Well presented, well seasoned burger, if somewhat dry. SLOW service.
So, you own a cigar shop. Somewhat obvious course of diversification: open a coffee shop. Less obvious course of diversification: you open up a burger ‘mess hall’ in a 4 * 5m space and fill it with slightly aggrieved looking young people as wait staff, and you serve, actually, quite good burgers. We popped out for a lunchtime burger to bid farewell to my co-blogger Richard, who was off ‘up north’ for what he explained were very good reasons.
Cadet burger with cheese and bacon. Because, who could cope with Raclette on a burger? I’m sure there as some people, but it didn’t even make me curious; other menu options that inspired none of us at the time; the airman burger (chicken, bacon, avocado), the ‘Mess hall’ burger (Raclette, pickles, onions, lettuce and ‘MP’ sauce). I think a return journey (if they fix the service issues) would have me try a ‘Spitfire burger’ with Red Leicester cheese and spicy relish.
A side of onion rings topped the order out at £12.50 a head, with shared rings, without a drink. Not quite ‘mess hall’ affordable; but not bad at all for a burger of this standard. Note: cadet burger comes with fries, making it exceptional value vs. the rest of the menu.
The meat of it:
The 100% chuck steak mince is well seasoned, loosely packed (ideal) and perfectly cooked… but lacks somewhat in flavour and juiciness. I suspect the fat/lean ratio is too high in lean’s favour and as a result, the good (non-brioche but eggwashed starchy white roll) is barely challenged by the burger.
Other toppings were presented in good order; duly melty cheese, bacon with good bite and saltiness, and with ketchup added manually to meet sweet/savoury contrast needs. No salad had to face off against the cadet burger.
The chips were good, solid chunky chips – crispy and tasty – and the onion rings, whilst well-cooked, were slightly underseasoned.
Monkey finger rating
Bun – 4/5
Build – 4/5
Burger – 3/5
Taste – 3/5
Sides – 4/5
Value – 4/5.
Burger rating – 3/5 – lowered by the appalling service and the dry burger. 40 minutes for a burger took a lot of the, ahem, relish out of it for us.
Find TomTom Mess Hall at 114 Ebury Street, ‘Belgravia’ (near Victoria Coach Station). And come when you’re not that hungry, so you can stomach the wait.