8oz beef burger – 100% Welsh beef burger, served with double cooked chips, pickles, red onion marmalade, on a brioche bun with relish
Price of burger: £10.75 (add mature cheddar cheese £11.25)
Recently, my family and I spent a weekend away in sunny (!?) Llandudno.
As with most places I visit, I reached out on social media beforehand – I know, get me! – to get an idea of the best places to eat. Avid readers will know that this approach has held me in good stead previously, whether it be the Oblo in Scotland or Annie’s Burger Shack in Nottingham – both of which have ranked highly on my leaderboard.
I was hoping that this would be no exception, so when I heard the name “The Kings Head” mentioned more than once, I knew I had to give it a go.
Situated at the bottom of the tram line which meanders to the top of the Great Orme, this little pub is actually quite a way off the beaten track. So after a trip to the top of the Orme, we went to scope the place out. I was pleased to find that the pub was a lovely little place with a beer garden which, on such a sunny day, was perfect. Glorious sunshine, cold beer, friendly staff – what more could you ask for?!
Before heading back to Shrewsbury, we decided to visit on the Sunday. Unfortunately, this time we were shafted by the weather which had decided that sun for one day of the weekend was quite enough, thank you very much!
We sat down and I didn’t even pick up the menu – I knew what the form was. Had I picked it up, I would have found that I was about to order an 8oz, 100% Welsh beef burger, served with double cooked chips, pickles, red onion marmalade, on a brioche bun with relish and mature cheddar cheese, all totting up to £11.25.
The wait for food is always the hard part. At 10 minutes, your brain is thinking “Calm down, they’ve probably only just got the order”. At 20 minutes, “Oooh, it will be cooking now”. And at 30 minutes (hopefully) “Yey, here it comes”. In this case, however, the 30 minute mark came and went. The 40 minute mark…came and went. And when the 50 minute mark arrived, something had gone wrong – it must have done, right?!
We’re a hungry bunch and 50 minutes without so much as a whiff sent us all into a panic. “They’ve forgotten us”, “What if they’ve lost our order?” So eventually we asked a passing waitress if she knew what the hold-up was. Immediately, she stated “Yes, it’s on its way”, but this was little consolation considering she hadn’t even gone into the kitchen to check, or asked us what we had ordered, or how long we’d been waiting for. This was a Sunday afternoon, and I can completely appreciate that can be a hectic time for pubs and restaurants alike – but we had ordered our food long before the pub had properly filled out, so we couldn’t fathom what had happened. I don’t think I would have been as bothered if it was a casual meal on a Saturday evening with a bottle of wine to distract me. But this was lunch, with time running out on our car park and a hungry three year old wanting to be fed!
Another 10 minutes passed before we were eventually given our meals. In fairness, the burger looked great – but “one hour” great? I’m not so sure…
I tucked in with the vigour of a half-starved man…I do have some fat reserves but they had been somewhat depleted by this stage.
Maybe I’m getting a tad hung up on all this waiting lark, so let’s start over. The burger itself was actually delicious! The patty was thick and “rough” looking – perhaps “homemade” is a better description but, either way, it was cooked to perfection and complemented beautifully by the brioche bun together with the fantastic red onion marmalade. I love places where the burgers are served slightly pink in the middle and this was one of them – top notch!
The chips were some of the best around and they didn’t scrimp on the portion size either, which I was happy to see. They were more like mini roast potatoes and, as I’ve discussed my aversion to “standard pub chips” before, you can imagine that these went down as a mega win for me.
The relish was…ok…but a little watery, so I asked for some mayonnaise which I thought would go perfectly with the big chips. Unfortunately, the service side of the meal reared its ugly head again, as I was provided with a pot of yellow-ish sauce which in fact turned out to be salad cream, not mayonnaise as requested! Argh! Not only that, but half way through eating, a member of staff asked if he could take our menus from us, as they hadn’t been collected previously. As these were now underneath our plates (we had no where else to put them), you can imagine the awkwardness involved in trying to retrieve five menus out from underneath half-eaten food!
It’s a real shame that I have so many bad points about this place, as the food itself was actually great and I fully expect that, on another day, the service would’ve been ten times better (as appeared to be the case the day before). Perhaps the chef was solar-powered and the cloud cover was affecting their efficiency! – (What a sarcastic bloke I am! But to be honest, by the end of the meal, that’s exactly how I felt.)
Looking back, the service is unfortunately my only real lasting memory of The Kings Head, which is a real shame considering the quality of the food itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I would go back for more great food – I just truly hope that next time we can focus more on the food itself, and not a long waiting time!
This review – plus a couple of recent others – has prompted me to add a new score for ‘Service’. This will not affect the burger’s position on the league table; it only serves as a guide for all you burger lovers out there.
Entire meal 8.5