It’s hard to go past K-bar, I know. It looks beautiful and has alcohol. But what if I told you there was a world beyond Keynes? A hidden realm unseen to most, but one every voyager has attempted to locate since its inception a few years ago? A land where chicken is crisp, pizza is fresh, and burgers are so systematically, artery-cloggingly, outrageous they should probably be illegal?
An amalgamation of Mungo’s and K-bar, with a sprinkling of KFC, makes Hut 8: a bunker in Turing that takes what students love and tops it with an element of bonkers.
Make no mistake, I don’t mean ‘bunker’ flatteringly. It looks like an abandoned warehouse; a storage place for multi-coloured chairs discarded by the local nursery. I get it: it’s a homage to Hut 8 where Turing broke the code. Where’s the rustic feel? I want the scene to be set throughout. Typewriters. Portraits. I want there to be a video of Turing on loop in black and white. I want the music to be from the 40’s and 50’s. I want the plain white walls to be covered in frames head-to-toe. Visually, a lot more needs to be done. It wouldn’t be a place I’d want to stay in for too long, if it wasn’t for the heavenly pool tables and doubly-heavenly table tennis. The latter is free, if you’re willing to part with your student card for however long you play. I had the best time.
It’s time to show you why I called the food bonkers, in the very best of ways. Behold their signature dish: The Hut 8 Big Stack.
Two succulent beef burgers, bacon, salsa, cheese and an onion ring between two toasted buns, served with a sh*t tonne of fries. It’s not your future rise to heaven on a plate, it’s better. It’s the present. It’s a present. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted between two pieces of bread. When I broke open the KFC-esque box, the true glory of the meal was revealed. I didn’t even need to try to get out of the shot, the burger covered every inch of me.
The patties were so juicy, made salty by the tenderly soft bacon; the tempura crunch of the onion ring completing the whole thing. After every bite I just got hungrier for it. Not that I bit the whole thing in one go – no mouth can stretch wide enough to take a full bite. Don’t judge me, I tried: pressing down onto the burger made the juices drip. My friend opposite me said it looked disgusting. He is no longer my friend. Good burgers are never dry. The burger was a mission. It was Everest without the climbing rope, and each bite took me towards the peak. Half way through, its form no longer mattered to me.
Michelin star chefs deconstruct things all the time. I followed their lead as I dived into the second burger patty in all its glory. Thinking about it now, I want it again. It can take all my money, for it cleansed me of hunger and fulfilled every inch of my appetite. Like the girlfriend I never had, every encounter with the burger was simultaneously difficult, yet pleasurable. I had conquered Everest. I see why they have a table tennis table in there, now. It’s needed. How else are you supposed to get rid of some of the calories you just binged on, whilst having a great time?
To sum up, go for the food – stay for the pool and table tennis. Hut 8 hosts movie nights, now and again, too – shown by their projector in the corner of the space. In hindsight, the décor doesn’t put me off. I’m convinced by the food, and the games and equipment on offer, making the place worth the trek. Make sure you don’t take a friend as short-sighted as mine, but rather someone who knows divinity when they see it.