Number 90 Bar & Kitchen is a well-known and much-loved, canal-side venue in Hackney Wick, offering fantastic food made from locally sourced produce; an expansive drink menu – including an array of exciting cocktails and, as you might expect, a strong range of craft beers; art and music events; and phenomenal service. Aware that it is celebrated for its relaxed and welcoming vibe, Sated sauntered on down to this old favourite to try something a little different – an off-the-menu burger that was it was rumoured would bring us to our knees.
As it’s a gorgeously sunny afternoon, we elect to sit in the covered terrace area by the canal, soaking up what rays we can from the last of Summer and giggling at the attempts of newbie canoeists as they row precariously past. The overly attentive staff are delightful and endearing, catering to our every need and making us feel quite jovial.
After a cursory glance at the cocktail menu, we are drawn to the Appleton Rum spiked N90 Ways to Happiness – a refreshing and light summer punch made with mango juice, ginger beer, a dash of Angostura Bitters and fresh mint – and the sweet and lime-driven N23 Red Hot Chilli, whose gorgeously lingering kick of chilli adds an element of dryness to this winning cocktail.
As we sit back and enjoy our cocktails, our server comes over to take our order. We state that we have come for The Big 90 Killer Burger and are informed that the Head Chef will be bringing it out himself.
The wait is a tad long but we are in absolutely no rush, relaxing into the sociable atmosphere and chatting away to the people on our table. When Stefan brings out the burger, walking purposefully with an appropriate amount of pride, all eyes are drawn to the spectacle. He places the tower down on our table with a sheepish smile and simply bids us “Enjoy”.
The Big 90 Killer Burger is a feat of wonder, consisting of two thick beef patties, a fried chicken escalope, a fried egg, smoked cheese, blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and relish, broken up by and sandwiched between four activated charcoal buns, held together by an impressive structure of wooden pick scaffolding and topped with lightly battered red onion rings.
Once Stefan vacates the table, we are inundated with jealous diners running up to us asking what this beauteous monstrosity is. We happily tell them and they wish us luck on our mission. After a couple of minutes planning, we decide the best course of action is to split the beast down the middle from top to bottom, before proceeding to attempt to unhinge our jaws wide enough to meet the challenge.
The buns are wonderfully soft and bouncy, maintaining their structure whilst not hindering our progress. Both patties are juicy and flavoursome, while the chicken is crisp and works perfectly with the creamy blue cheese that has been melted atop it. Egg yolk oozes down our fingers, combining with the generous amounts of smoked cheese and relish to culminate in a delicious mess.
We devour the burger in minutes, mopping up its juices with a side of Sweet Potato Fries dressed in freshly chopped Parsley, Pomegranates, Avocado and Tzatziki with tiny cubes of embedded cucumber. When our server comes over to check whether everything is okay, she is greeted by empty plates, smiling faces and sticky fingers. Entirely sated, we leave feeling like we have enjoyed a special, secret treat and that we have been utterly spoiled by the wonderful staff.
The Big 90 Killer Burger will only set you back £16, unless you can finish it within eight minutes, in which case it is free! If you are a burger lover, this must be placed on your Bucket List.
For more information about Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, visit their website here.