I wonder what our American cousins across the pond make of our new found enthusiasm for hamburgers? I would guess they may be having a little chuckle to themselves. Given all of the recent openings in London, I.m beginning to think a new burger joint will be gracing every street corner next year.
The latest offering from those nice MEATliquor people has much the same menu as the original and pretty much the same kind of vibe. As we approached the only immediate difference we noticed was a lack of any queue. Inside even more surprising was the lack of custom, we counted twelve customers apart from ourselves. Admittedly it was a Saturday lunch and one of the busiest shopping days before Xmas.
The main room has an in your face illuminated stained glass ceiling and an attractive birdcage style bar. The original parquet floor has been restored. Table tops are reclaimed floorboards. The place has a night club feel to it .Much has been made of the loud music although today it was not too intrusive.
Original stone plaques outlining the history of the Mission have been left in place. If you go they are worth a read to get the historical feel of the place.
Two further rooms, the larger one of which is for reservations. The smaller one has a feel of a private dining room and both are to the right of the entrance door.
Menus, which are split into "Bits n Pieces "Onna Plate" and "Inna Bun", contain some new additions like three "garbage plates" One of them is the Beef Garbage Plate (£9) which is a combo of burger patty, fries, cheese, gravy, onions, pickles, etc. In total on the menu there are twenty two items to choose from.
We ordered five items, two burgers, fries, monkey fingers, and fried pickles. After about twenty minutes they all arrived on the same tray.
We split the burgers into two so that we could both try them. The Red Chilli Cheeseburger (£7) was just what the doctor ordered, perfectly cooked and big on flavour. Lots of textural interest from the patty, onions and jalapenos, good beefy taste and well worth seven quid of anyone's money.
The Dead Hippy (£7.50) we have tried previously at Meatliquor and from memory we preferred that version. Having said that it could be that the Red Chilli Burger put this in the shade somewhat. Both of the patty's ( in the Dead Hippie) would have been better with a little less cooking. Also for some reason the base of the bun collapsed into a mushy mess which was slightly off putting.
The Monkey Fingers (£7) "battered fillets of marinated chicken slathered in our house made chili sauce, with blue cheese dip" were disappointing to say the least. The chicken was completely overpowered by the vinegary sauce. I actually found this to be unpleasant. The batter was soggy and peeling that away and just eating the chicken on its own did not lift our spirits.
Its fair to say that the Fries (£3) although generous in quantity, were for me lacking in quality as they were on our visit to MeatLiquor. Not unexpectedly the Fried Pickles (£3) were oozing fat, a veritable cholesterol cluster. A minute or two draining onto kitchen towel would have helped no end.
Our servers asked the question "How was everything" and like most people we replied "fine thanks". I saw no point in saying otherwise.
Of course I did not go here expecting any kind of sophistication I was craving a burger and the Red chilli cheeseburger delivered on its promise big time, as to a degree did the Dead Hippie. The rest of it was well........................A bit disappointing.