(As this is the first post, please do have a look at the ‘About’ page first!)
After its recent glowing review in Shortlist Magazine, I decided the first burger on the list would be the New Inn’s, in St John’s Wood. In their search for the UK’s best burger, Shortlist gave the New Inn a very respectable four stars, saying “Their burger is exquisite. The patty is made up of highest grade beef mixed with beef jus, mustard, salt, eggs and fresh double cream… It’s first pan-fried in butter then chargrilled with truffle essence. A splendid array of condiments come with your burger, as do crispy, grease-free fries to dunk.” You can see why I was keen to try it so quickly.
With the parents visiting last weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to acquaint them with the neighbourhood. We had a leisurely (bracing) walk across Primrose Hill and then sought solace at the New Inn. It was just after midday, and no-one was eating, but we managed to grab the last three burgers in the kitchen. There would have been tears otherwise, after so much anticipation.
You have the choice of three cheeses: cheddar, gruyere, or blue; and then either mushrooms or bacon as an extra topping. The burger itself was good, very good, beautifully juicy and tender meat, charcoal grilled, but not quite as good as I was expecting. The only criticism of the burger itself was that it came well-done, when I’d asked for medium. I feared my expectations may have been set too high though.
The bacon was lovely, but I think they gruyere was a poor choice as it added little to the taste. Mother, a cheesemonger by trade, opted for blue cheese and this was definitely a wise choice (yes, I tried it. Purely in the interest of the wider group, you understand).The chips were fine (wrapped in newspaper, a nice touch), but we were a bit disappointed by the extras, only two onion rings. Some coleslaw (or ‘slaw’ as it seems to be universally called these days) would have been nice.
The pub’s lovely, and the service was first-class throughout. We were given some free ‘lemon drop’ cocktail shots afterwards (Twitter perk…), which were genuinely delicious, and the waiter helpfully told us how he made them.
I actually went back to the New Inn just three days later, and I found out they’d just changed chefs a few days earlier, which explains this ‘new’ burger and the lack of extras. This did reassure me somewhat – it was a very good burger, but I wouldn’t agree with Shortlist’s praise for what was presumably a different meal. Nick, the friendly owner, assured me the menu is evolving and within the next four weeks they’d be fully up to speed. If I still have an appetite after this challenge (and a respectable cholesterol level), I may have to return…
Guest reviewers, the parents: 8/10.
Total 7.5/10. Very solid burger, lovely venue, great service. Recommended.