While the station technically sneaks in to the Greater London boundary by a whopping 700 metres, Surbiton isn't really London. The postcode isn't right, the name looks like someone hastily mashed 'Suburb''Town' together when asked what they were going to call the place. But mostly it is just too fucking nice: The roads are leafy and quiet, cars to stop let you cross the road when there isn't even a proper crossing, the Thames is actually quaint and not a wide, unflushed festival toilet.
But who bigs up the food there? No one. Until recently when one Friday, during a friend's birthday, we were informed of a guy selling exceptional burgers in a pub down the road. No fucking way, not in Surbiton. But a good few beers down we realised we could probably eat. Is it rude to leave a birthday party in a pub to go and eat a burger in another pub? Yes, it is. Did we? Yes, we did.
The Lamb is a proper ale drinkers pub with knick-knacks plastered over the walls with a quirky beatnik feel and a no-fuss-get-to-the-drinking spirit. The beer garden is big and the decor could be described as ramshackle, but there is a fucking amazing homemade adult-size Hungry Hippos at the back that just begs to be played with. Boom Ting is a simple one-man operation set up out there, with a table for ingredients and another for a small grill - so small that it has to be cleaned to make the veggie option before being set back into meat mode.
The patty in the Green Chili Cheese is a good size of a coarse grind mix, squashed into shape on the grill giving it a scraggy edge.
Cooked to a decent medium, juice effortlessly seeps out of quality meat nicely seasoned with a great crust piling together to give a deep beefy base to the burger. The melted Gruyere merged to patty surface is savoury but buttery, accentuated by a thick layer of mayo on the bottom bun, and the pickled red onions snaps some piquancy through.
The green chilli relish though. Fuck yes. Sourced from Vadsaz deli it punches with an instant heat that levels out perfectly, matching a warm sharpness with a mild sweetness that lingers plesantly. Then there is the candied bacon - chewy, smokey with an intense sweetness - that rivals the infamous Flipper's version. Boshed into a bun cloched to sweaty succumbed softness with red cabbage for bite, this is one pretty fucking on fleek burger.
A great deal of this reminds us of the origins of one Yianni of MEATLiquor fame: A passionate dude running a tiny scale operation serving to a loyal customer base, with a tiny menu and a statement green chilli cheese. And even if not quite as mind blowing (doubtful anything else will ever be) it is still one of the better burgers we've tasted in town for a while, and all because of that pesky Greater London boundary.