Mary Jane is a sleek looking yet surprisingly affordable burger, steak and lobster establishment nestled on the Minories between Tower Hill and Aldgate. At first glance you would be forgiven for mistaking they are a fancy wine bar of some sort, located near to a Jamie's, Vodka Revolution and numerous pubs, and while they do keep a well stocked bar they also offer a good line of burgers and on a wet Monday evening with a hungry partner in tow, it made sense to avoid the rush and see what they had to offer.
Being a Monday night of course the last thing they might have are customers, so of course we had our pick of the restaurant - a darkened interior with overt bulbs marking booths and expansive tables. I have seen the bar pretty full on Fridays, so I can tell it's probably better to visit during the beginning and the middle of the week to check out their menu and get served in a timely fashion.
First of all, the front window does not kid; Mary Jane has a comprehensive selection of burgers for sale and plenty of variety to boot and I enjoyed the opportunity to chose my own combination of burger and sides: in this case with all the news about Piggate it seemed rude not to choose a Squealer (Beef patty, pulled pork, chorizo slices, candied bacon, cheese and gherkins) paired with some triple cooked chips - keen to stress, these are not fries, as you will clearly see.
After swift service, it appeared; a wooden paddle board with a steaming hot burger whose admittedly small patty was festooned with additional meats. From the first mouthful to the last, it is abundantly clear that Mary Jane do not skimp on portion sizes, creating a rather filling burger filled with strong tastes of beef and pork, with the chorizo in particular getting high praise from me. The candied bacon comes well cooked, providing an antithesis to a lovely juicy burger bursting with flavour with some crispy yet sweet bacon that is at times reminiscent of crackling - YMMV of course.
Meanwhile, the overly salted and peppered chips we ordered certainly try hard to upstage the burger. While triple cooked seems to be a bit of an overestimation, as ours were fairly fluffy inside and not as crisp on the outside, the portion sizes are huge. In fact, I have a photo of the missus, whose finger is dwarfed by the size of one chip, who remarked that they had more in common with potatoes than fries or chips. I can definitely see these being a firm favourite as bar snacks with a beer, where the beer can soak up the overpowering seasoning..
After the prim, proper and underwhelming burger from Bills, Mary Jane are a welcome return to a cheap and cheerful burgers that are not afraid to be sloppy, sauce-filled delights from start to finish. At around £6-7 a pop, with sides being extra at around £3-4, Mary Jane scores high for offering excellent burger and chips for around £10 and gives Honest Burgers a run for their money!
If this is what they can offer in terms of burgers, then this establishment looks promising for Surf & Turf. Good work guys, keep it up!
Where can I find them?
A stone's throw between Aldgate and Tower Gateway (District)