Someone I work with found out (rather early on into our relationship, needless to say) that I love burgers. He immediately began describing a wondrous place, where the burgers were the size of your head, and that you could choose your own toppings, and that it was the best burger he had ever had. Sold, salivating and scheming, I began formulating my plan of attack on The Fat Hippo.
My Geordie dining buddy Adele and I decided to go for an early dinner to check the place out. Based in the heart of Jesmond, just off of the ever buzzing Osborne Road, The Fat Hippo is nestled on a corner down at the bottom of St Georges Terrace. The restaurant is pretty small, so I wasn't able to get a picture of the setting without startling some innocent customers! The restaurant does look like part of a house, which I believe was converted to house this little gem. Just look for the sign, and all shall be well...
The interior is really kitsch, with mismatching chairs, little hippo ornaments dotted around and funky artwork all around. People of all ages are welcome, however it is based in the student zone of Jesmond and it did seem to be predominantly young adults who were there.
Adele and I sat outside in the small patio basking in the afternoon sun. I had already checked the menu, but as soon as I looked again I entered into the usual conflict I have between my head, heart and stomach. We both ordered a stunning White Zinfandel rose wine whilst we hummed and hawed over our choices. It was so refreshing, and set me up perfectly for my meal...
Chilled, fruity and slightly sweet, it was everything I could have wanted in a wine.
We decided not to go for starters, which to be honest I'm glad we did. You'll see why! Adele ordered the "Some Like it Hot" chicken burger, but without cheese (I know, she's strange) served on a Ciabbatta bun with a side of fries...
I loved that they served the pickles, lettuce and tomato separately on the paddle board, so you can choose to garnish your burger or nibble away like a rabbit. Adele described the chicken as juicy, and so tender that it sliced with next to no effort. The chicken is marinated in a spicy Cajun coating, with a good kick in the after taste. The jalapeño also added a tangy bite to the burger, which couldn't even be calmed by the savoury chips on hand. Served piping hot, Adele confirmed that she would be happy to eat this burger again, and again...
As I was doing a review, it seemed only fair to go for the burger named after the place that it was created. Yes, ladies and gents, I ordered "The Fat Hippo" beefburger served with triple fried hand-cut chips...
A soft, slightly warmed brioche bun. Three perfectly fried, crunchy onion rings. A dollop of sweet caramelised onions. Two rashers of smoked bacon. A mountain of melted cheese. This, readers, was the Messiah of all burgers. Usually I get tiresome of bacon halfway through and pull it out - but this was perfection. (The only amendment I made was that I asked for no chorizo in mine - I dislike the texture.) Each bite was just packed with the most intense flavours, and of course a generous coating of mayonnaise just enhanced the experience. The triple fried chips, served in their own cute little bucket, were surprisingly soft, really fluffy and tasted beautiful. The only thing that could have fulfilled my burger dreams was a chocolate milkshake to wash it down with...
Chilled, milky and chocolatey. It was amazing and simply needs no more explanation.
I was fit to burst once I demolished my burger. I barely even made it halfway through my chips too, and usually I can fit two courses in easily.
We sat for a while digesting the monstrous burgers we had cleared and swapping silly ghost stories and enjoying the fresh rose wine we had ordered to see us through.
Adele and I went to the till inside the restaurant to pay. For 1 large glass of wine, 3 small glasses, 1 milkshake, 1 apple juice and 2 burgers, our bill came to just over £28. Staggeringly just about £15 a head! I saw on the menu that if you go between 5pm and 7pm Tuesday to Friday, one course is only £7, two courses are £9 and three courses (if you're brave) is only £10.
So get yourself booked into The Fat Hippo, and tell them The (now) Fat Fox sent you!
The Fat Hippo
35A St Georges Terrace
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 340 8949
Wheelchair access: Yes