Hello burger fans, it's me, Cheeseblogger. For this episode of Burgerac, I visit one of my favourite drinking holes in London, sample some 8% dark Belgian beer, admire a gallery of original Tintin posters and eat quite possibly the finest Wild Boar burger I've ever tasted.
The Dovetail - "Strong beer and wild boar burgers - win win"
Starting off at the Three Kings pub (just off Clerkenwell Square), I couldn't have started my journey towards dinner in a better place. This bit is completely unrelated to my burger review, but I thoroughly recommend that you search it out if you're in the area - it always has a great vibe, a fine selection of beers and some lovely, quirky decor (the pub sign incorporates Elvis, King Kong and Henry VIII!).
Anyhoo, after one or two shandies at the pub, me and my two buddies decided to do the right thing and head just round the corner to one of EC1's hidden gems, The Dovetail. As a sister bar/eatery to The Dove pub in Broadway Market, The Dovetail captures the very essence of every great Belgian bar. I say that without ever having stepped foot in Belgium, but go with me on this one - it's great.
Original Tintin posters and dark wood-panelled walls set the vibe with lots of room for seating, ensuring that, nine times out of ten, you're gonna get a table - perfect. The next aspect of this Anglo-Belgian experience is the beer menu is about ten times longer and more diverse than the food menu, something I both respect and admire. At this point I wish I could tell you which beer we decided upon, but I can't recall the name (no idea why), I do remember that the review said it was "the finest beer in the world" though. That was the one for us.
And, finally, on to the main event - the BURGERS. What you quickly realise with The Dovetail is they like to go a little off piste with their selection and despite the appetising options of Beef & Stilton, Mediterranean vegetable & Mozzarella, Lamb & Rosemary, and the delicious Bison burger, I invested in the legendary Wild Boar burger. Something I didn't regret.
1. Presentation – Well you definitely get a full plate! Loaded with lots of pretty standard chips (not french fries), it's fair to say that the initial presentation element wasn't that impressive. But the burger itself looked yummy, as did the relish on top of it and I must add that once the burger had it's hat on it looked much nicer.
2. Structure - The unusual slightly rectangle shaped ciabatta bun (not ideal normally!) unsurprisingly held the whole thing together very well. The important bit was that it wasn't overly chunky or bready, which ciabatta buns often are - in fact it worked very well, a nice surprise.
3. Components - The meat was of the highest quality, the relish complemented it perfectly, the light smattering of mayo hit the spot and the dressed leaves, gurkin and tomatoes were just what the doctor ordered. Yes, I am a big fan of these components.
4. Taste - This is the kicker for me. The taste was absolutely delicious, and I mean absolutely. Every mouthful of this burger was like a birthday party for my taste buds, I had to keep stopping to whoop, holler and just say "WOW". Now I know what you're thinking, 'by this point Cheeseblogger you must have been pretty tipsy', and you would be right. But all I can say is that this was a special burger. One that I could still taste days later just from the happy memories. Also that large portion of chips served a great job of soaking up some of the strong beer we were sampling - maybe there is some method behind their large offering of carbs?
5. The whole experience - I think "experience" is the key word here. Make it one, don't dip your toe in as you won't get the full effect. For maximum enjoyment I encourage you go with a group of friends, sample some strong, exotic beers, and tuck into some delicious burgers (one of my buddies tried the Bison Burger and said it was awesome too!).
1. 2/5 - this one's substance over style.
2. 3/5 - unconventional but it works
3. 5/5 - yummy, yummy, yummy
4. 5/5 - absolutely 100% delicious
5. 5/5 - personally speaking, this is one of my favourite places to eat in London, just be careful not to wear it out - it should be a treat.
Total - 20/25 (4 STARS)
9-10 Jerusalem Passage,
City of London,
Opening times: Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm
Tel: 020 7490 7321