We ordered from the restaurant located in a Hyde Park basement that takes orders by text

Chez Joel will literally be the best pick up of your life

I was recently told by friends about an elusive, underground burger man who takes food orders by text and works from his basement in Hyde Park– intrigued, I had to try out the goods.

Chez Joel’s is a small fast-food kitchen based in a basement kitchen on Brudenell Grove, Hyde Park. Joel has a small but delicious menu including burgers, tacos and chicken. Joel cooks up his delicious burgs in a kitchen, in the basement of a house that looks exactly like any other student terrace. He could literally be your neighbour.

Joel’s food is available on Deliveroo and Just Eat, but you can also text him your order. The system is pretty much like any other pick up you might have done in Hyde Park. A vague text order is sent and goods are handed over, mostly within the hour.

All of Joel’s homemade burgers are accompanied by skin on fries which come smothered in a naughty maple mayonnaise sauce. Most importantly, this delicious meal comes at the delectable student price of five pounds (or six pounds if you’re a grown up). Yes, a fiver!

Joel cooks from his basement on Brudenell Grove

Joel’s kitchen is based in his Hyde Park basement, in a house which looks exactly the same as most of ours. Although Joel scores better on hygiene ratings than our student houses, and the scran is the best a Brudenell Grove kitchen has ever seen. We cant wait for nights out to happen again so we can sack off Maccies and go for some burgers round Joel’s.

He has almost 2000 followers on Instagram. He posts offers and giveaways, as well as reels, food porn, and videos of him just vibing in his kitchen.

We recognise that dingy Hyde Park basement lighting

He came to Leeds for two weeks in 2015 and is still here

The Leeds Tab asked Joel why he started his business, and what it’s like to work from a basement in a student area (he was an absolute delight to chat to, by the way). Inspired by his mother, Joel started cooking when he was just a child before going on to join culinary school in Cameroon. After this he moved to France, where he went to pastry school and worked across the country as a chef.

Joel arrived in Leeds in 2015 thinking he was in for a two week holiday before discovering how nice the people were and deciding to stay (we know how you feel, Joel). He has been serving burgers and crepes in town for a few years, but has only been offering his basement based burgers since last March.

Joel loves cooking for students

We asked Joel what it’s like cooking for the student population: “Nothing special…” he jokes, before going on to going on to say how much he loves and appreciates his student fanbase. Joel says its “one of the best things” being able to provide food at such a low price and expressed his deepest sympathies for the money starved student population who just want a tasty meal for a tasty price.

Picking up has never been so tasty

Okay, onto the good bit. After texting Joel, you’ll receive your goods. Late-night, street-corner pick ups in Hyde Park have literally never tasted so good. You’ll probably pick up the goods from Joel’s delivery driver, who’ll meet you on a street corner in much the same fashion as other pick-ups we know too well.

Joel’s kitchen is located on Brudenell Grove

The food looks incredible

To test the food, a friend and I ordered the Sweet Lille Burger (Joel’s favourite item on the menu!) and Sweet Lille Veggie Burger. Though I can’t say myself what the meat was like, my friend reported through mayonnaise mouthed cries that her meaty Lille Sweet was absolutely divine.

As for me, a veggie, takeaway burgers usually mean a soggy blend of potato and sweetcorn smothered in frighteningly acidic mayonnaise. Because of this I was super excited to try Joel’s burgers and am delighted to announce they are truly delicious. My burger was a homemade patty of dense, tasty goodness, thankfully without a sweetcorn in sight. It arrived thick (thicc) in a squashy brioche bun, packed with crunchy slaw, caramelised onions, oozing cheese and mayo.

His new sweet potato burgers are divine

On my taste testing voyage, I also had the chance to try Joel’s new sweet potato burger which was equally delicious. It comes served with the above burger dressings and a choice of either burger sauce or garlic mayo. Instead of being hit by the usual take-away tang, Joel’s garlic mayo actually tastes like both garlic and mayonnaise, the highest of praises for this glorious condiment and its tasty sweet potato pairing.

The new sweet potato burgers are incredible

Joel has plans to expand his business, but will still cook from the basement

Joel told The Leeds Tab his plans for the future are “huge”. He dreams of expanding his take-away business to other student cities before eventually opening a boulangerie in Leeds.

Joel said he’s still planning to cook from his Brudenell Road basement when things open up again. He said he’ll stay “if the landlord doesn’t kick me out!”. He says he wants to keep “making the students happy” (what a guy).

And the good news is, we can all order late night drunken Chez Joel’s when things are up and running again, but fro now, he’s open 4-10pm.“I was planning to open on Friday and Saturday till 2am but I can’t because of coronavirus and because there’s less students at the moment, so its 4-10pm for now”. When things are back to normal, Joel plans to serve at lunch time and till late on the weekend.

Joel’s city base, where it all began

If you’re looking to mop up those lockdown blues with a cheese soaked bread bun, Joel’s burgers are for you; absolutely delicious, really interesting and kinda quirky. So go on, swap out those other Hyde park numbers and hit up Joel for the most satisfying pick up in Leeds.

Find Joel here for menus and link to socials.

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