Burgers are funny old things. They’re as ubiquitous as it gets, squatting defiantly on room service and pub chain menus across the land, but rarely worthy of watercooler chat. The one, though, served in this dining room of a north London gastropub, was a bona fide cheeseburger of dreams. A sloppy, messy thing, it arrived in a soft brioche bun with a buttery sheen. Inside was an edible acapella group, each member adding a new layer to the melody. Singing bass was the patty itself: fashioned from dexter beef, it was thin and juicy, chargrilled and smoky, with a rosy-cheeked centre. Next came the baritone: a smoosh of melted cheese, burger sauce and finely minced onion. And, singing the high notes, the trill of the tenor: a heap of sweet, thin pickles, like something your granny would make. We may just have swooned.
Also excellent – and just the thing to accompany that cheeseburger – were some salad-y numbers. Like a huge hunk of butterhead lettuce under a snow of grated pecorino, with lashings of good olive oil and deliciously sharp vinegar. Or lumps of watermelon with needles of salted ricotta and the odd flare of fennel. Or a heap of roughly cut, rudely ripe tomatoes with crunchy runner beans and plenty of good oil.
But there were frustrating misfires, too, like grilled baby squid drowning in salt or a bowl of verdant raw peas clobbered by too-strong raw onion. Or the staff being completely MIA, possibly because the room was near-empty. A pity, because Four Legs has the potential to be about more than a burger. For now though, don’t miss it.