Owned by the group behind a range of solid enough gastropubs with reasonable reputations elsewhere in the capital, I can only assume that the Chef, the manager and indeed everyone bar the kitchen porter of the Angel and Crown were on a group bonding session somewhere a long, long way away when I popped in on a Tuesday lunchtime.
Just across from the Noel Coward on St Martin's Lane is prime tourist territory and no doubt teeth clenchingly high rent, but neither are reason for the proprietors of recently refurbished pub dining room to charge me £13 for one of the most depressing burgers I've eaten in a long time. Described as a 'Dexter beef burger', it was a woeful embarrasment of a meal and the sort of bovine abuse you'd expect from an Aberdeen Angus, Garfunkels or Scotch Steakhouse.
My friend Simon is the rightfully proud owner of the world's smallest Dexter beef herd, having two of the little blighters. The oldest, named charmingly by his carnivorous kiddies as Burger, deserves a better end than the poor Dexter that had contributed to the grim patty on my plate. I have a feeling Simon would rather set them free to take their own chances than let them turn up like this.
Requested medium rare, it trickled pale juice but consisted of gray meat throughout with no char, sweetness or indeed real taste. The dense clag of over handled preparation made the thick single note mortuary slab a trial to eat. It lingered thankfully little on the palate but squatted in my gut for the remainder of the day like an ill mannered toad at the bottom of a pond.
The roll felt either frozen or forgotten, either way brittle, hard and inedible, crumbling by the wayside. The chips had a whiff of the Maccy D's about them and came served with two wafer thin slices of gherkin and a tasteless watery beef tomato slice.
I'm not going to bother describing the standard decor of the empty upstairs dining room or the amiable staff, both were fine. I just want to tell my salutary patty based tale and get this memory over and done, consigning it to the bin of disappointment in the depths of my cerebellum, pulling it out dustily if anyone suggests trying this place.