Gastropub tries to do good burger, doesn’t quite manage it.
If you read my appeal to publicans, you’ll know that I don’t generally review pub burgers. I made an exception for the Salusbury as the pub clearly makes a feature of its ‘aged short rib burger,’ so I thought I’d give it a try.
An independent pub under the same ownership for 15 years, the Salusbury boasts the talents of Andrew Fila, former head chef at the Medcalf, Exmouth Market. The aim to deliver the best food, drink and service. The service is excellent, and I can’t talk to the drink… and the food is generally OK.
But how did they fayre with that pub kryptonite, a genuinely good burger?
Just one burger on the menu, the ‘aged short rib’ burger served with chips. I was asked how I’d like it done and opted for medium, which was a good sign. I was eating with family, who ordered fish and chips, amongst other things, which looked excellent.
The meat of it
This burger should have been good. It was clearly good meat; it was cooked perfectly – look at the cross section shot. But a few crucial things went wrong, sadly.
The meat was underseasoned; so didn’t taste of much. The toppings didn’t add enough to counter it (not even that substantial pickle), and the (very, very) firm eggwashed roll just added too much chewiness. I abandoned half of it immediately.
The burger wasn’t juicy enough; I put this down to too high a lean/fat ratio. It was slightly too tightly compacted too, despite being coarsely ground, which means it was a dense thing to eat your way through.
This sounds incredibly nitpicky, but the end result was a substantial burger that tasted of very little. Not bad… but not good either. And it’s frustrating because the ingredients were clearly top quality.
The chips, however, were crisp, fluffy and delicious with the provided mayonnaise. Which, to be fair, also helped bring the burger together somewhat , packed as it was with salty goodness.
Monkey finger rating
Bun – 1/5
Build – 4/5
Burger – 2/5
Taste – 2/5
Sides – 4/5
Value – 1/5. This thing is not worth £14.50.
Burger rating – 2/5 – A few things for the Salusbury to fix; they clearly have the technical skills but some of the core ingredients – in particular the bun and the beef – need some thought.
If you’re keen to stop by, the Salusbury is near Queen’s Park tube station in North London; 50-52 Salusbury Road, NW6 6NN. I’d have the fish and chips.