I’m putting the pub burgers in a league of their own because pubs are a different animal than your normal restaurant or fine dining establishment. A pub is as much about the atmosphere and friends that you gather with as it is about the food or drink. However, just like Pad Thai at a Thai restaurant, I use the pub burger as a measuring stick of whether to order other food should I return again.
The Mayflower is a tiny old pub right on the Thames between Bermondsey and Canada Water. It was established in 1620 and was the final mooring place and namesake of the ship that set sail for the New World on Sept 6 the same year. 102 souls were on board when it left from London, called at Plymouth and then hit the open sea.
The journey to New England would take the pilgrims 106 days to complete. The pub was also near the ship’s final resting place and legend has it that timbers from the ship were used in the pub’s refurbishment.
The Mayflower burger is a £14.95 Kobe “luxury” beef burger of epic proportions. It comes with bacon and cheese and some pub-style chips to finish off the massive plate. The problem with the burger is that they cook the crap out of it, so you can’t even tell that it’s fancy Japanese beef.
It’s unfortunate that they’ve nuked all the goodness out of this burger. I prefer medium or even medium rare; if you’re going to use top quality beef, then you want to taste the difference. The overkill grilling leaves this as a one-inch thick patty which will fill you up but doesn’t stand out in any other way.
The pub is a winner on atmosphere, beer and wine selection and comfort. They fall down on the pub food offerings and pricing. My burger wasn’t worth the £15 quid I laid down for it. Judging from my friends’ reactions to their chicken/chorizo and falafel/haloumi those two sandwiches weren’t worth it either.
I will finish by saying, the open fire place and good red wines made up for the food issues. It was a perfect relaxing spot for those looking to get out of the winter cold. I think it’s worth a visit just to experience the history and have a pint, but save your lunch money for something else.
The Mayflower is located at 117 Rotherhithe St., Bermondsey, SE16 4NF.
Mayflower Pub – 29
Beef (6): Good by pub standards.
Bun (5): Middle of the road, nothing more.
Toppings (3): Pub fare, nothing fancy here.
Value (6): Massive burger, but spartan everything else.
Ambiance (9): Great pub to meet your friends in a 1600s setting.