Meat Liquor – 15th October 2016

These are some pretty Instafamous onion rings so it was only right that I put them to the Onion Rings Rated test.

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 5 (large)
Cost: £3.50
Cost per ring: 70p

Firstly let’s talk about Meat Liquor itself. I had to queue for 20 minutes outside before we were even let into the restaurant and then we has a further 20 min wait in the bar area. This place serves fantastic dirty food and is a hot spot on a Saturday night so be prepared to queue. This restaurant is an experience let’s say. It’s very dark inside like a nightclub (check the photo below) and has loud music to match.

We each had a cocktail called “GAME OVER” which is so strong that it is limited to two per person! The cocktails are London prices, £10.50 seemed like a good deal for vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, pisang ambon and absinthe all in one hit!

Getting down to the oniony business now: The menu starts off with a bold claim in describing the rings as “Big and Fluffy”. I can officially confirm that these claims were not unfounded.

I was served with 5 almost comically large rings which were almost an inch thick/tall as well as having a large diameter. This made it possible to truly enjoy the perfectly cooked onion which lay within. It was just one thick ring inside and it was lovely. So juicy.I would describe as fluffy yes because they were certainly not crunchy. The texture was fantastic and also very flavoursome. Finally somewhere that doesn’t scrimp on salt! Scrumptious!

 

Summary

One of the greats.

Overall Rating: 10/10

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Honest Burgers Brixton – 1st October 2016

My boyfriend and I were going to a housewarming in Brixton and I took him to Honest Burger so I could try these onion rings. I’d seen them on Instagram before so I knew they looked good.

 

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 5
Cost: Came as a side (Usually £3.50)

I was very happy when they offered to replace my fries with the onion rings at no extra cost and looking around the restaurant, lots of people were making the swap. Sadly I fear many regrets were had that evening.

Although they do look great and that’s because they were freshly cooked for sure… But sadly they were totally bland.

I couldn’t believe they’d left the kitchen tasting like they did. They were so plain they couldn’t have flavoured them at all. I’ll tell you what they tasted like, McDonalds chicken nugget batter. Grim but true.

Upset by these mediocre rings, and my lack of rosemary chips due to the swap, I tried to rescue my dinner by adding salt. Honest burger clearly think no added salt is necessary as I had to be asked for some to be brought to the table. They were right though, my efforts were futile.. salt didn’t help.

On the plus side I’d say the texture was spot on. They were wonderfully crunchy with perfect grease levels.

Summary

Very plain, freshly cooked & crispy onion rings that desperately need a sauce.

Overall Rating: 5/10

CAU Kingston – 9th September 2016

I was recommended this steakhouse on my Onion Rings Rated Instagram (which you can find here!)

Ben and I had a lovely meal here and he even described his meal as “the best steak of 2016 so far”.  Seriously bold claims.

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 6
Cost: £2.95
Cost per ring: 49p

Wow these are not your ordinary onion rings, they are strangely floppy but not even necessarily in a bad soggy way. They are so flexible. I would definitely describe these as gourmet, they for sure were made from scratch which is always a good sign.

The batter had red flecks in it which I’m pretty sure were chilli flakes – although don’t fear spice haters these were no where near the flame power even of Nando’s lemon and herb (you wusses). The chilli flakes are very subtle and make these rings particularly tasty and unique. I can’t quite put my finger on the flavour exactly but it’s somewhere in between sage and onion stuffing and a Chinese vegetable spring roll.

The onion itself was plain and not very sweet at all and I found that most of the flavour was coming from the batter.

Grease level approved: Not at all greasy but not at all dry.

Even Ben liked these onion rings and he is not what I would describe as an onion ring fan.

Summary

Very nice.  A great take on onion rings but they are not the classic. 

Overall Rating: 9/10

 

The Blues Kitchen Camden – 3rd September 2016

Date night! Ben and I were off to town but we had to dash off the streets of Camden as the heavens opened. Luckily we found this wonderfully decorated restaurant/bar, the Blues Kitchen.

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 5 (large)
Cost: £3
Cost per ring: 60p

These rings look delicious! I always say it but I love it when onion rings are made in house. Personally, I think this should be expected in a restaurant, how some places can justify charging £3.50/£4 for frozen onion rings is beyond me. Anyway back to the rings in hand!

They had a kinda smokey undertone which was very pleasant but they could have used more salt. I guess you can add that yourself. Something was missing though but I’m not sure what…

Sadly the did not reach their full potential because they were undercooked. You can see in the photos the clear layer of raw dough next to the inner onion. I was really disappointed, it made them unnecessarily stodgy.

They have the potential to be awesome but I think they needed another few mins in the fryer. To be honest I think the restaurant forgot we wanted them and rushed them out and that’s why they weren’t cooked properly.

Overall they’re still really good and served in a wicked establishment.

Despite the given rating, I have high hopes for these if cooked properly.

Now that we’ve completed the oniony business, I have to say that the fried chicken at this place is just bloody awesome. We were warned there’d be a 20 minute wait for the fresh chicken but it was well worth it, you have to try it. The burger was also good with Ben describing it as “the best burger [he]’d had in a long time”.

Summary

These have some serious potential but sadly on the day they were undercooked. Add extra salt.

Overall Rating: 8/10

The Old Frizzle Wimbledon – 27th August 2016

Hello!

The Old Frizzle is a great pub right by Wimbledon theatre. My boyfriend and I ended up here one summer Saturday when we were looking for somewhere to grab a bite outside in the warm late afternoon sun.

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THE STATS

Number of Rings: 11
Cost: £4.50
Cost per ring: 41p

These onion rings were nice and salty and with a portion size of eleven rings they certainly filled a hole. The onions inside were juicy and fairly sweet but overall the ring was somewhat plain. They weren’t offensive that’s for sure.

I am keen on the presentation. Putting the rings on a slate slab is simple and effective. Very trendy. Very Instagrammable.

Summary

They were good but there were no fireworks. Would buy again. 

Overall Rating: 7/10

The Sherlock Holmes – 28th July 2016

Hello again!

As you may know I have a special place in my heart for novelty themed restaurants. The Sherlock Holmes Pub in St James’s, London, did not slip my attention. It’s very well decorated in the theme and packed with tourists resting their weary feet. Despite it being a tourist trap, the chorizo hotdog meal I had, the “José Chorinio”, was both delicious AND reasonably priced at £10.

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THE STATS

Number of Rings: 10
Cost: £2.95
Cost per ring: 30p

Sadly, the onion rings were not so delicious. I was really disappointed with my side order to this otherwise tasty meal.

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Hollow crusts

These were quite possibly the driest onion rings I’ve ever had. They  were so stiff that when u bite them you have a job getting the bloody onion out.

Evidently they were from frozen and quite clearly overcooked too. Although they were not peppery at all like most frozens they were so dry I cannot stress this enough. What the hell

This proves to me that grease is key for a decent onion ring. It just goes to show you can swing both ways away from the perfect grease level.

Jeez these needed more moisture.

Summary

Driest onion rings I have ever eaten. More grease needed. Frozen.

Overall Rating: 1/10

The Sawyers Arms Paddington – 2nd July 2016

When I went to meet my friend Ellie at Paddington station it was a perfect opportunity to try some pub onion rings. Pub onion rings are of dramatically varying quality from pub to pub so this could have swung either way.

Sadly this is what came out of the kitchen.

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THE STATS

Number of Rings: 8
Cost: £2.95
Cost per Ring: 37p
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Ever the optimist I still hoped for the best

There is no doubt in my mind that these are frozen rings. With my first bite the entire onion flopped clean out of the batter and straight onto my chin. The onion inside was scalding hot and regrettably my chin was left burnt and sore.

The inner onion tasted dry, it was definitely overcooked. The batter has that typical bog standard frozen onion ring taste that’s unpleasantly oniony and fatty.

All I can say in their favour is that they weren’t absolutely disgusting and at least they didn’t cost too much money. One for when you’ve had a few beers maybe.

Up your game Sawyers Arms. Pub onion rings can be so much more!

Summary

They aren’t inedible but these are not good onion rings.

Overall Rating: 2/10

 

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Me suffering for my art.