Searching for Hampshire’s best burger at: The Rockstone, Southampton [review]

Mention burgers in Southampton and most people think of 7Bone Burger Co or the Rockstone.

I finally got round to rating 7Bone’s offering earlier this year. Now it was the Rockstone’s turn in my search for Hampshire’s best burger.

I regularly visit the Rockstone for a beer or three. But it’s been a while since I’ve eaten there. That changed last week when Tiff and I popped in for an impromptu midweek burger.

7Bone didn’t disappoint. Did the Rockstone live up to the hype too?

About this burger

  • Date visited: 31 May 2017
  • Name on menu: “The Classic”
  • Price: £14.50

How this burger scored

Patty – 9/10

Chunky (11oz), moist and tasty and perfectly seasoned with a generous helping of pepper.

A little more redness in the centre and this would be on for a perfect 10.

Chips – 10/10

A massive portion of excellent fries. Cooked to perfection and clean tasting.

Bun – 9/10

Brioche-style. Fresh-tasting and not too sweet.

Somehow, it held this massive burger together while I got my chops round it.

Toppings – 8/10

Tangy cheddar cheese, tasty chargrilled bacon and pickles.

Red onion, shredded lettuce and juicy tomato too.

I wasn’t as keen on the Rockstone burger sauce though.

Ambiance – 8/10

The Rockstone describes itself as a “country pub in the centre of town” and that’s a pretty apt description.

Carpeted throughout, the U-shaped pub is cosy in winter and surprisingly airy in the warmer months. There’s an open fire and a few booths, plus traditional pub furniture and two beer gardens.

It’s dog friendly too.

The fine ambiance is only ruined by the extremely loud telephone ring!

Drinks selection and quality – 10/10

If you’re a draught beer lover like me, you’re spoilt for choice with up to 24 beers available on cask and keg.

Many of the beers on tap are sourced locally. This evening, I had two American pale ales from Hampshire breweries – a Wild Weather “Betrayal” (4%) and a Red Cat “Tom Cat” (4.7%).

The pub’s shelves also boast more than 200 spirits. Plus there’s a great selection of proper cider.

Condiments – 3/5

No English mustard in the house…! An essential addition to a perfect beef burger, surely?

The smokey house ketchup went part way to making up for that, though.

Presentation – 5/5

On a plate, and not a metal pail in sight.

Service – 4/5

Friendly and efficient (although the staff seemed a little overstretched on account of an influx of groups wanting to pay for rounds separately on cards).

Value for money – 4/5

More expensive than your typical pub burger, but the price matches the portion size – if you can finish it off that is. Even I couldn’t finish my chips, and that’s saying something!

I should also point out that we got a 30% student discount on our food (Wednesday is student night – there’s 30% off all food and some drinks deals for students). The price quoted above is the regular cost (£14.50).

Penalties – 0

No metal pails, chopping boards or “artisan” on the menu here.

Total: 70/80

It all comes down to fine margins in my search for Hampshire’s best burger. And it looks like a less intrusive telephone ringer or the availability of English mustard could be stopping the Rockstone heading to the top of the leaderboard alone.

Alas, it’s not meant to be – the Rockstone joins the Railway in Ringwood as joint leader instead.

Info: The Rockstone is at 63 Onslow Rd, Bevois Valley, Southampton, SO14 0JL. Call 023 8063 7256. To get two burger meals for £22, head there on a Tuesday or Wednesday for Burger Night.

Tom's rating: