Elliot's, Borough Market, Southwark, London
A medium to coarse ground in the burger, medium rare as requested, a good shade of pink. Nice flavour in the meat, but with less of the deep beefiness and more of a lighter mellow meaty quality (almost porky to me); moist and juicy, but not overly drippy or gushy. A good coat of cheese (something hard, a Comte?) for just a bit of nutty contrast. Some onions I think, but without much of the oniony sweetness I love in a burger. Bread is light, wispy, with what looked like chopped oats or some sort of grain on top. The dimensions of the burger fit the bun neatly, the whole architecture a cylinder seamlessly changing form bun to beef and back again. Very thin matchstick fries, all crunch, laced with a bit of rosemary. The house made ketchup is slightly watery in consistency, but has a light tomatoey flavour one sometimes sees in Italian sauces, not big and punchy like Heintz. Crisp slices of cucumber, lightly dressed as in a sunomono. Another dab of a dark umami heavy relish of some sort. It was £10.50 iirc, which is probably typical of Borough Market pricing.
Pork cheeks, between runny and firm gelatin in texture, was coated in breadcrumbs for a crispy shell. Full on porky pungency. Cut a little by the light tartare sauce. IIRC £7 or 7.50.
John Dory was firm but not as delicate and moist as other renditions I've had in the past. A big puddle of oil for flavour; some courgette, cubed and mixed in a vegetable puree of some sort (mushy peas?); stalks of mushrooms, generally quite mild. Nothing special unfortunately. £16.50 I think.
Superb apple sorbet, fresh, aromatic, evocative, great balance of tart and sweet. A good slushy smoothness punctuated with crunchy crystals. £3.50.
Pretty good but not great, but expect the place to evolve as it just opened a few days ago.
Ate at Elliot's again recently; much better. A solid plate of ham, supple salty and slightly sweet, just right against slices of honeyed quince. Salmon confit was luxuriantly soft but not mushy, and the cauliflower and beets were excellent, with great depth of flavour. Ok cheesecake for dessert.
Did you get fries with your burger?
I had a good burger at the Southbank Food Festival the other week. It was from Jacob's Ladder. Topped with Stichelton cheese and in a sesame seeded bun by St. John's. Freshly cooked in front of of me. They didn't have any mustard or onions, but did have ketchup which I declined. Five pounds. They sell their meat (no burger cooking) at Maltby Street on Saturday. Still haven't been there!
26 St John Street, London EC1M 4AY, GB