Tucked away on West Campbell street, just off of Glasgow’s busy Bath street, lies Red Onion – a small, stylish restaurant run by chef and owner John Quigley. Red Onion feels like a warm, family dining room as you walk through the front door, through the following curtain and into an oasis of bare brick and wooden walls and a roaring fireplace, all split across two levels. I had recently sampled a burger prepared by Chef Quigley and the Red Onion team at the Glasgow Burger competition and I was so impressed that I had to go and have a whole burger to myself.
Glancing over the eclectic menu, it’s evident that the Red Onion team have selected dishes inspired from places all over the world. It would be difficult to explain the type of cusine that Red Onion offers; however, the options available have been carefully selected and work well to produce a menu that will suit just about everyone.
As I looked at the menu, I didn’t see the same burger that I had sampled at the recent competition; so I opted instead for the chargrilled beef burger. Rather than offer a large selection of burger and topping combinations, Red Onion offer one burger which you can then build upon and customize using the various toppings available. I opted for bacon, cheese and fried egg to top off mine.
The burger itself was beautifully presented with the fried egg on top and the bacon almost melting into the already melted cheese and the thick slice of beef tomato, sliced red onion and lettuce nestled at the bottom. The patty itself was very big – so big that I wondered how the bun would be able to hold it all in once I started cutting into it. One of my main gripes about fried eggs on burgers is that they are almost never runny enough. I like the egg to burst and cover the rest of the burger and creating a bit of a messy plate. Thankfully, Red Onion’s toppings were cooked perfectly and just as I cut into the burger, the egg started to drip down the patty and on to the plate – great for when you can use the last few bits of burger to mop up all of the yolk that’s poured on to the plate!
On to the taste – the burger was cooked well done, which is not how I’d normally eat a burger, but it was prepared well, juicy and seasoned beautifully. The patty was big, soft and tasted great and the slight crunch of the bacon combined with the cheese and runny egg was absolutely superb. The runny yolk mixed with the well seasoned beef alone created a fantastic burger experience. Topping it all off was the lightly toasted bun, which held the contents of the burger in perfectly and didn’t fall apart at all as I was eating. The bun was perfectly fine; however, I felt that a brioche or sourdough would have finished it off a little better.
I opted to spread the spicy tomato relish that is served with the burger on the second half. I had initially chosen to leave it out, as I wasn’t sure how a spicy relish would work with fried egg, but this works – extremely well. The relish served with the burger has a very spicy kick and the runny egg manages to mellow it out just enough, while still retaining a strong spice – the flavour combinations combined with the other toppings create a taste so good that I wish I’d had put the relish on both halves of the burger. My only gripe with the toppings was that there simply wasn’t enough cheese. What there was tasted great, but I wish there had been more of it.
The burger comes served with a large portion of skinny fries; however, the burger is so big that I struggled to eat it all, especially with the added toppings.
Overall, Red Onion’s burger lives up to the hype. A well seasoned, big, juicy patty that is sure to satisfy even the biggest of carnivores out there. Served up in extremely relaxed, chilled out surroundings, the whole experience reminded me of a good hearty family meal. I would have loved the option to have the burger cooked medium rare to medium, but this is something that very few places in Scotland will offer and isn’t specific to Red Onion. John Quigley has created a calming, classy oasis in Glasgow’s city centre and know what it takes to put together a good burger. Get it with bacon, egg, cheese and add a generous serving of the spicy relish. You won’t be disappointed!
Price: £9.50 (extra toppings £1)
+ Beautifully presented / massive!
+ Well seasoned patty
+ Fried egg was delicious
+ Relish added a lot of depth to the overall flavour and gave the burger a great kick
– Would have preferred more cheese
– Despite bun being perfectly acceptable, a sourdough or brioche bun would have finished it off a little better.
Have you tried this burger? Did you love it? If so, vote for it in the ‘Glasgow’s best burger’ award by clicking here.
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257 West Campbell Street
Phone: 0141 221 6000