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Florentine Restaurant Review:
In the lead up to National Burger Day we were approached by Florentine Restaurant, just off the Southbank, who asked us to create a London Unattached version of their famous Herculean Burger. Always game for a spot of creativity in the kitchen we went with a Mexican them and created the Arriba! (I did toy with calling it ‘The Wall’, but we felt that might prove to be a little controversial).
Our burger used the same meat patty as Florentine’s and the same brioche bun, but we added refried beans, homemade guacamole with bacon, sliced tomatoes, romaine lettuce, red onions, jalapeños, lime zest, fresh coriander, grated cheddar served with chips, sour cream, tomato salsa and chipotle mayonnaise. We were put into an Instagram battle with 2 other London based food bloggers, with a winner selected from the variation with the most votes. The winner then featured on the menu for a week. Sadly we didn’t get the most votes, but you can see our creation here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm0Y6ecgMxr/?hl=en&taken-by=florentineldn
So what exactly is a Herculean burger? And do you have to be built like the son of Greek God to eat one? We now had to try it out, and it was going to take more than a plus 1 to do it justice. Playing it safe, included in our group I invited a friend who is ex-army and a taekwondo champion, figuring that if anyone was able to tackle this burger it had to be him. On a slightly damp evening, the four of us arrived at Florentine which is situated very near Lambeth North tube station and a short walk from Waterloo. Seated in a table by the window and opposite the kitchen, we were in prime position to see both the world go by and the chefs in action.
A vibrant pea soup with smoked ricotta cheese certainly hit the spot for my ex-army friend.
Whilst a very delicate tuna carpaccio served with finely sliced radishes and wasabi mayonnaise was the perfect girly starter for my friend, and ideal in light of what was to come afterwards.
My own fried squid with lemon mayo was cooked perfectly and was surprisingly light.
I was a bit doubtful about Alex’s choice of pasta as a starter, it did look and smell wonderful with the girolle mushrooms, but I know that I couldn’t have tackled the burger if I’d had pasta to start. It didn’t seem to cause him any problem though!
Sensing some drama happening in the kitchen I went over just in time to see the mighty Herculean burger being assembled. At 2.2 kg of ground beef, a home-made brioche bun, Montgomery cheese, portobello mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, streaky bacon, black truffle, chips and sweet potatoes fries, and 5 Dips it’s designed to be shared by 4 people.
The patty was cooked medium rare for us and was beautifully seasoned. The chef had been restrained with the truffle, which gave some subtlety to the assembled burger and enhanced the Portobello mushroom. The fries were crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, just how they should be. Did we finish it though…….. yes we did finish the burger (though both of the women didn’t eat much of the bun), but there were quite a lot of fries left at the end. I’d like to think that if we hadn’t had starters, that we would have polished off more!
Alex finished off with a pretty individual tiramisu, whilst we shared a pannacotta between the three of us and still didn’t finish it!
There were several other tables enjoying the Herculean burger, and it’s certainly a fun meal to share, I could just imagine this being perfect for a teenage boy’s birthday treat.
6 Hercules Road,
London SE1 7DU
+44 (0)203 146 5800
Disclosure: We were guests of Florentine
Looking for something different? We recommend The Duke of Sussex – a great gastropub near Waterloo.