The Henry Root Letters is a book of amusing letters written by fictional wet fish merchant 'Henry Root' who lived in Chelsea in the 70's. Its a silly book but its beautifully written. I was excited to hear that there was a restaurant named in his honour, and that they sold a burger. I wanted to go immediately.
Sitting just off the Fulham Road, this cosy little place looks very inviting. Spacious, quirkily decorated yet grown up. We lucked out and got the great circular table in the far left corner.
Their ‘JF’ Burger, which comes in a soft be-seeded brioche bun with thick cut chips and a pot of mayo isn't badly priced, for Chelsea at least, at £12.50. Although if you want cheese or bacon thrown on you'll have to stump up an extra quid and a half, and then £14 for a cheeseburger is starting to sound on the expensive side, especially considering you have to assemble it yourself.
The burger arrives on a wooden board in the semi-constructed style you can see above. There are various undocumented options as to what to do with the cos lettuce, tomato and cornichons placed in the middle of the board.I loaded the optional extra's into my burger and took a bite. OK, I cut it in half for a photo then took a bite - I never did that before I started 'writing' about burgers.
Anyway, the bun is great and I think the photos do it justice, it was light and fresh. The veg was fresh and crunchy and the cheese was well melted into the patty. Pretty good so far, so how about that patty? It looks right, its perfectly med-rare and of a decent size and shape. But in all honesty it was a little bland. Slightly overly minced and mixed meat meant it lacked texture and had a denseness that reduced potential juiciness. It could have benefited a little more seasoning too. The other thing that bothered me was the lack of any kind of sauce, the pot of mayo was surely for the chips.
You know how people usually struggle to be unkind about a dish while still eating it in the restaurant that served it? My father in law describes things he finds disappointing as 'perfectly ok'. For example I'll say "How's your Coq au Vin Dave?" and he'll say "There's nothing wrong with it, its perfectly ok". And that means he's disappointed.
Now while the burger here isn't bad, its that patty, the absence of sauce and the lacklustre assembly that make it not as great as I was hoping for. For some reason I assumed it would be as delicious as Henry's letters, but perhaps that was asking too much.
The Henry Root is great little restaurant and I'll go back, but most likely for one of their tasty looking steaks.
7/109 Park Walk, West Brompton, SW10 OAJ
020 7352 7040