Asado, Colston Street: Review

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This weekend involved a shopping trip with my younger sister…a task that’s impossible without proper sustenance beforehand. And as soon as I told her about the newly opened Asado burger joint on Colston Street and showed her a few Instagram photos, her mind was made up.

Asado’s located at 90 Colston Street, just up from the Colston Yard pub in the building that used to be home to Rosemarino. It’s an attractively decorated restaurant with its dark blue walls and deep mustard yellow seating, and highly Instagrammable natural wood tables. It features the same low hanging bare lightbulbs that are all the rage in the restaurant world at the moment, and the bar looks fantastic, the shelving crafted from old wooden crates.

 

Asado - Bar

 

The front dining room is a pretty tiny place, but there’s a secondary dining room out the back with a far lighter, brighter feel. Each table’s adorned with a metal bucket of condiments, cutlery and napkins…and it’s the latter that you’ll need the most when you visit, as these are definitely burgers of the messy variety.

The menu is short yet sweet, featuring a choice of two beef burgers, one chicken and one veggie option, with the ability to add bacon and an extra patty if desired. The menu makes it clear that Asado’s burgers are served pink, but can be ordered well done if preferred.

Choose from five different sides (ordered separately from the burgers) and a range of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, including beers from Wiper & True and Moor, and ciders from Cornish Orchards. There are two desserts on offer too, and the menu is pretty reasonably priced for a “gourmet burger” venue – at £7.50 to £8.50 for the burgers and £2.50 to £5 for the sides, it’s an affordable choice for a lunchtime or evening meal.

Our order was taken pretty quickly, and the two members of staff serving were both friendly and helpful throughout our visit, double checking whether we wanted our burgers served pink or well done, and visiting each of the tables while they were eating to chat about the food and the venue.

We were amused by the loud “SERVICE!” yell from the downstairs kitchen when our order was ready, and the sheepish admission from a member of the team that they probably should work out a better system as it’s hard to hear when the restaurant’s busy! We’d already seen other diners’ burgers coming out of the kitchen, and our mouths were already watering…

We’d both chosen the Asado Burger (£7.50) – Hannah’s cooked pink, mine well done. The patties had plenty of flavour and she raved about how tender hers was – mine was tasty, but the chargrilled flavour of the outside was a little too overpowering.

The toppings, though, were fantastic: juicy pink pickled onions with plenty of bite, a fresh and tangy chimichurri sauce, an oozing, melting mess of West Country Cheddar and plenty of lettuce and tomato…the flavour of the confit garlic mayo was a little lost among everything else, but the flavour combo was delicious. The lightly toasted seeded brioche held together well, and I didn’t get any funny looks for tackling it with a knife and fork rather than my hands, which I was glad about…

 

Asado - Asado Burger

 

We ordered two sides to share, beginning with the rosemary salt chips (£2.50). We both approved of the fact that they had been cooked with the skin on for additional flavour, and the fact that they had been seasoned with rosemary salt rather than rosemary and salt (if you see what I mean) meant that the flavours of both pervaded every single chip. The only slight disappointment was that I was expecting them to be slightly crispier, described as they were on the menu as double-fried, but they were delicious nonetheless.

 

Asado - Fries

 

The star of the sides, though, was the courgette fritters with spicy lime mayo (£4). Now, we’ve had mixed experiences with deep fried veg and pickles in the past, with some of them great, and some (ahem…MEATliquor) too soggy with the batter just sliding off.

These, though, were banging. The courgette strips had obviously been dried well before coating, and were cooked enough that they still had a decent bite to them and the coating was perfectly golden. We were glad of the generous dollop of spicy lime mayo too – it didn’t have a massive amount of heat to it, but a lovely tang and we polished off the rest of it with our chips.

 

Asado - Courgette Fritters

 

Because of the great service we’d received throughout, the optional service charge added to the bill didn’t annoy me as much as it does in other places. Would we go back? Yeah, we would – we’re keen to work our way through the other burgers on the menu, and in all honesty, I’d happily go back every single day of the week for more of those fritters. I just wish that my well cooked burger hadn’t been quite so charred…

 

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