About Simplicity Burger
Neil Rankin is best known for his love of meaty dishes, having opened three of his Temper restaurants in the capital, which serve a selection of fish-filled tacos and grilled meats resting atop charcoaled flatbread. Suffice to say, it came as a bit of a shock when the Scotland-born chef announced his plans to open a burger joint that would serve mostly vegan buns.
Found on the world-famous Brick Lane, Simplicity Burger is a compact two-floor site which features a cocktail bar on the ground floor and a casual diner-style space upstairs. The menu here consists of a range of plant-based burgers in the style of a typical US diner, alongside sides and drinks.
Simplicity Burger is a collaborative effort between Rankin, former The Truscott Arms owner Andrew Fishwick and Smokehouse’s former executive chef David Lagonell. The trio are keen to tackle the spate of heavily processed meat-free burgers that can currently be found on London menus. Speaking to Big Hospitality about Simplicity Burger, Rankin commented: “It pisses me off that vegan dining has gone down the processed route. Everything in our restaurant is made fresh by hand.”
Simplicity Burger is also keen to promote locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant keeps the recipe and make up of its plant-based patties a closely-guarded secret, but the majority of the components are sourced within the UK. Just one element, a widely used soy-based ingredient, is sourced from abroad.
Rankin’s pivot to plant-based dining is interesting considering that his Temper restaurant group is known for nose-to-tail dining and its signature dish of barbecued meats served on top of flatbreads. The chef has not totally turned his back on the restaurants that made his name though – although he has taken a step back in his creative role at the restaurant group, he is still involved as both a director and shareholder.