Sunday, 20 April 2014

Tanner & Co / Bermondsey

Who are they?

After a quick sojourn Southwards for Dirty Burger, it seems like I am spending more time south of the Thames these days when it comes to eating out - however two reviews in South London does not necessarily make a correlation. Either way, Tanner & Co are not set out to be a burger restaurant, but a new haunt to try out and meet with friends. And why not?


To describe Tanner & Co as slightly out of the way is perhaps a little unfair but not entirely undeserved. Perched on a narrow street on the south side of the railway lines close to London Bridge, it is one of those places you are going to find only if you go looking for it. This didn't deter patrons from taking up half the restaurant area on a Thursday evening, indicating that the venue does have some life in it. In fact, Tanner & Co is deceptively spacious - don't be put off by the busy area by the roadside windows, as there are plenty of tables to be had (though the faux school gymnasium decor does take some getting used to).

As for food and drink, there is both in decent quantities to be had here, though perhaps weighing in heavier towards drink. To whet your appetite with an opening tipple of choice, I can definitely recommend the scotch egg; a suitably large and tasty morsel to take the edge off of any pressing hunger pains while you check out the rest of the menu.

The burger (singular, given there is only one option to be had here) is described as a beef patty accompanied by a sweet onion relish, salad, a decent slice of bacon and a lathering of cheese  placed neatly in a brioche bun - so far so good. Add to it a portion of chips and it goes some way to making up for the price tag being the best part of twenty quid with a pint. As is de-rigure these days, this roughly 6/7oz burger comes served on a wooden slab in lieu of a plate, with the well-cooked thin fries placed into a "vintage" metal cup. Refreshingly, the onion/gherkin chutney comes as an optional part of the meal in a small jar, at least giving you the chance to sample it before you dig in - of course, I just spooned it all in and let my taste buds do the rest! Likewise, the salad remains a separate part of the slab, so if you are of the persuasion where tomatoes are not your friend, then you can eat your meal safe in the knowledge that this ingredient has never touched your burger.

For all of its presentation, the biggest flaw was obvious from the first bite: the brioche bun was a sweet brioche, rather than a savoury. While other establishments like BRGR also use soft brioche buns, theirs are much more plain. I have some strong feelings here that make this less forgiveable - in my mind, a sweet brioche doesn't belong on a burger, rather on a pudding with ice cream! Thankfully the sweetness wasn't overpowering enough to ruin the burger completely, though the chutney (a nice little extra from the norm) does contribute to the slightly sweet taste. Which is a shame, quite frankly, as the burger was definitely made of some excellent quality beef cooked medium rare and together with the cheese and bacon made for a tasty combination on the merit of the ingredients only. No sort of sauce here, meaning that a dash of ketchup or similar is required, although as the burger is medium rare the burger is still quite juicy, just in case you think you've got a dry patty on offer here.

Additional remarks for your consideration include the late delivery of our dessert, after which we were served some fairly melted knickerbockerglory ice creams. After stellar service in the bar and for the starters and mains, it's a shame that they failed at the last hurdle with a 30 minute wait time. As the restaurant had become quite hot and we were keen for something to cool down with, this did leave us on a slightly stuffy note.


Perhaps a fair comparison could be made between Tanner & Co and All Bar One - a more upmarket bar that offers better quality food but a slightly higher price tag to go with it. But this aside, Tanner & Co is a pleasant enough bar and restaurant experience and the burger is certainly worth having if you find yourself there despite its easily fixable flaws.



Where can I find them?
A five minute walk from London Bridge station (Northern, Jubilee, National Rail).