As a farewell from my team at work, we headed off at my choosing to the Kings Head, primarily because I had been eyeing off their burger for some time. This pub seems to take their food somewhat seriously – so will they produce a burger fit for a king, or will it be more appropriate for the court jester?
The Venue and Service
The Kings Head – or The Kings as they seem to want to be known these days – is a place I had wondered past on several occasions without having ever ventured inside to sample the food therein. Having made the decision to go there, it was only when I visited their website that I discovered that they are an SA produce only pub. I am a big believer in using fresh and local produce wherever possible, so this was quite an exciting (albeit accidental) discovery. It also only heightened my anticipation of the burger….
The bar area of the Kings is very cool indeed, and this is where I would recommend you sit to enjoy your burger if you have the choice. The restaurant is also nice place to be though, with a kind of retro, slightly alternative vibe.
The service was passable. It was a quiet Wednesday, our food was delivered to the table promptly on the ordered time and there was nothing to really complain about. There wasn’t any real personality present though by all involved, but I will forgive them for that as serving a big group is a little different.
The first thing that needs to be mentioned is the sheer size of the thing. You could put this puppy on a concrete plinth, mount it on a servo, print some brochures and you have yourself an instant tourist attraction. The main part of this size was the roll which was about 2 sizes two big for what it was containing, but more on that later. It did make it quite difficult to eat as a burger should be – ie with your hands – and this was my main complaint.
The meat part of the burger was tucked away within the vast roll somewhere, which was initially a little disappointing. However once you did get to it, it really did shine. The meat was well cooked – as in cooked to a good level, not well done, although well done to them for not serving it well done…..I am sure you understand. There was just a hint of pink in sections and it was therefore moist and very tasty. There was no obvious fill to it, it was more of less just basic beef but allowed to shine for what it was.
Along with the beef you were dished up barossa bacon, egg, dill gherkin, onion, tomato, lettuce and cheese.
The bacon was exceptional. Really nice smokey bacon in excellent quantity and it was just delicious. Possibly the best bacon on any burgers so far – big call but happy to stand by it. The egg was an excellent addition, albeit sans runny yolk. The dill gherkin provided some acid to cut through the protein, while the tomato, cheese and lettuce just rounded things out.
You may notice that there was no sauce mentioned, and I do not recall there being one there. There was a side of tomato ksundi, which I could have used to add in there, but to be honest it really didn’t need it. All the ingredients were very much playing their part and they didn’t need any sauce to bring things together.
One issue though was that due to the girth of the burger, I did have the issue of some things falling out along the way. Not a major issue, but it did make for a slightly messy eating experience.
The roll was a flour dusted damper varietal, and as I said before, it was freaking enormous. I took the photo from the best angle to see the fillings, but on the other side, there was a dearth of space in there. The roll was however really nice and fresh, being soft and pliable. It did start to break up a bit by the end, but I didn’t finish all the roll in any event.
The chips would be my vote for the best pub chips thus far – and we’ve had some good ones! Perfectly crispy with rough edges, nicely seasoned and in huge supply, they really are very very good.
The tomato ksundi – which is an Indian spiced tomato chutney – was a somewhat odd accompaniment. It was very tasty, don’t get me wrong. It may well have worked very well on the burger – but once I had picked it up there was pretty much no putting it down as that would have ended in disaster. But as a dipping sauce for chips…..not convinced.
$20 isn’t exactly a kings ransom (pardon the pun) and given the quantity and quality of food on offer, and in an excellent venue, this part of the equation was comfortably in their favour.
The Kings is already highly recommended simply for the cool place it is to go and the fact they only use local produce. Irrespective of whatever I thought of the burger, just get down there at some point and check it out – even if it’s just a local beer/wine/cider and a bucket of chips (served with mayonnaise [drool]).
Happily though, I can also say that if you are a bit more hungry than that…actually make that a LOT more hungry, then the beef burger is an excellent option (there is also a vege burger if you are so inclined). It was quite annoying to eat though as it was just too big, but if you can cope with dislocating your jaw to bite it, and having some of the fillings fall out along the way, then it really is worth going for.
I am not sure if this actually is king, but it’s definitely pub burger royalty. Maybe a slightly eccentric prince.