[CLOSED] Harlem Drug Store / Clerkenwell, London


How übertrendy is the name, right? It’s like it should be perched somewhere on Shoreditch High Street, Having crazy faux-Corner Shop sign outside, shabby-chic diner housed inside…

It’s not. And it doesn’t.

It’s clear that this place used to be something like a Thai restaurant – the sharp, dark wood interior, the neatly dressed tables - after doing minimal research, we were wrong, it was Malaysian. I’m guessing it’s still owned by the same people, who are now attempting to cash in on the success currently enjoyed by Byron et al.

To say we felt mildly disconcerted walking in would be fair, and the service that followed achieved the same feeling: the Diet Cokes we ordered came in wine glasses, and cost three pounds (Like, isn’t that what WINE by the glass costs?) The fries came in a tiny almond-shaped boat dish, probably used for side orders of vegetables in the previous incarnation. The ketchup and mustard came in soy sauce dishes.

The burgers we ordered were properly enormous, sizable hunks of meat. Sadly, the taste was as weird as the décor; the meat that soft, melt-in-the-mouth quality you want, but it was like it had been boiled instead of cooked on a grill. Kind of watery, it was in no way seared on the outside, giving it no texture.

The additions to the patty, what we thought were garlic and tarragon, were too overpowering and left a slightly undesirable after taste. And the bun (it’s like we’re ALWAYS going on about the buns) was just an oversized crusty bap which required some battling with the gnashers, with no real reward.

To give them their due, they clearly want to give customers a good burger eating experience. But they need to change a few things to make that happen:

-They need to buy a griddle first off, cos I’m pretty sure I saw the burgers being cooked in a frying pan – we were the only people in there, imagine trying to cook burgers that way with a full gaff.

-They need to deck the place out so it actually feels appropriate eating burgers ‘n steaks there.

In the meantime, I’d recommend going to the Betsey Trotwood next door and getting shitfaced instead. Sorry HDS.

  • Rob.

Harlem Drug Store

Next to the Betsey Trotwood on Farringdon Road

London

Harlem Drugstore on Urbanspoon

Comment