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

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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

 

The Fable – 8th March 2017

Out for an impromptu lunch at a restaurant I’d never heard of, I was surprised to see onion rings on the menu of a relatively posh lunch place. I was intrigued. Surely they wouldn’t serve the Bog Standard Frozen here? 

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 8
Cost: £3.25
Cost per ring: 41p

I was right, these were fresh. I love it when you find a good class of onion ring unexpectedly. These were lovely, freshly-cooked onion rings and they hit the spot.

The texture of the batter was perfectly crispy and overall a great juiciness level was achieved. Just look at the photos to see how light the coating was, it worked very well in this case.

They were not at all stodgy and could only have been improved by adding a little more salt.

The restaurant was really nice and full of smart looking men and women having business meetings and lunch for special occasions. Special mention goes to this table here which I’m sure you’d have to book well in advance if you wanted to sit here.

Summary

Great, fresh onion rings. Would buy again.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Vodka Revolution – 7th February 2017

Nothing says I’m a true friend like buying delicious snacks to share when you are out drinking with your mates but are Vodka Rev’s up to scratch?

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 7
Cost: £2.75
Cost per ring: 39p

Wow firstly these rings are so cheap, but you only get seven onion rings not the standard eight ring portion that I have come to expect plus one of them was on the small side so that was even more disappointing.

I think these rings are from frozen but they were well cooked and perhaps the premium end of the frozen ring scale. They didn’t taste very strong, the batter was plain and the onion also wasn’t very flavoursome.   You can see a huge gap between the onion and the batter.

I will say the texture of the batter was good though as despite its bland taste the onion was pretty juicy. The crispiness of the batter was fine, not amazing but fine.

I’d buy these again if I really wanted onion rings but they aren’t anything special.

Summary

These are perfectly mediocre. Good for a boozy snack.

Overall Rating: 5/10

The Lord Nelson Pub Southwark – 23rd November 2016

I visited this funky pub to meet my friend Ellie. Pub onion rings are always a risk, they could swing either way so wasn’t sure what to expect.

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 16
Cost: As part of meal + £1

This pub was really unusual with lots of eye catching decorations. A pretty cool place for a drink and I was hoping too a good spot for onion rings. Sadly I was disappointed.

The onion rings at the Lord Nelson were the bog standard frozen. As for how bog standard go I’ll say these were very dry on the outside (because they are baked from frozen) but perfect grease levels inside. A sadly familiar taste that is boring and not like the real ale. They look grim and beige.

Despite my onion ring disappointment the burger I had called the “Chicken Elvis” was awesome. It had chicken, peanut butter and bacon with lovely soft bread. Would recommend.

Summary

Bog standard frozen.

Overall Rating: 3/10

Byron – 4th November 2016

I appreciate a nice burger with my onion rings. Here’s what Byron had to offer…

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 7
Cost: £3.50
Cost per ring: 50p

My initial reaction is that these onion rings look frozen to me… but almost like the top end of frozen. Perhaps they are from frozen but they are fried rather than baked? This is something I’ve not really contemplated enough until right now… game changer.

The grease levels were mid to high but certainly not the most greasy I have encountered. However after an initial crunch which comes with a small injection of flavour, the zing quickly washes away with an excess of grease and the taste to match. Sadly the batter’s flavour is not intense enough to overcome it’s own grease. Despite the inclusion of black pepper, the batter becomes very plain.

The inner onion itself was also plain and again I think the flavour was lost to the grease. Nonetheless the onion was very juicy and had a satisfying bite. The quality of the onion affects the overall flavour heavily, in this case it makes a small effort to diminish the grease level.

Summary

I was not dissatisfied with these. Gourmet Frozen.

Overall Rating: 6/10