Name: The London Beer and Burgers
Address: 121 London Cct, Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: (02) 6262 5591
Names and logos are meant to be a simple way to show you what something is. So it is important to make sure that they make sense.
For example, if you call something ‘The London’ and have a logo of a lion rampant, there is an expectation that the place will be in someway English. And if, along with the name, you include the term “Beer and Burgers”, it is fair to assume that beer would be a reasonably large part of what they serve.
In the case of The London Beer and Burgers, neither of these things are true.
Taking over the premises from Bourbon Bar, The London is located on the corner of East Row and London Avenue. This appears to be the only reason for the name as there is nothing remotely British about it. There is no excuse for such lazy nomenclature.
The décor comes across as halfway between a Turkish restaurant and a seaside fish’n’chip shop. The walls are covered in blue patterned wallpaper, offset with a pillar covered in an ocean themed mosaic. It all looks quite nice, but there is no cohesion between mother-of-pearl tiles and London. Or burgers, for that matter. Not that the most quintessential dish really makes sense in a place called the London, either.
Even worse than this disconnect between concept and name is the ridiculousness of having “beer” next to the name if you’re not going to make beer a focus. On enquiring what beers were available, the answer was James Boags, Corona, and a light beer. That was all, and it was a great disappointment. I don’t mind restaurants and bars that don’t care about their drinks. Just don’t advertise it.
But at the end of the day, only one thing really matters in a place like this, and that is the quality of the burgers. Thankfully, they are actually good.
A burger with the lot, the benchmark for any burger bar, was put together well. While the roll was a little lacklustre, the patty was rich and meaty, exactly as it should be, with a piece of bitey cheese melted over the top. A piece of cos lettuce, always more exciting than iceberg, and some tomato gave real freshness.
The real thrill of this burger came from the perfectly caramelised onion. Still with a touch of crunch, they were sweet and thick, adding that perfect foil to the meat. Served with a side of crisp, well-flavoured chips, this was a satisfying meal. Certainly nothing to complain about for $12.
It’s not high dining, and even for a burger it’s not the best in town (a hard ask when in the same city as the heavenly BrodBurger), but it is good. And, in and of itself, it’s a burger that makes sense.
It’s just a pity nothing else does.
Update – 18/1/2011: I have recently walked past The London and have noticed that they do now have some beers on tap. However, with the selection that they have being nothing more than the most generic options, I still have issues with their name suggesting that beer is a major part of what they do.