Who has the better burger? Michelin golden boy Gordon Ramsay, or fusion favourite Umami Burger? I'm about to find out and let you know all the gritty details. Get ready for battle of BurGR vs. Burger!
In the Red Corner
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay sets up shop in Planet Hollywood just off the Miracle Mile to offer tasty bites after a long day of shopping. The restaurant's most impressive feature, other than the hostesses in tiny dresses, is their giant flaming BurGR sign at the front entrance which is both visible from the outside and inside of the restaurant (and very hot to stand beside in line to get in). The scottish chef owns 25 restaurants globally, and boasts an impressive 7 Michelin stars between them! The restaurant focuses on traditional burgers, fries and shakes with a twist. His burgers use prime cuts of beef and are grilled over an open flame fueled by hard woods. He also offers a large selection of cocktails and craft beers.
In the Blue Corner
New kid on the block Umami Burger busted onto the scene in late 2014. Located at SLS Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, this location opened in late 2014 and offers up a selection of fusion gourmet burgers, tasty fry selections, cocktails, and boasts a beer garden with an extensive collection of craft beers and outdoor seating area overlooking the strip. Voted "Burger of the Year" by GQ Magazine, Umami burgers are made from house-ground premium steak and blended with their own unique enhancing sauces and seasonings and formed by hand to make for a unique and sophisticated flavour experience.
BurGR's contenders have a glossy bun sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds and prime cuts of beef grilled over apple and alder woods. at approximately $15 a pop. To the left we have Gordon's good ole'American Burger with American cheese, butter lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. To the right we have the Hell's Kitchen Burger with asadero cheese, roasted jalapeno peppers, avocado and oven roasted tomato.
Round One: The Burgers
Umami Burger fires back with homemade-style buns emblazoned with a charred U with prime house-ground cuts of steak grilled to perfection. To the left we have The Throwback Burger , $10, with two seared beef patties, white cheddar, miso mustard, Umami house ketchup, soy pickles and minced onion. To the right is The Sunnyside Burger , $14, with parmesan frico, fried egg, truffle thyme compound butter, truffled arugula and truffled aioli!
BurGR starts of swinging with its huge potential being backed by a Michelin star chef, but quickly stumbles and falls flat when they were ordered medium and were cooked well done. Not a great start for the famous burgers. The American is super tasty and a good all 'round burger with delicious flame-grilled meat, but the Hell's Kitchen lets the team down with lack of salt, meaning a lackluster flavour that doesn't punch the tongue like a heavy contender should.
Umami the underdog, however, leaves the ego at home and presents some darn fine food. Both burgers deliver a massive whollop to the tastebuds from the very first bite with delicious fusion flavours. The Throwback may be their answer to a good ole' classic burger, but those pickles and asian-inspired ingredients dance on the tongue. The Sunnyside is pure heaven of tender, juicy meat and truffle essence throughout. This is a hangover burger for those with discerning tastes.
Round one Winner:
BurGR goes down with a tremendous fight, but in the end, Umami served the better burgers. Juicy medium cooked burgers were amazingly tender with outstanding flavour and attention to detail that ensured the victory of the fusion burgers. BurGR lacked the expected precision of the famous chef with overcooked meat, and sadly, the Hell's Kitchen burger contained a rather large piece of bone, which could have chipped a tooth. The manager handled the problem professionally, but the people around us were sending burgers back. Not good.
Round Two: The Fries
BurGR delivers a kick on quantity with one serving of fries able to feed two diners, but we ordered TWO for TWO. The Truffle Parmesan fries, $11 deliver a powerful kick to the tongue with lots of salty truffle flavour, and matched with the truffle aioli are a super tasty treat. Precision was again, sadly, lacking here where the fries were a bit soggy. The taste made up for lack of crunch, though, and nearly the whole order was consumed. The shy sweet cousin Sweet Potato Fries, $9, seem strange, but shouldn't be underestimated. These fries stole the scene with their crispy texture and saltiness paired strangely with powdered sugar. Try them once, and you'll find yourself powdering your fries more often than you powder your nose. They are DELICIOUS!! The honey jalapeno mayo doesn't even add anything to the tastiness. They are great as they are, and I highly recommend you try them.
Umami Burger also offers a selection of fries. We chose Truffle Fries, $5.50, and Korean Fries, $6, for a head to head battle of truffle vs. truffle and sweet potato vs. sweet potato. The Truffle Fries are thin-cut fries with house truffle cheese, while the Korean Fries are sweet potato fries topped with kimchi, goat cheese and scallion. Let met tell you, these fries are amazing!. Truffle fries kick you in the face with creamy truffle flavour and the perfect amount of salt while Korean fries offer a sophisticated blend of sweet, spicy and creamy, with each bite being a different experience of blending tastes.
Round two Winner:
Both of these contenders deliver a one-two punch with their "more than just a french fry" flavours. In truffle vs. truffle I declare Umami the winner due to overall flavour. While we preferred the larger-cut fry, there was no denying the crisp fries and depth of creamy, delicious flavour offered up by Umami. In Sweet Potato vs. Sweet Potato, however, BurGR kicks Umami to the curb with their addictive powder and crispy, salty fries. While the creamy goat's cheese and spicy kimchi was a tasty addition, it also made the fries a bit soggy in the end.
That means that this round is a TIE!!
Sorry, Ramsay, but Umami Burger takes home the prize, and GQ Magazine agrees. In the end, it's the burger that counts, and Umami delivered the better product with perfectly cooked, juicy, tender beef in burgers that were expertly seasoned with buckets of flavour in every bite. BurGR lacked the precision expected of the famous chef, and too many mistakes were made. Those sweet potato fries, though...YUM!
Even though Umami, in our opinion, makes the better burger, and the price is slightly lower, I would still recommend that you visit both places if you get the opportunity in Las Vegas. They both provide different experiences and taste opportunities, and the price ranges are equal and affordable. Both places offer up a sports bar-style environment, but BurGR will be a bit more crowded, and it will take longer to get in the door. They also have hostesses in itty bitty dresses, so fellas, there's that.
I hope you enjoyed the review of BurGR and Umami Burger. If you want to see more posts like this leave a comment, and check out facebook, twitter, and instagram.
Until next time, stay Chefy!
Find out more about Gordon Ramsay's BurGR in Planet Hollywood here
Find out more about Umami Burger in SLS here
Hey there! My name is Lea, and I'm a Canadian Culinary student trying to survive chef life in Denmark. I want to share my journey, and some great food and experiences with others. I believe that anyone can be quite chefy!