Situated in the uber-cool mini-burb of Clerkenwell, just north of Smithfield, resides a Giant Robot. Now, I've often passed this place (incidentally sitting on the site of Match, which to date remains the single best burger I've ever eaten, prior to it closing down), on the periphery of my lunching territory, and normally after I've already eaten, and wondered about the impenetrable menu, filled with sliders, balls and giant sausage.
So finally I decided to take the plunge and took my dining companions, the blonde and the brunette, to dine.
The first thing the blonde noted upon entering the restaurant was the sign outside that appeared to quote porn legend (and all round hairy-fatman) Ron Jeremy - "Great Balls of Meat & Super Long Cocktails", followed swiftly by the brunette saying she had sampled the giant sausage at Giant Robot late one night while out on the lash...well that set the tone for the meal.
We ordered two slider selections @ £7.50 each (balls and sauce in a bun), a portion of french fries between us @ £2.90, and a plate of the giant sausage @ £6.80.
Slider selection looked brilliant, although our server couldn't tell us which slider was which...we quickly worked out the beef was on the left, the veal in the middle and the pork on the right. However when the giant sausage arrived, the brunette looked a bit disappointed. "It's normally bigger than that", she sighed dejectedly, and sadly she was right, rather than this being a monster sausage of the kind that would make Ron Jeremy blush, it was instead two slices of spicy sausage on a bed of lentils.
Drinks presentation was good, as an iced glass arrived with a bottle of Peroni, and a jug of cucumber and lemon water added an refreshing take to eau potable, and was very welcome for the humid weather.
The toppings on the slider balls were tomato for the beef and pork - a basic bolognese-style that wasn't particulary inventive, but tasty, and covered the ball - and a creamy cheesy sauce for the veal, which was fantastic.
Balls. Beef was over-seasoned, pork was drowned out by the sauce, only the veal really worked, (the special ball for that week), with it's light and creamy sauce.
The sausage was pathetic, although on a tasty bed of lentils, so clearly the brunette had been taken in by the hype of the giant sausage, when the reality was sadly not up to expectations...
It was ciabatta...but it was fresh, and because of the way the sliders had been created (i.e. with egg and seasoning) the meat didn't disintegrate under the firmer squash of the bun. Still ciabatta should be outlawed as a bun wrapped around anything that looks remotely like a burger, unless toasted with chorizo and cheese.
Minimal, but the balls look so beautiful, who needs them!
Overall rating: 7/10
While Giant Robot was a fun dining experience, and the innuendo that accompanied the meal was worthy of Viz' very own Finbarr Saunders, I would say the execution was a bit hit and miss, and I expected more from their quirkily branded concept.