Age: Approaching three years of serving a good range of London-brewed beers and epically-proportioned burgers from the open grill.
Previous incarnation: There’s been a pub on this site for at least 150 years, although it only transformed from generations as a dark and smoke-filled, sticky-carpet kinda dive after operator PubLove took over, and opened a budget backpacker hostel in the upstairs.
Where exactly is it? Tucked away on a suntrap backstreet corner of Starcross Street, just behind the station really. The pub has been saved from being swallowed by the path of HS2 by a mere whisker – the other side of the street will soon vanish forever.
So what goes on there? A perennially popular post-work/pre-train pint destination, the inside rooms and the impressive curve of outdoor tables regularly become mobbed at these times. Alongside a decent selection of ales on tap, and craft brews by can, they’re big on patties, served from the theatrical Burger Craft open kitchen.
Are the burgers much cop then? On our recent visit, we plumped for the relatively restrained Bacon Dude, featuring a lattice of crispy rashers, a hunk of beef tomato and a slick of cheese mixed into sloppy BBQ sauce. The menu contains even more decadent creations, such as a specimen topped with mac ‘n’ cheese, or one littered with roast scotch bonnet, red chillies and sriracha. Phew.
Ours was suitably depraved and slippery, quickly proving impossible to eat without a knife and fork (despite the patty being more than a touch well done when we’d asked for medium-rare). A side of Mexi-Cali fries were also a bit limp, but overall it was a decent, if not life-changing pairing.
And what do I drink? They’re big on the craft beer big boys, so lots of Meantime, Camden and Brewdog options. But if pints ain’t your poison, check the gin wall for a tempting selection of London’s favourite spirit.
What’s the service like? Efficient and laid-back by day, stressed (with a smile) during the post-work peak.
Do say: “I hope you’re hungry.”
Don’t say: “Isn’t that the pub on Exmouth Market?”