Restaurant review: get a taste of Amsterdam's best burgers at The Butcher in Dubai Marina
Expect saucy sandwiches and plenty of meat
The Butcher is kind of a big deal. Not necessarily here, but chances are, if you’ve been to Amsterdam, at least one person would have suggested you try this burger place with its aesthetically pleasing meals. The Dutch eatery’s Instagram is testament to that, with 16,500 followers and a feed brimming with attractive-looking burgers interspersed with attractive people eating them.
So when The Butcher announced its arrival in Dubai earlier this year, it got the gourmet fast-food crowd salivating. However, given its quiet location, The Butcher seems to be trying to quietly growing a loyal fan base in the emirate’s southern suburbs.
What to expect and where to sit
The single-level restaurant is a bit underwhelming at first glance. The space is sparse, to say the least, and features a single row of about a dozen seating options at high leaner-type tables along the far wall (unless you’d like to get really up close and personal with the chefs by sitting inches from them on a few stools at the open kitchen’s bar). The seating faces the industrial-style kitchen, where you can watch your Angus beef patty being fired up on the grill.
Given that it’s a burger restaurant, you’ll want to make sure that you are partial to something between two buns. While of course there are bun-less options and a couple of wraps, you should try one of their signatures.
With that in mind, my dining partner was quickly talked into trying the grand master of them all, the aptly named The Daddy (Dh69), while I erred on the “healthy” side by ordering one of the menu items that comes in a tortilla wrap, intriguingly named The Ugly with chicken (Dh42) and a quinoa, avocado and feta salad (Dh42). Of course, it was in no way healthy, especially considering it was accompanied by an order of popcorn chicken (Dh22) and signature Butcher fries (Dh17).
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The Daddy is a solid choice for a customer with a hearty appetite, with 250 grams of Prime Angus topped with Edam cheese, lettuce, tomato, beef bacon, grilled onion and BBQ sauce. Despite its high price point and intimidating name, it’s actually not too big, and can easily be polished off in one sitting. The meat patty was juicy, the condiments adequately distributed, the bun fresh, and the sauce a generous slathering. As for The Ugly, the chicken breast was large and perfectly cooked, and encased in a neat wrap alongside lettuce, tomato, avocado, jalapeno, sour cream and BBQ sauce. My main gripe here was the amount of dripping and sauce that ended up all over me – but The Butcher’s menu offerings are famous for their sauciness. I also felt that the jalapeno and BBQ sauce slightly overpowered what was a perfectly decent wrap.
The Butcher Fries were well-cooked, thick-cut, while the popcorn chicken was a real triumph – pert hunks of fried meat served best with truffle mayo or (naturally) some more BBQ sauce. Not that anyone in their right minds would order a salad from a burger joint, but a pleasant surprise awaited in the form of the quinoa salad, which was delicately seasoned and deliciously citrusy.
If you’re still not in the market for a burger, try the hot dog (Dh25), the bun-less version (Dh58) or the Codfather (Dh72). There are also breakfast options and one for the veggies as well. For dessert, try a peanut butter milkshake (Dh26). It’s creamy and heavy, and will ensure you spend the rest of the afternoon laid out on the couch.
It seems a shame that the star of the meal would be a side dish, but the popcorn chicken resonated with both of us. If we were to choose between the two burger offerings, the standout would have to be The Daddy, but both seemed to be slightly overpowered by sauciness – again, this is part of the draw of The Butcher, and it’s possible we are in the minority at feeling this is a con. Then again, we did go through what felt like half a packet of napkins and still felt like we needed a good wash after.
A chat with the chef
Head chef Yatin Kumar says little was changed between Amsterdam and Dubai, except that recipes had to be altered to ensure everything was halal. “We took a lot of time to create the perfect recipe keeping in mind the taste of The Butcher in Europe,” he says.
Kumar recommends trying the bestseller, The Butcher with cheese (Dh52), which he calls the ideal cheese burger. “The combination of the soft customised bun with Lollo Bionda lettuce and Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes gives it great balance. Then we have a customised Angus prime beef topped with grilled onion, pickle and our signature Butcher sauce, making it the best burger in town.”
Value for money and contact information
Burgers range from Dh25 to Dh72, so there’s a huge variance in what you can order and for what price. Considering this is a gourmet burger spot, we think the price tag is worth it, but could be scaled back on a couple of the offerings – Dh72 is a lot for a fish burger and Dh42 for a side salad is a bit rough. The Butcher at The Residences, Marina Walk, is open for lunch and dinner, and reservations are not necessary.
This review was conducted at the invitation of the restaurant
Updated: December 5, 2019 02:39 PM