Blues Kitchen Brixton – 12th September 2017

Blues Kitchen is one of my favourite restaurants, it has such a fun vibe, great food and the onion rings in the Camden Blues Kitchen were pretty damn nice. So I had to see for myself if the Brixton branch could live up to its sister.

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 5
Cost: £3.00
Cost per ring: 60p

 

These rings are definitely fresh, something I think we should all come to expect from any self-respecting restaurant. The texture was SPOT on. 10/10 for texture. The batter was not breaded but it was very crunchy which is particularly unusual and delicious.

However, the taste of the batter was downright dull. It was completely bland and seriously lacking in salt and almost had a soapy taste.

Once I added my own salt they were somewhat revived but the flavour was tinged with the recent taste of disappointment. I ain’t got time to add my own salt dammit, I’m busy enjoying my meal and chatting to my mates. Besides, I don’t need the guilt of knowing how much salt it takes to make onion rings taste nice, keep that dirty secret to yourselves chefs!

The inner onion was nice and juicy but sadly neither the juicy onion nor the perfect texture could save these rings from the tasteless batter.

These are not as the good as the onion rings that I had in the Blues Kitchen Camden.

 

Summary

Perfect batter texture. Bland batter taste.

Overall Rating: 7/10

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Bodeans – 4th September 2017

Double date with Mark and Ellie to their favourite BBQ restaurant. I have high expectations for the onion rings in a BBQ joint but would these match up to my standards?

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 9 
Cost: £3.75
Cost per ring: 42p

 

My first impression was that they were very pale and I was concerned they would not be good. Luckily I found when I took my first bite that they had a good strong flavour and the batter was perfectly salty. Never underestimate the importance of salt when it comes to onion rings.

They were pretty hard to chew through and cleanly bite the onion in half so I had to eat them whole (what a sight haha!). Something clearly wasn’t quite right with the structure.  The batter was very soft, probably due to the fact that it wasn’t breaded.

The inner onion was very juicy and nicely complimented by the taste of the batter. However these rings would have rated more highly if they were a little crispier.

Battered onion rings (as opposed to breaded) often have the problem of being on the plain side but thankfully it was not the case with Bodeans rings, they were very flavoursome. The rest of the food was also pretty good although I went for a hotdog and I know the burger would have been better but you just gotta have a hotdog once every 2 years or so to remind yourself of the superiority of burgers.

Summary

Juicy, soft onion rings.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Auld Hundred, Edinburgh – 27th August 2017

So excited to have visited the Fringe Festival for the first time. I went with my friends Charlotte, Issy and Rhianna and the four of us just had the most fantastic time. Cool bars, hilarious comedy, great company.. but how was Edinburgh’s onion ring game?

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 7
Cost: £2.59
Cost per ring: 37p

The pub was pleasant and it suited exactly what we needed, a speedy service of good food between shows. However the onion rings were sadly that familiar from frozen taste.

However I’m not sure if the rings were actually from frozen like a classic pub onion ring but they tasted run of the mill for sure. Again, perhaps they are from frozen but deep fried? This always confuses the tastebuds…

The texture was good, not too stodgy, and the grease levels were spot on. The batter was nice and crispy and this was complemented exactly as you’d hope with juicy inner onions.

 

Summary

Perfectly ordinary rings.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Prince William Henry – 18th August 2017

 Alex’s 23rd Birthday! We descended on this pub with heated outdoor tables to celebrate. But.. were the onion rings cause for celebration?

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 16
Cost: £3.30
Cost per ring: 21p

 

Pub grub at it’s worst and best. Let me explain…

These were 100% bog standard frozen onion rings. The ones you bite into and you question what they are even made of but you still get an overwhelming onion smell. If you go in with your eyes open to the fact that these are a dirty pub food then you could be tempted to say that they are nice.

The outer of each ring is crispy but I was almost unable to differentiate between the batter and onion once you are inside. The innards had the consistency of mashed potato not onion which does not make for a juicy delicious onion ring.

At 21p per ring they were definitely hitting the spot. I obviously couldn’t finish them and nor did I want to but a few cheapo onion rings go down a treat when you’re in a big group at the pub.

Summary

So bad… it’s almost good, but not quite.

Overall Rating: 3/10

Cabana at the O2 – 19th July 2017

THE most anticipated night of the year. We went to go and see Blink-182 at the O2 Arena and before it started I went to Cubana to sample their onion rings.

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 6
Cost: £3.95
Cost per ring: 66p

 

I was excited to try these onion rings because the menu calls them Churrasco Onion Rings. A quick google search told me that Churrasco is a Portuguese word for grilled beef and can also refer to barbecue in general. So I was expecting some kind of meaty/BBQy feast.

Sadly I was disappointed. They were not special.

A powdered herb mix was sprinkled on top of the dish which was very nice. I suppose this is what they do to them to justify calling them “Churrasco”. Sadly, the seasoning did not coat all of the onion rings only the top ones and it left me wanting.

My initial thoughts were that these rings tasted very familiar which is a red flag sign that usually means that these are cooked from frozen. (Am I just eating the same brand of gross rings over and over??)

The classic onion ring dilemma occurred when I bit in, the whole slimy onion slid out.. a tell tell sign of frozen rings. What a shame. Considering the cost per ring is higher than average I think this is pretty cheeky.

The batter was pretty dry but the onion itself was very juicy which averaged it out to a good level of juicy. Although the batter was nice and salty, you could tell something was lacking. Still they weren’t unpleasant in the slightest but they were certainly nothing noteworthy.

As you can see I still had a good time.

Summary

Frozen rings with herbs on. Fine.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Henry’s Kitchen (Hampton Court) – 8th July 2017

A meal after a 13 hour bar work shift was always going to have a lot to live up to.

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THE STATS

Number of Rings: 7
Cost: £3.35
Cost per ring: 48p

 

They were served in a mini chip basket to make them look fancy but they were not.

 

I don’t have much to say other than they were Bog Standard Frozen onion rings and were pretty dry on top of that. The onion was their only redeeming factor but did not do enough to save them.

 

Summary

Dry frozen rings in disguise.

Overall Rating: 4/10

Hixter – 14th June 2017

I dragged Ben and my friend Charlie to Hixter because I needed to make the pilgrimage to try these Frankenstein’s Monster of onion rings: Salt ‘n’ Vinegar Onion Rings.

 

 

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 11
Cost: £4.75
Cost per ring: 43p

 

Not gonna lie this is the most excited I’ve been to try new onion rings and (spoilers) they did NOT disappoint.

Firstly just LOOK AT THEM. What even is going on here? They thrown caution to the wind and have torn up the onion ring rulebook. The batter was full of black poppy seeds which makes for a very unusual and eye-catching dish.

However it wasn’t just their bold looks which made them stand out from the crowd, the salt and vinegar flavour is extraordinary. Using such an intense flavour such as vinegar was a fearless move by the chefs at Hixter and it really works. The vinegar was the main flavour as it masks the familiar onion taste. I’m sure the onion must have been marinated in vinegar as this is definitely the source of the onion ring’s zing. The onion was itself thin yet juicy.

The batter was not breaded which usually is key but in this case I think would have been a mistake to add another element to this mix. It had perfect amount of salt and worked perfectly with the poppy seeds. The grease levels made the dish moist and were not overwhelming.

I couldn’t believe there were so many in a portion. I’ve since checked Hixter’s website and the price has reduced to £3.50 which at 43p per ring would be an eight ring portion but I cannot confirm this. As we know this is more in keeping with the typical portion size for a side of onion rings.

I ate all eleven rings before I even thought about eating my burger and chips which says a lot for how intriguing (and delicious) they were.

As for the restaurant itself, it was so lovely. First we had beers in “Mark’s Bar” which was downstairs and had an ultra cool vibe. I’d definitely go in there just for drinks with some mates. The food was also great, my burger was delicious, Ben’s steak was “amazing”. Charlie ordered the half chicken and they really meant half a chicken. It came with a foot!

Summary

A science experiment gone right. If you love vinegar these are for you. 

Overall Rating: 10/10