Ruby Red’s, Winchester – burger review

On Saturday, Hench and I did a short pub crawl around sunny Winchester.

All that beer drinking made us hungry. So what better to satisfy our pangs than a burger?

Ruby Red’s Burger Shack is conveniently located on Jewry Street, at the top of town towards the railway station. As well as burgers, it does breakfasts, burritos and hot dogs.

I had a disappointing experience on my last visit to a specialist burger bar on my search for the best burger in Hampshire. How would Ruby Red’s perform?

File 07-08-2016, 16 18 12 About this burger

  • Date visited: 6 August 2016
  • Name on menu: “Classic Hamburger” (plus optional Monterey Jack cheese and a side of “salted” fries)
  • Price: £10.50 (£6.50 for the burger, £1 for the cheese and £3 for the fries)

How this burger scored

Patty – 9/10

Juicy, but not fatty. Well seasoned and absolutely delicious. Cooked to medium perfection.

Oh, and did I mention that Ruby Red’s offers two patties as standard?

File 07-08-2016, 16 17 08 The best beef patties I’ve tasted so far and on a par with Bare Burger’s buffalo burgers in New York.

The meat is pretty local too – they source their beef from the Isle of Wight.

Chips – 9/10

Skin-on fries. Hot, crispy and delicious.

At £3, maybe a touch overpriced for the portion size.

Bun – 8/10

Soft, fluffy and held its own once I got munching.

File 07-08-2016, 16 17 28 Toppings – 6/10

Slow-cooked red onion, pickles, lettuce, mustard and ketchup.

Great-tasting but I’d have preferred cheddar cheese over Montery Jack cheese and English mustard over American-style mustard.

Ambiance – 8/10

Unlike other US-inspired burger restaurants, Ruby Red’s doesn’t try too hard and has its own style.

There’s a mixture of tables, benches and bar tops to choose from with stalls for the bar tops and tall tables and funky chairs for the standard tables and benches. There’s also a nice outside seating area on the street.

80s funk provided the soundtrack on our visit.

It’s quite dark inside, but cosy – even on a warm summer’s eve.

Drinks selection and quality – 6/10

Standard diner fare available drinks-wise including milkshakes, soft drinks and bottled lagers.

File 07-08-2016, 16 17 52 There are also frozen cocktails on offer. A greater choice of beers would have been welcome – not that we needed too much more to drink today.

Condiments – 3/5

Decent selection of condiments including a couple of spicy sauces. As noted earlier, no English mustard.

There’s Heinz ketchup but it didn’t taste quite right to us.

Presentation – 4/5

Ruby Red’s mixes formal with casual by providing paper-wrapped burgers on plates. It fits well with the style of the place.

File 07-08-2016, 16 16 49 Service – 4/5

Almost perfect. Staff were friendly, helpful and attentive without being over the top.

The only very minor downside was that we had to ask whether there was table service before we took our seats. It wasn’t obvious on this, our first visit.

Value for money – 5/5

Only 50p more expensive than Five Guys but better quality and with table service.

Penalties – 0

No silly gimmicks here so no penalty points.

Total: 62/80

We have a new leader in my search for Hampshire’s best burger. Great patties, a great bun and a great little restaurant.

Info: Ruby Red’s Burger Shack is at 5 Jewry St, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RZ. Phone them on 01962 860383.

Tom's rating: