Good burger spoiled by overcooking
Harrild & Sons is a bar and restaurant (really a pub that serves food and cocktails) on Farrindgon Street, sometimes known as the ‘dullest street in the Square Mile.’ It’s a lovely space with a high-end but down to earth feel, lots of exposed wood and interesting design touches, tonnes of real-ale and beer options, an extensive cocktail menu and… a burger. One that looked like it took itself seriously on the menu.
The place is named for a manufacturer of printing presses that had facilities in the area. Nice design touches signal this everywhere.
The Harrild Burger, natch. The meat is from London’s famed Ginger Pig butcher, the burger itself is topped with melty Swiss cheese, bacon, relish, lettuce , red onion & served with fries – all for £13.50. I was drinking one of my favourite beers – a Kona Big Wave Hawaiian ale. On tap.
The meat of it
It looks good, doesn’t it.
Lovely melt on the cheese. Fresh looking vegetables. Sturdy bun – not a brioche, I think, despite its shiny appearance. Or at least, not a sweetened one.
Let’s check the cross.
Lovely coarse grind. Flecks of pink in the meat. The bun is holding up, the salad is bright and fresh. Crisp bacon lies temptingly on top of the melty cheese.
First taste. Crunch – excellent crus- wait, no. It’s burnt. It’s definitely burnt. Not just-a-good-char burnt, but fully-taste-the-ashes burnt. Whoops. Also a little underseasoned – although possibly the bitterness of the char is just masking the taste of salt. Either way, it’s not the best first impression.
But it grows on you. It’s not completely charred and the unburned meat contrasts well with a tangy relish, and the crisp vegetables. Some sweet pickles make and appearance and the bacon – thin, round slices of back bacon – are crisp, crunchy and delicious. The textural contrast and overall umami make up somewhat for the burnt taste. A little mayo takes the edge off and it’s enjoyable, on the whole. Such a shame – this burger was maybe a minute or two from greatness.
As to the fries:
Crisp and grease free. But underseasoned and low on flavour – with mayo these are alright. But I actually left some, which I never do, so they were empirically proven to be less than compelling.
The beer was great. It’s Kona Big Wave. Always reliable.
Overall, not bad for a £13.50 pub burger on a busy Friday night.
Monkey finger rating
Bun – 4/5
Build – 4/5
Burger – 3/5
Taste – 3.5/5
Sides – 3.5/5
Value – 4/5 – £13.50 – for burger and fries is OK in this part of town.
Burger rating – 3.5/5 – has it been less overdone, this would have been an easy 4. Lots of potential here.
Just a few minutes up Farringdon Street, you can’t miss it. And apparently you can book tables! Website here.