Sunday, 20 October 2013
Red Bar & Restaurant / Weybridge
Who are they?
Red Bar & Restaurant is just that: a bar and a restaurant in the style of many 90's bars that wouldn't be out of place somewhere in Essex that also open during the day as a restaurant, serving drinks and bar food. Finding myself with my family in Weybridge after a suit fitting for a wedding, we thought we would pop in for a bite to eat. When I noticed that they served burgers, of course I was going to take a look and see how burgers are in this well-to-do part of Surrey.
It's not difficult to find the Red Bar & Restaurant, as it's about the most obvious thing on the main high street, among the few random shops and a Tesco Metro. Looking exactly as you might find in downtown Romford, Red is pretty quiet during the day and its offering of decent looking bar food on the menu enticed us in. Nothing too fancy on offer here, with plenty of different burger options and sides to chose from - it's not often the case that you get a choice of different fries as standard and it's good to see this here rather than forcing you to accept something you don't want.
Having ordered relatively quickly and despite being only one of three occupied tables when we arrived, I was surprised that it took quite so long to be served: over 10 minutes to receive our drinks and a full 45 minutes before we received our meals. Sure, there were only a couple of waiters on hand at the time, but it seemed bizarre that it might have taken them quite so long to get their act in gear.
In any case, when the burger did materialize, it was pretty much as expected: a reasonably large beef patty complete with very well done bacon and mature cheddar atop a large slice of beef tomato and lettuce leaf. The sesame seed bun itself is nothing special and does the job and comes served atop a warm piece of slate. It's the first burger I've had served in this way, though it does come across as slightly pretentious. This comes accompanied with a small pot of onions, a small pot of chunky tomato relish and a bowl of your choice of side: standard fries, cajun spiced fries or hand cut chips. I opted for the latter; given the number of fries I have been quoffing of late it seemed sensible to try something different.
The beef in the burger itself is passable if not slightly above average and while it's good that Red gives you the option of adding the relish, in this case you are going to need it as the burger on its own lacks a certain something. Yes, the burger tastes of beef, but nothing noteworthy compared to those that you can find elsewhere, however it is helped immensely by lots of very crispy bacon and a decent layer of cheese. Even the bun is toasted and warmed through and all these help to improve the taste. In Red's defense, at least the burger isn't of the same catering grade found at other pubs and bars, thinking of places like Wetherspoons as an example.
Meanwhile, the fries looked well cooked, though I did find that they were still quite soggy and could have benefited from being cooked longer, if that's actually possible given how long I had waited. I suspect in this area the chips were merely frozen oven chips and therefore are nothing special in my book.
For a burger that took quite so long to produce, it's disappointing that the burger wasn't made of better stuff. Put simply, the presentation is good, but in taste it's just lacking something special. It's style over substance in Weybridge but with so few alternatives, there's nothing to recommend over Red. Just don't expect too much.
Where can I find them?
On the main high street in Weybridge, a short meander from the station.