*I was invited to The Paint Republic for review purposes through Love Pop Ups London. Although my meal was gifted, all thoughts and words are my own.
Hidden away down a side street, just past Borough Market is the prettiest burger restaurant I ever did see. Yen Burger doesn’t look like much from the outside, with only a tiny seating area visible when you first walk in. But head straight down the stairs and you’ll be greeted with a bar adorned in cherry blossom all year round and some of the most amazing wallpaper that will make you want to redecorate your home immediately.
The service is quick and the staff are attentive but not too in your face that it gets awkward. They’re also very helpful when it comes to explaining Japanese ingredients if you find yourself a bit baffled.
I ordered a passionfruit mocktail that had calpis soda in it. It’s not something I’d ever even heard of before, never mind tried, so I asked about it before ordering. I didn’t feel like I’d asked a stupid question or that I’d put her out in anyway when she was trying to explain it to me, like I often had in other establishments. Also, I say trying to explain it because it’s kind of a weird thing to explain. It’s like yoghurt soda. It sounds thoroughly disgusting when you put it like that but mixed into this drink it was delicious and smooth.
We ordered the edamame beans and sweet potato fries to share and I went for the chicken burger in panko breadcrumbs and Jo plumped for the classic Yen burger. Both burgers were juicy and delicious. The chicken burger was made with chicken thigh so it was very moist and very tasty. Both burgers were a little overrun with sauce which made them pretty messy and difficult to eat though. While I’m talking about sauce though, the chipotle mayo is the best accompaniment to those sweet potato fries which could have done with being cooked a little longer to ensure they were nice and crispy.
The burgers and the fries were all served in bamboo steamer baskets which I thought was a cute touch and a nice nod to the East/West fusion.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the very Instagrammable interior of this place – and it is gorgeous. But it’s important to remember that it is a fast food restaurant. An upmarket one at that though. It’s not one for a long leisurely lunch or dinner but it’s a lovely setting for a quick bite.
You can find Yen Burger at 1B Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RQ.