As lockdown rolls on, it seems our desire for rib-sticking comfort food is insatiable.
Just watch the queues building up outside city takeaway hatches. They’re never punting salad or smoothies.
Luxford Burgers, owned by Alex Galpin, 19, and Jake Payne, 23, is at the forefront of the capital’s take on this foodie trend.
Their wares are cooked in a bright blue shipping container along Albert Street in Leith.
However, alongside this dark kitchen, they’ve now taken over Aizle’s former 36-cover premises at 107-109 St Leonard’s Street, to open a restaurant and lounge bar.
After preparing burgers for click and collect and Deliveroo, this will eventually be a more conventional enterprise, with customers actually sitting in.
“We have found it amazingly refreshing to move into a new venue and it feels great knowing we are expanding our horizons”, says Alex, who met Jake when they worked together at a restaurant in Kent.
“The container is a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, and cooking to order there is just like any other kitchen; same equipment and feel, just not in a physical building. However, the restaurant is definitely the next step. It’ll be great to have a more face-to-face relationship with our customers, rather than just through online platforms”.
In the last five months, they’ve been hugely successful - “the growth we’ve experienced has been unreal”. The highs also came with difficulties, as, apparently, City of Edinburgh Council put pressure on their original venue to close, on the grounds they didn’t have the relevant planning permission, though Alex says they “had been informed by the same department it was not required two months prior”.
They’re now waiting to find out if they can keep their shipping container going, in conjunction with the new premises.
“Our biggest downside has been the council being incredibly unsupportive to our small, independent business” says Alex. “We were shocked at how the planning department, especially during a time like this, dealt with our case, yet we hope to build a good working relationship with them going forward, as we love the city, the culture and the people”.
Their menu options include The Donnie Darko, which doesn’t contain any rabbit, but crispy garlic chicken fillet, double American cheese, smoked streaky bacon and sriracha mayonnaise. There’s The Labyrinth, The Shrek, The Fight Club, The Shining and The Pulp Fiction, among other movie-themed burgers. All named after “cult films”, says Alex, though we’re not sure if The Chicken Run and The Johnny English quite fit that category.
There’s more of the same coming to their new venue, which will also have a “Fifties New York cinema vibe” and a focus on cocktails.
“We’re in the middle of revamping our current food menu and we’ve got some really interesting and cool ideas”, Alex says. “ All will be revealed, but they include The Lost in Translation featuring our crispy garlic chicken fillet, with diced negi, wasabi paste, pickled daikon, sliced avocado and a togarashi and miso-infused mayonnaise, and The Clockwork Orange with 32-day aged Aberdeen Angus beef patties, smoked Monterey Jack cheese, American mustard, truffle and carrot ketchup, plus a bacon and jalapeño relish”.