The Dean Swift / Bermondsey, London


“The ensuing battle to redistribute the bun was pretty amusing.”

Shad Thames, or Butler’s Wharf (we’re not entirely sure where we were), is an unapologetically 90s estate housing luxury yuppie apartments and offices. It’s a strange area, but tucked inside its boundaries is the The Dean Swift. It is surprisingly lacking an after work crowd when we head in to sample the signature burger. We ask it to be cooked medium.

It looked pretty striking - the elasticity of the melted emmental blanketing a big, round hunk of beef, with an ornate veggie topping, and a big ol’ bun to encompass it all.

But as always, looks aren’t everything.

First off - and let’s side with the purists on this one, patties should simply be meat, cooked and seasoned. Anyone else remember the last time they went to a place where they desecrated a patty by mashing ingredients in and turning it into a glorified meatloaf?

I do.

It was here.

With herbs, peppers, chopped onions, and flecks of Dijon in it. There are plenty of flavours going on, and whilst some bites pack decent hits of peppery mustard, it ultimately detracts from, not adds to, the core meatiness integral to a burger. Sadly, it had also passed medium a fair few junctions back.

The lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles are fresh and crunch, but are accompanied by chunks of red and green peppers. There were only noticed when they fell out of the burger. The aioli and relish both increased wetness without adding any real noticeable character or appreciable flavour.

The bun is another notable ‘flourish’. It’s definitely unique - with the consistency of panettone or a supermarket croissant, and the sweetness too. It looks great, but isn’t suitable for the contents. The moisture from the meat juice and sauce caused it to capitulate like a malted milk in a cup of tea - my companion cursed effusively as the middle of the bun disintegrated between his fingers. The ensuing battle to redistribute the bun was pretty amusing. Its considerable size also meant that there was bun left over at the end. More cursing.

This is one of those fancy pub burgers for the flash city worker crowd, in keeping with where it’s situated. But, we guess it’s just a bit too fancy for us. Too much unnecessary gastro-flair. We much prefer the Draft House which is only just round the corner.

We can only wonder what the impending Shard opening will mean for food in this area.

  • Rob.

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