As has happened a few times in the past, we set off in search of a specific burger, however were greeted with a closed sign on our arrival. In lieu, we headed off in the direction of The Saracens Head Hotel, another of our long-anticipated venues.
The Saracens as it is known colloquially has been around for quite some time, but has only fallen onto my personal radar in the last few years or so since it has been refurbished and also become a popular Thursday night venue for students and kids with fake ID’s.
The venue itself has quite a welcoming feel, with a somewhat upmarket appearance. One would never know it is uncomfortably packed at least one night a week with scantily clad, paralytic, messy teenagers.
The staff were friendly and the place was sparkling clean and tidy. There is a front bar, a seated eating area in the rear bar and also a beer garden. Overall the Saracens is quite a nice little posh venue which set down an excellent first impression.
There are two burger options at the Saracens – Sliders and a ‘flip top burger’. I chose the former, with my colleague opting for the latter. We ended up sharing the offerings to obtain a more widened opinion of each.
From the Menu
Beef Sliders – Share or go alone (4 mini burgers) Saracens beef patty with Swiss cheese, American mustard, ketchup and Japanese Mayo – $22.0
This will be our first slider review (with hopefully many, many more to come) so we will deviate just a tad from our normal breakdown of the review.
The little gems of burger goodness arrived fairly promptly, presented nicely on a wooden board with a “cup o’ chips”, tomato sauce, and extra dill pickles on the side.
Essentially what you’re dealing with here is a small meatball. The little parcel of beef had adequate seasoning along with traces of onion and garlic which resulted in a sensational whack of flavour inside the slider. It wasn’t dry and it wasn’t fatty. It was cooked well done and it was a very fine mince however it was moist so it resulted in an overall good outcome. As you would be aware from our reviews by now – our ultimate preference is coarse and slightly pink beef but this turned out just nice.
Bun and Fillings
The bun was a super soft springy fresh and tasty brioche style – perfect for the slider. It performed its job effortlessly and indeed faultlessly. The fillings were basic – and they should be. Your bottom bun was with a thin smearing of mayo and some finely chopped dill pickle, the patty then followed with the cheese melted atop and a little squirt of mustard to complete the picture. There was no sauce already in the slider however the option was given to you with the sauce on the side.
Seriously, I can’t really complain. Each of the basic flavours were in abundant and perfect balance, making each bite of these morsels sensational.
The only thing I could opt to fault was possibly the mustard. It didn’t in my opinion live up to the normal true ‘American mustard’ flavour and was indeed very, very mild. Anything stronger quite possibly would have overpowered though – so it is a tough call. Personally I would preferred a slightly stronger mustard than the one used, but as stated overall – no complaints.
The cup of chips on the side were quite nice, golden and with good texture. The serving size was ideal for the sliders however unfortunately on this occasion they were a little too salty. Personally I didn’t mind but I know this would be a complaint for many people. Chicken salt was the seasoning of choice.
The tomato sauce was obviously a bulk bought shelf item, way too sweet, but you would have suffered immensely without it. A valuable addition even if the quality was average.
A small serving of extra dill pickles with mild flavour were also supplied. Another welcome addition for anyone wishing to fine tune the flavour of their slider. Excellent.
$22 was the asking price for this wooden paddle of goodness. It is indeed a tough pickle to make a call on the value (Pun intended, see what I did there?).
I think was sealed the fate on this value call was once I ordered a pint of Bulmers, the total came out to $30.70, which in turn almost made my jaw hit the floor.
Going on the rest of the pricing, it was certainly up there in terms of pub venues. For example, a bowl of wedges with the usual trimmings of sour cream and sweet chilli will cost you an epic fifteen dollars. Now I can’t comment on these as I haven’t tried them – but I would certainly want the serving to be roughly the size of your garden variety wheelbarrow for that kind of money.
So while I was impressed by the offering itself and the overall feel of the venue and service, I did feel the price was rather extremely steep. It is also noteworthy that if you were to rock in on a Sunday, you can purchase a ‘tower’ (3L) of Bulmer’s and these sliders for $40 in a special deal.
Ive decided to give two scores for this review.
Not taking into account the price – 8.1
Taking into account the price- 7.4