger has landed in London. Big Fernand are known as one of the burger frontrunners in Paris, with long queues of dedicated fans waiting patiently at their door. Now they are ready to try their luck in London, opening their first UK restaurant on Percy Street last week.

Big Fernand has four venues in France, and seems to be steadily growing with more branches planned in the near future. The London venue has 60 seats split over two floors, including a very unique living room experience on the top floor. Downstairs there is the option to sit down at a casual table or take away (the chefs deliver your burger to you at staggering speed).

The burgers are made using the same special recipe as the original Parisian outlets, with a few minor amendments. There is no forgetting that this is a French company, with a vast number of stripy shirted staff, it is a stereotype which brings a smile to customers’ faces. Inimitable French unpasteurised cheeses have been imported to give that indulgent flavour to the burgers, but the beef is British. I was pleased to see the menu is almost identical to the French version… featuring my favourite Bartholomé at the top of the list. This burger is not dissimilar to a bacon and cheese, though the components are far finer and the flavours more subtle.

The sauces at Big Fernand are winning additions. These ultra-thick and creamy homemade delights are delicious in the bun or as a dunking dip. I loved the garlicky spicy mayonnaise, and the cocktail and BBQ sauces are also very popular. Various fresh herbs are optional in the burgers, a lovely fresh touch which adds texture and seasoning to the baps. The meat is cooked medium rare and is delicious, aged to perfection and roughly ground. Paired with the oozing caramelised onions, it is the ideal combination.

The Fernandines (French cut fries) are made in house and double cooked to give extra crunch. They are coated in a magical spicy salt, that tastes like paprika, and are particularly delicious dipped into the homemade mayonnaise. There is a little work to be done on the soft seeded bun which currently overhangs the meat and fillings droopily. But what’s inside easily makes up for this.

Burgers are priced around £12, or £15 for the meal deal with a punnet of Fernandines and a bottle of French beer.

Vive le hamburgé! Visit Big Fernand and let me know whether you prefer fabulous French fare or British butties.

More information here.

Hot on the Highstreet Week 237

I know I wrote about Maison Labiche very recently, but their pop-up shop looks so exciting I can’t help but mention them again. The hipster design studio has set up shop at 56 de la rue de Rochefoucauld to celebrate young Parisian designers and made-in-France craft, the perfect place to find a quirky Christmas present.

Three years after its birth, the Maison Labiche atelier created by Marie and Jenny, opens the doors to its first pop-up store in Paris. As well as offering its signature embroidered t-shirts and sweaters, the temporary space is selling a carefully curated edit of accessories and decorative objects by young Parisian labels, until the end of the year.

The chic collection includes fragranced clutches from Kerzon, sunglasses by Waiting for the Sun and Bois2, hand-made lingerie from Slip Français, cult Parisian stationary by Papier Tigre, umbrellas by Kumo and watches from Rich Gone Broke, this minimalist new space created by Jenny Richard, is a celebration of contemporary cool and French craftsmanship. I want it all.

Discover the Maison Labiche & Friends pop-up store right up until the end of the year, at 56 de la rue Rochefoucault, open Tuesday to Saturday.