Thursday 12 September 2013

The Princess, Primrose Hill

Found on an avenue that cuts through the ever upmarket Primrose Hill, The Princess is a Victorian boozer that's recently been renovated into a multi-level gastro pub. It comprises a spacious main bar, a garden full of Banksy art, a posh upstairs dining room a handful of cosy downstairs hangouts with tables and chairs. 

The menu boasts their "Princess Burger: topped with roasted garlic mushroom, blue cheese, bacon, fries & onion rings" for £12.5. Now that's quite a collection of ingredients right there, but a collection that i'm happy to investigate. With my mouth. I ordered the burger as its recommended, medium rare and after a decent plate of crispy squid with chilli salt, it arrived on a long thin wooden board, visually impressive and with the suave grandeur of a Primrose Hill socialite. Well almost. 
Aside from the meat and excellent brioche bun, there are a lot of strong flavours here, all fighting for the attention of your taste buds. There's the strong  pang of blue cheese, the garlicky sharpness from the mushroom, the salty bacon and surprise appearance of a thick layer of sweet onion marmalade which wasn’t mentioned on the menu. As you can imagine, that's quite a fight. Like 5 unhealthy characters having it out at the end of a WWF wrestling match. 
The beef patty is pretty good, well ground, well seared, nicely cooked to order, fairly loosely formed and just about juicy enough, but unfortunately its overwhelmed by the garlicky-salty-cheesy-sweety toppings. There’s just too much going on. The Princess burger might be a winner for folks that want a taste overload of a burger but personally I don’t like the beef to be a background flavour. Toppings should enhance, not choke hold then pile-drive the main ingredient into submission. 
The cheeseburger my dining companion ordered was a much simpler affair even if it was overloaded with melted cheddar. The beef was back in the game, and overall it was a better, although comparatively nondescript, burger. 
Delightful staff, calm pleasant venue, decent enough burger.  But I’d recommend ordering it with 1 or 2 of the toppings, not with everything as its listed on the menu. Its got potential, and it’s a nice place to hang out. Plus there’s the tiny chance you might see Kate Moss at the bar.

22 Chalcot Rd, NW1 8LL
0207 722 0354

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