We were lucky this week to be given tickets to see the comedian Miles Jupp at St David’s Hall – RC’s best mate had a couple of tickets going spare which he very kindly offered us (thanks Math!) so I pounced on the opportunity to try somewhere new for dinner beforehand. After a quick peruse of my list of the (very very numerous) places I want to try, I quickly settled on one which has been blowing up on the Cardiff food blogger circuit of late – Burger Theory at Kongs.
Now, I am not going to lie. My expectations for Burger Theory were sky high – mouthwatering pictures all over my Instagram and some pretty positive commentary from bloggers such as Fuudblog and GourmetGorro – I didn’t even discuss it with RC, just basically told him where we were going for dinner and that was that.
One very circuitous route later (lesson: never trust a new Cardiffian with driving directions through the city centre), we managed to park the car and make it over to Kongs- but would we like what we found?
Short answer: yes!
The first thing that struck me on entering Kongs was space. Lots and lots of it. The area is pretty large, warehouse-esque, and probably due to being a Tuesday, was fairly quiet. The central bar is surrounded by arcade games and ping pong tables in addition to regular eating-and-drinking tables; I can imagine it is absolutely buzzing when busy.
Coming from London it is still a slightly strange feeling to have so much space (what? no queue?) but we pretty quickly got over that and settled in with the menu. And yes I do mean settled in, the menu here is huge, which on my part requires reading everything very carefully in order to ensure optimal ordering. There were definitely a few contenders (I’m not a veggie but, southern fried portobello mushroom?! YES PLEASE), but I finally settled on one which I’d seen on a few blogs and thought sounded amazing – the KFC (Korean fried chicken).
While waiting for the food, we got a few drinks in – RC went for Sierra Nevada, whilst I opted for a ginger beer and lime as I am
still recovering from an unexpectedly big night out in London last week doing Dry January (*cough*).
The presentation of both our burgers was great – tin plates giving a rustic touch, coupling each a burger with a side. We’d opted for fries and onion rings to share but I have a slight twinge of regret about this as there were some of the most inventive sides I’ve seen on the menu… I need to come back at some point for the halloumi chips, obvs.
As for the KFC itself – oh wow. It was pretty fricking amazing. The brioche bun was layered with fresh salad and a decent serve of fried chicken, topped with a sticky soy and ginger sauce, crushed peanuts, fresh chilli and spring onion. There was so much flavour to the burger, with the salty soy glaze adding a serious intensity cut through by the onion and chili.
The RC wasn’t so lucky in his initial menu choices – his first choice (CBH) was the one burger they were unable to make that night, and then there was a wholemeal bun shortage, but he finally got in with the Sheriff on an Italian herb bun; a solid beef burger smothered in tangy BBQ sauce, cheese, bacon and onion rings (yup right there in the burger). The staff were so genuinely lovely and apologetic about the CBH not being available, and to be fair I think it really is the perfect excuse to go back again! I had a bite and it was fantastic, again full of flavour with the BBQ sauce adding a lovely smokiness to the burger.
Verdict? Definitely the most creative burgers I have seen and pretty darn tasty too. We will be back!