“the amount of time you spend looking at the O2 from that deck makes you wonder why the hell it still exists…”

We’d heard good things about the Gun, but we could not for the life of us remember who had recommended it, or to whom.

  • Had it come to us in a dream?
  • Had some cunning incognito Gunner Derren Brown’d us?

Who knows. Regardless, it had ended up on The List, so try it we must.

On any other day we would have laughed off the notion of having to negotiate Docklands, but we had time to kill before the latest Statham flick1 was due to start in the O2 so we headed over to check it out.

This is a really pretty pub - shiny dark wood surfaces gleam at you and finely upholstered leather bar stools and Chesterfields abound. There are lots of suitably on-brand firearms scattered about too. They have Bitburger on tap, an instant fave. And it has a huge riverside deck with an enviable view of the Thames and the O2, if you like that kind of thing. Actually, the amount of time you spend looking at the O2 from that deck makes you wonder why the hell it still exists, and why they don’t seem to be able to clean it properly.

We sat out on that deck all on our own. In the damp cold like bloody idiots with our coats firmly done up. However, the result of all this is threefold:

  1. It is PRICEY.
  2. It is FULL of loud, gussied-up Canary Wharfers.
  3. It is nowhere near anything. Like NOTHING.

It’s as if a drunk millionaire dumped a really nice mews by the river one night, then woke up in the morning forgetting where’d he put it. To their credit they do provide a free cab service to and from the pub on weekday lunchtimes if you book a table beforehand. And frankly, they need to, because how the fuck else are people going to get there?

The Gun burger came out looking monumental; a huge tower of impressive looking ingredients surrounding a stout lump of beef. Banging the bun lid on it looked tricky as hell to cut through, let alone take a bite out of. Then we spotted that this was the first burger we’d seen that attempted the ‘Double Onion’. Daring.

The bottom layer of onion had been broiled in a broth; soft with a thick, savoury taste comparable to proper slider onions. The onion rings looked good upon arrival, but atomised into nothing once in the sandwich. Unrecognisable in any mouthful, making them sadly redundant. It was like they just disappeared. A good concept we’d like to see more of, but the execution was inconclusive. The cheese was melted surprisingly well considering its in-keeping properness, with a hint of sharp aftertaste that was just right.

Having bigged up the shin on the menu, the beef was a real anticlimax. Again veering into ‘mixed’ patty territory: we could see the herbs and taste the white wine they’d added to the meat, destroying any original flavour. A ragu in patty form before you’ve chucked the tomato in. It was chewy and it tasted like wine. It may as well have been a veggie burger for all the beefiness we could taste.

Despite the hit and miss contents, the bun was epic. A squishy, light-but-chewy marvel that couldn’t save the burger, but was really impressive considering.

We also tried a sausage roll and scotch egg which, whilst nicely cooked and spicy, were both pretty tiny and WAY too expensive for what we got. We gloss over these to talk more about the Macaroni Cheese we also ordered - wherever possible we try and see the good in all the stuff we eat.

But not this time, this was really fucking shit.

A flavourless, overcooked pasta mixed into an unseasoned bechamel sauce, a light smattering of a very mild white cheese, all grilled for an instant. That’s it. A horrible, offensive six English pounds of bland. We can only imagine this comes from a reluctant chef shuffling out a conciliatory nod to the Mac ‘n Cheese craving masses. But really, dude, have some pride. You cannot charge six pounds for this. It made us concerned for the rest of the menu.

So on the whole, The Gun is a real 50/50 experience. Great views, great beer vs. some apparent lazy cooking with the occasional glimmer of competence.

We imagine that come the summer, a leisurely trip to The Gun to sit outside and lap up the rays and the sound of the Thames on a nice quiet weekday afternoon would be grand.

But make sure your wallet be bulging, and your ‘yahs’ be plentiful.

  • Rob & Simon.
  1. It was mostly incoherent, but well-shot and the Stath killed lots of people. 
Bitburger at the Gun
Gun Burger
Gun Burger
Gun Burger Split
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