After a wrapping up some top-secret undercover ops in the patty world, MAJOR TIGHTBUNS is back reviewing for Burgerac and has just filed this report charting a recent burger'n'beer tasting mission at Meantime Brewery's Greenwich pub, The Old Brewery...
TTTTTTTEEEENNNNNSSSSSSHHHHUUUNNNN!!!!! Major Tightbuns reporting for duty! The Grilled Angus Beef Burger at The Old Brewery has been getting praise from many corners of the Mess Hall of late so the only thing to head over for a recce...
Being the bar of the Meantime Brewing Company, the list of carefully honed and favourable brews on offer was predictably excellent. And The Old Brewery food menu handily suggests what beer goes best with each dish – although given that this is, after all, the hallowed home of Meantime beer, perhaps it's more appropriate to think of the menu as a reference guide to what food will go best with the beer you're drinking (rather than the other way round). As luck would have it, I was supping on an Oktoberfest when I spotted that it was the recommended accompaniment to the only burger on the menu. Sold!
Now, they say you can't judge a book by its cover and the same is true, I've found, of burgers: appearance alone is no guide to how wonderful (or woeful) the experience of eating one is going to be. No siree, the amount of wow-factor high stacked burgers that are ferried to gastro pub tables only to severely disappoint when actually consumed are ten a penny - but this, you'll be glad to hear, is not one of those. On the contrary, when the Meantime Old Brewery Grilled Angus Beef Burger hoved into view I thought it to be a little on the "plain jane" side. No wow-factor to speak of visually. Instead, the first thing that strikes you when it arrives is the squarish, floured bap in which it's housed. It has non of the egg-glazed sheen, or sesame seed specked swagger of other recently sampled memorable burgers, and looks more home cooking than chef-made masterpiece.
However, as soon as a bite is taken it becomes apparent that the bun is light and airy and the succulence of the patty immediately reveals itself. Appearances are challenged, and the burger itself takes over. Mmm… showy and bland - or plain looking and delicious… I know which of the two types of burger I want. And so, it would seem, does The Old Brewery.
In terms of build, the burger is served with lettuce, a couple of rings of onion, tomato relish, grain mustard mayo and a side of hand cut chips - with bacon and smoked Applewood cheese. I'm not going to lie, this is a highly enjoyable burger. The bread holds the meat and juice well, flattening down but not splitting or falling apart. The meat patty is slightly on the under seasoned side but not to the extent that it's a problem - it's tender, tasty and the flavours of the slightly smoked cheese and bacon are the perfect foil for this wodge of pleasure as a whole. Served in the zone of medium rare, everything worked.
This isn't a showy burger. It has no lofty pretentions and for that reason it's not an out and out show stopper. It's not meant to be. It's a straight-up honest to goodness burger served in an environment where, despite beer being (understandably) the star, the no-nonsense flavour-led credo also extends to the food.
Major Tightbuns' verdict: SON, YOU MADE YOUR POPPA PROUD!!!!! FOUR STARS ****!!!!
The Old Brewery
The Pepys Building
The Old Naval College
London SE10 9LW
Tel: 020 3327 1280