I went to the Bristol burger kitchen that serves one of the best burgers in the country

Fattso’s Royale with Extra Cheese placed third at the National Burger Awards 2023

Fattso was crowned one of the best burger kitchens in the UK at the National Burger Awards 2023. Following an intense cook-off at the esteemed competition, Hamish Macdonald, Fattso’s co-owner and chef, secured an impressive third place.

Joe Watson and Charlie Morris Adams were the original brains behind Fattso, starting the business in a burger van in Wells located just outside of Bristol. Shortly after, Hamish, a former private chef in Switzerland, joined the team and helped them to create their award-winning burgers.

Fattso expanded to Bristol last summer, opening as a pop-up in the lively student pub, Steam, which was hugely successful. However, the team wanted a quieter venue that would allow their burgers to take centre stage and, consequently, moved to the Stag and Hounds just outside of Old Market in February this year.

The Stag and Hounds Pub

Discussing the burgers themselves, Hamish said: “They’re simple burgers but with interesting sauces and they are easy to create lots of. Some people will use lots of braised meats but you can’t actually eat them. My favourite thing about it is coming up with the recipes for the sauces and being creative with that.”

Hamish’s simple approach to the art of burger-making certainly served him well at the National Burger Awards, cooking up his Royale with Extra Cheese to help Fattso walk away with third place overall.

Hamish told The Bristol Tab: “It was a really fun day chatting with all of the people about their businesses. To come away with third, I was really pleased.”

After discovering that one of the country’s best burgers was being served on my doorstep I had no choice but to stretch my dwindling student budget and give the award-winning burger a try…

The Royale with Extra Cheese

Fattso’s Royale with Extra Cheese

The burger contains two dry-aged beef patties, layered with Lea & Perrins mayo, three different kinds of cheese (American, Ogleshild and Gruyere), malt pickled onions, and bone marrow confit onions. The inspiration behind it is Hamish’s love for cheese on toast, and I was intrigued to find out how he had managed to translate its wonderful taste into a burger.

My expectations were high, particularly due to the £11.50 price tag, but I wasn’t left disappointed as I devoured what was undoubtedly the best burger I’ve ever eaten. High praise, I know, but the combination of flavours and quality of ingredients was incredible.

Lea & Perrins mayo was something I had never come across before and I was a tad sceptical about it. However, Hamish’s creativity paid off as it turned out to be an amazing sauce that complimented the combination of cheeses perfectly.

Crucially, the flavour produced by the mayo and cheese combo didn’t overpower the taste of the meat, which should of course be the star of the show in any burger. The patties were juicy, tender, and excellently seasoned, and the fact that there were two of them made it even better.

The onions were a brilliant touch that lifted the burger to the next level. They not only added unbelievable flavour but also a much-needed change in texture as they still had a slight crunch to them. Surprisingly, the burger didn’t fall victim to the usual collapse that occurs when eating one, remaining structurally sound the entire time – an added bonus.

Alongside my burger, I ordered the jalapeno spiced fries, which were only £3.50 (50p more than the normal fries). They had a nice kick to them without being too spicy and were cooked to perfection with a soft, fluffy interior and crispy skin. There was a range of unique sauces available to go with the fries, with my personal favourite being the garlic and chive buttermilk mayo.

Overall, I couldn’t recommend Fattso’s food more highly. Sure, it may be on the expensive side but you’re well and truly getting more than your money’s worth, so make sure to head down to the Stag and Hounds for a pint and an unbelievable burger.

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