Gallery on Waymouth – Pulled Pork Burger

So another day, yet another burger as we head off to the stylish Gallery on Waymouth for a catch up lunch. While the promise of a soft shell crab burger was originally on the cards, how will the ‘plan b’ rate in the growing scheme of things?

Venue and Service
The Gallery is a very cool café/restaurant and art gallery by day, and apparently nightclub by night. Hence the ‘night’ in ‘nightclub’ I suppose. But it is still a venue with two functions, and sometimes this can have the effect of confusing one or the other.

From my impression today, it certainly isn’t the first of the options. It has a very chilled vibe, is beautifully appointed and has a somewhat limited but still interesting enough menu which consists largely of burgers and some tapas items (also a lot of cocktails and other drinks for those so inclined). There were 4 burger options on the current menu, specifically the pork (obviously), a beef (cooked allegedly medium rare) and a vegetarian option. The 4th is a ‘burger of the day’, which today was duck breast.

One disappointment was that the soft shell crab burger, as was depicted on the downloaded menu, was no longer an option. Apparently this had not been a good seller, but this did little to appease us of it’s non-attendance. However, alternatives were selected and we soldiered on regardless.

The service was very friendly and efficient, although they were not exactly busy at the time. However, they can only do their job very well, and regardless of anything else this is what they did.

The Burger
The Pattie
Being a ‘pulled pork’ burger – and stop your snickering down the back there – there was no ‘pattie’ as such. Instead, as you can see in the photo, the meat is simply loaded onto the bun and then dished up with its burger companions.

The pork was apparently ‘ale braised’, but however they want to describe it the end result was pieces/strands of meat in a slightly sweet, tomato based savoury sauce. It was nicely textured and extremely tasty, albeit in a slightly restrained way.

There was one potential downside though – the amount of liquid/sauce that came off the burger as you picked it up was not insignificant, and given it’s red colour, this could have been rather disasterous for my work attire! However, I was awake to this possibility and this excess liquid was nicely mopped up by the roll – so it didn’t go to waste.

The fillings with the pork were kewpie mayonnaise, house made bbq sauce, lettuce, and fresh Spanish onion. The Kewpie mayonnaise was a revelation though, as I have not had the pleasure of trying this Japanese condiment before. The bbq sauce gave it a hint of spice, while the lettuce and the sliced Spanish onion played their ‘fresh’ cards to perfection. Overall this was all about balance and harmony of flavours, rather than going for the biggest assault on your tastebuds.

Impressive indeed.

The roll was a seeded brioche style roll, which gave it a different texture and slightly sweeter flavour to most burger rolls. It lends itself nicely to this usage, with the only small flies in the chardonnay being that it was perhaps a little on the thick side, which perhaps through out the bread to filling ratio a little. The other small issue was just the texture of it, while delightful in it’s own right, means that it is slightly more susceptible to breaking down a little during consumption. As outlined before though, it did serve an additional purpose of swabbing the leaked sauce from off the plate.

The sides consisted of some chips and sauce – but going with shoestring fries and ‘ketchup’. The fries were in relatively small quantity, but for a lunch meal this proved to be a perfectly acceptable amount. Also something a little different to the normal fare being dished up too, so more points for the Gallery for doing something a little different.

The cost of this was a mere $13.90, which for the quality of the food and the extremely tasteful venue is not much of an asking price at all. Sure, the drinks didn’t miss the mark ($8 for a US pint of Golden Ale!) but the food alone represented excellent value indeed.

The Gallery, as a lunch destination at least, is a tastefully appointed and relaxing venue to chill out for your lunch hour. The menu isn’t huge but is very interesting, with tapas and burgers making up the majority of the fare as previously advised.

The pork burger was beautifully balanced and executed, with the small number of ingredients each bringing with it a distinct flavour which when put all together resulted in a flavour profile which ticked all the boxes – flavours, textures and temperatures. It wasn’t trying to be a normal pub burger – no bacon, no cheese, no cooked onion – but it was trying to be a mature and restrained lunch option. And it pulled this off very well indeed.

It may not be for everyone – it’s a far cry from the Burger Theory ankle burger if that is the kind of thing you are after – but for those that it does appeal too you could do a lot worse. It wasn’t perfect, it did lack just a little punch to give it that ‘wow’ factor, but by the same token sometimes less can more.

Overall extremely enjoyable and it does come highly recommended, both the venue and this particular burger. Next time though, I really want the soft shell crab….it should definitely sidle back onto the menu.

Score – 8.6
Date tasted – 25/10/2012
Gallery on Waymouth on Urbanspoon

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