Monday, 3 March 2014

[Review] Burger at The Ring, Southwark

I had a Huge Pole in The Ring the other day. Trust me, correct use of initial caps is very important in that last sentence. In fact, as The Ring was full, I had a Huge Pole outside The Ring.
The Burger from The Ring, Southwark
The Burger from The Ring, Southwark
Right, now I've got that off my chest, I can reveal The Ring is actually a relatively nondescript pub in Southwark, and it holds a secret. It's currently serving the full range of franks from Big Apple Hot Dogs, alongside a short burger menu. So I sampled both.

Price:

Burger - £7 (add bacon & cheese for £0.75 each)
Onion rings - £3.

Presentation

Not bad. It looks the part, save for the top-loaded lettuce, but impressively no stick is needed to hold it together, or keep it upright. It's plated on its own, and sides come in enamelled bowls with greaseproof paper. It's a cross between a trendy diner, and pub grub. In all honesty, it's a bit confused.

Toppings

Oh god. This is painful. Great chunks of romaine lettuce have been dumped, unceremoniously, on top of a curl of tasteless back bacon, which contains a pool of melted cheese with pickles prodded into it. It looks, to all intents and purposes, like a filled potato skin.
Bacon, cheese, and pickles top the burger at The Ring, Southwark
Bacon, cheese, and pickles top the burger at The Ring, Southwark
Under the patty, a tomato reduction (I can't imagine for a moment it's made in-house) adds a layer of uncomfortable sweetness. I added mayo, ketchup and mustard to inject at least a bit of flavour.

Meat

Lean and dry. It was slightly pink, which is something, but the flavour is of lean supermarket mince, a high, tinny riff on the palate and in the cooking all the juice has departed. The sear is good, and the blend is relatively coarse, but there's no hiding this is way to dry.
Cut-through - burger at The Ring, Southwark
Cut-through - burger at The Ring, Southwark
Oh, and can you tell me what's wrong with this picture?

That;s right, the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice around the edge that the fat and water have combined - this is a result of cooking a patty from frozen, or at least not thawing it out properly before slapping it on the grill. The water and fat bubble out and form a grey, foam-like substance around the edge of the burger. Rank. Meat Fail.


Bun

Beautiful. Or it would be if it was toasted. In fact, despite its looks it was slightly stale. And with the dry meat, I could only finish half...

Accessories

Dirty onion rings. Everything in London appears to be dirty. Contrary to how they look, here the onion rings haven't just been dropped on the floor, there's chilli in the batter. They are very crunchy and have a nice warming chilli flavour, but the onion inside is slimy and bitter.
Onion rings at The Ring
Onion rings at The Ring

A Huge Pole

Contrary to the innuendo, this is a £6 hotdog, topped with rosemary butter braised onions in a brioche hot dog bun. Clearly the hot dog menu is the menu to order from. I mean, just LOOK at it.
Big Apple Hot Dogs Huge Pole dog from The Ring, Southwark
Big Apple Hot Dogs Huge Pole dog from The Ring, Southwark

Overall rating: 4/10

Experiencing this burger has taught and/or reminded me much. Here are three truths from visiting The Ring.

1) great hot dogs doesn't equal great burgers
2) great bun doesn't equal great burger
3) anywhere that sells burgers, for god's sake toast your burger buns

That is all.

The Ring, Southwark - map
The Ring, Southwark - map - find all my burger reviews in my interactive burger map

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