What can I say, I was a little excited and confused for this review.
When I’d spotted the sign pop up on East Reach in Taunton, as the Editor of this website of course I noticed and like most of Taunton immediately said, “wtf is wet burger”.
I was surprised as by now I thought I’d tried all the burgers. I mean I’ve eaten burgers in UK, USA, Cyprus, Malta, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, St Lucia, Bermuda…….Turkey. But I’ve never heard of a wet burger.
Well it turns out this is a little more niche, it’s a big thing in Istanbul, and not so much in the slightly more touristy areas I’ve visited. Or perhaps I just didn’t know to ask for one. It’s also known as an Islak burger.
OK, so a quick Google told me roughly what to expect. A small patty or slider, which is covered in a tomato and garlic sauce, in a soft bun (also covered in sauce) which is then steamed and then served.
Right…. that’s a lot to take in. And we’re getting quite far away from what I know as a burger.
So, time passes and I notice a sudden burst of activity in the shop. It’s coming!
Then last week, suddenly an ad on my timeline. I didn’t need to search, it just slipped into my DMs. Along with a link to a website with a menu.
First observation: Cool! they’re doing a bunch of different burgers. Second observation: The Wet Burger is how much? £2.50? What? how?
It must be a tiny slider or a mini burger, makes sense given you’re getting sauce too….
So, this lunch, after a client call I decided to pop over and check it out.
How was Adam’s Wet Burger?
These were made for me fresh, it was 2pm in the afternoon after all.
Total wait time about 5 minutes, sat in the very clean, freshly decorated shop with plenty of well-spaced tables, a nice minty-teal colour scheme with some very cool artwork on the walls.
I did ask who the artist was, they were commissioned by a Turkish artist which I thought was even cooler.
It’s hard not to overstate how nicely the shop had been outfitted. Of course it is clean and immaculate, they’ve only been open a few days but the vibe from the staff is that this is a professional establishment that will stay that way. They were very pleasant, friendly and professional, very clean and well presented (especially important in these Covid times).
I took the burgers home to eat. Mainly because it’s weird photographing and writing notes on a burger, on your own, in a restaurant, at 2pm.
When I cracked it open I was surprised. Expectations were low due to the cost, but to my surprise this thing was big, like a normal burger size. Sure the patty isn’t fat. it doesn’t need to be as there’s about 5-6mm of thick marinara on top of it, as there is on every conceivable surface.
The smell hits you immediately, garlic and butter, Yes.
I took the burger out of all packaging (for the photo) and ate in half (because that’s what I do) but the Mrs did eat it as intended, in the wrapper and actually it isn’t as messy as you’d expect. You totally can get away with eating this at a desk if you’re careful.
OK, so the sauce is everything here. Tangy tomato, garlic, onion, butter, seasoning. It’s actually really nice and just combines the whole thing.
The patty is there, it’s meaty, it’s seasoned well, it seems to have some additional spice than just any old burger. Hard to tell as there’s a lot of flavour going on. It’s not a big fat rare steak burger or anything like that, nor should it be. It provides the spine of this burger with a nice meaty undertone, but the whole thing is elevated by the sauce. It’s like eating a meatball sandwich that is from another dimension and that’s been turned inside out.
Then just to top it off, one of my favourite things, the bun is steamed. I love this. It’s one of the reasons I like Five Guys, as they purposely let their buns sweat. This means the white roll here is super soft, and moist, and also coated in sauce.
So yeah, £2.50 gets you all this. AND Tomato is one of your five a day right?
I’ll be back to try a big, fat, loaded burger ASAP (as calories and exercise allows) but it’s gonna be hard not to just go for another Wet Burger unless something dramatic happens there, in fact that may actually be my new default indulgence food).
One of the most exciting new burger concepts for me and I feel very fortunate it’s appeared in Taunton.
Now is the time to support enterprise, to support local business and to support our high street.
For full transparency I did not receive any payment or freebies in exchange for this review or otherwise. In fact the establishment had no idea who I was or that I was going to visit.