Bar and Block, Whiteley – burger review

We can all agree that Monday is the “cheekiest” night of the week to go out, yeah?

Good, because it felt pretty damn cheeky heading out on a rare Monday night outing earlier this week. I even got extra cheeky points because it was my first day back at work after a week off.

Unfortunately, some of those extra cheeky points disappeared when we walked past Nando’s to go to another of Whiteley’s restaurants, Bar and Block. The cheeky meter was still near max though.

The focus on Bar and Block, which also has restaurants in King’s Cross and Birmingham, is on hand-cut steaks, with everything from a humble rump to the axe-shaped 35oz tomahawk available.

Naturally, there are steak burgers on the menu too. Did I have one? Course I did. Here’s how it rated in my search for Hampshire’s best burger.

About this burger

  • Date visited: 24 July 2017
  • Name on menu: “The Mighty Block Burger”
  • Price: ¬£12.95

How this burger scored

Patty – 7/10

Freshly ground on the premises, this steak burger was not overdone and had a lovely texture, which wasn’t too dense.

Could have had more moisture. And a little more seasoning, because it tasted a bit dull towards my final chews.

Chips – 9/10

Thin-cut fries. Almost perfect. A nice crunch, a clean taste and nice and hot on arrival.

Bun – 9/10

A brioche bun, which looked a little dry but tasted great and held everything together well.

Lightly toasted. A good effort.

Toppings – 6/10

The Mighty Block Burger comes with cheese sauce, smoked beer brisket, crispy onions, pickled cucumber spears (aka pickled cucumber), lettuce, red onion, tomato and a “fiery” black sauce.

First, let’s deal with the black sauce. It may have been there was there was nothing fiery about it. This didn’t detract from the experience, mind. I was just miffed.

The cheese sauce, which gave the burger an American vibe, was rather decent. And the lettuce and tomato was fresh.

The beef brisket and onions would have been fine on their own. But they don’t work in a burger – the brisket is too dry and not salty enough to add anything and the crispy onions don’t work as well with the meat as lightly fried¬†onions.

Ambiance – 7/10

Not bad for a purpose-built premises in a shopping centre. The bar provides the centrepiece of the restaurant with an open-plan kitchen at the back.

Decor is industrial, with mirrors, exposed brick walls and the odd bit of timber. Artificial lighting is warm with big windows letting natural light in at the front.

There’s plenty of space between tables, which makes every table feel secluded.

A nice place to dine.

Drinks selection and quality – 4/10

A bit disappointing on the beer front with only the type of beers you can buy in most supermarkets and convenience stores like Brewdog “Punk IPA”, Meantime “London Pale Ale” and Goose Island “IPA”. Better than nothing, I suppose but it’s nice to find harder to find beers on the menu when eating out.

If cocktails or wine are more your thing, there’s a good selection of both.

Condiments – 5/5

Good-quality English mustard and ketchup available in ramekins.

Presentation – 3/5

Arrived on a plate rather than a chopping board, which was a bonus. But did look a little lost on the plate.

The fries came in a plastic receptacle.

Service – 5/5

Outstanding from start to finish service – efficient, friendly and timely. The waiting staff took the time to explain the restaurant’s concept and guided us through the menu.

Value for money – 4/5

Maybe a quid or so too much for a perfect 5/5 on the value front.

The free savoury popcorn was a bonus.

Penalties – 0

Almost a one-point penalty for the chip pail, but it was plastic not metal.

Total: 59/80

A good effort from Bar and Block’s Mighty Block Burger, let down by the beer selection and the toppings. It’s definitely worth a visit though, especially if you love your steaks.

Info: Bar and Block is at F7a, Whiteley Shopping Centre, Whiteley Way, Fareham, PO15 7PD. Phone 01489 663344. Open every day from 9am (10am on Sundays).

Tom's rating: