Sunday, 6 October 2013
Wood Street Bar & Restaurant / Barbican
Who are they?
Nestled in a corner of the Barbican complex in central London, the Wood Street Bar & Restaurant fulfills the need for a place to eat near to my workplace that isn't an outlet of Jamies, Pizza Express, Pret a Manger or similar and that is an independent place similar to others in the area. A chance meeting with an ex-colleague and noticing that there was a burger on offer was all the excuse I needed to try it out.
This particular Bar & Restaurant is more or less in the same vein as other gastropubs in the area, where a selection of beverages can be married with a decent bite to eat as well.
The wood street burger is described simply as a cheeseburger with triple cooked chips, with bacon being an optional extra that I of course opted for. A towering meal when presented, the multi-grain topped bun belies a smaller beef patty, sitting atop a tomato sauce and solitary lettuce leaf. The cheese in question is a mature cheddar and the bacon is cooked to a satisfying crisp. If there were sent other ingredients sadly these were seemingly lost in the concoction.
Perhaps more interestingly here are the accompaniments. While I have no doubt that the chips are indeed triple cooked (suitably crispy on the outside and very fluffy innards), I'm surprised more by the dimensions of the chips. It is as if someone has been lazy and made a chip shape out of a single potato per chip rather than peel each one and divide it - this may or may not be a problem for you, dear reader, as a fellow aficionado of burgers and chips. The way I reason it is as follows: while you get plenty of fried potato you only get a small number of fried chips. If i may suggest that the establishment take a look at Bread Street Kitchen, where Ramsey's cronies have triple cooked chips and in more pleasing sizes and perhaps volume, they might be a bit better off.
Secondly, in a nod to convention, Wood Street provides gerkhins on your plate but rather than the larger, sliced ones, these are of the smaller kind. By being more crunchy and less flavourful than their larger cousins, I question the need to put these on the plate at all.
It's a shame about these sides as the meat in there patty itself is well minced and decently cooked. The cheese and bacon work well with the burger and even the bun tastes of something more than just fluffy bread, thanks to the seeds. Strangely enough, when I ate a piece of then bun just with a bit of cheese and tomato sauce, I had the sensation that I was eating a margherita pizza - perhaps something to do with the red wine and basil in the sauce itself. It's interesting to see a place do something different, though whether I should be tasting Italian food in a burger is another thing all together.
Bar the unconventional chips and throwaway gherkins, the burger at Wood Street is not a bad choice for the price.
Where can I find them?
A stone's throw from both Moorgate and Barbican tube stations