When the Evening Standard’s Jimi Famurewa describes the Four Legs burger as one of the best he’s ever had – you hot foot it over to the aforementioned restaurant quick sharp. Especially if that kitchen is operating out of a very pretty (it’s just had a refurb) albeit very low key neighbourhood pub in north London’s Islington.
There are just two guys manning the humble hobs, Jamie Allan (ex-Hill & Szrok) and Ed McIlroy (formerly at Bao) and everything needs to be ordered at the counter in proper pub-style etiquette. The small back room seems to be reserved for people eating, but just a stone’s throw away people were cheering at the football, with a few sun seekers spilling outside.
The menu is short and sweet and, we’re told, will evolve with the seasons. Whilst we were there we tried a banging dish of early-season tomatoes on toast that was just glorious in its simplicity. A trio of cheesy herb fritters under a blanket of parmesan kicked things off, so delish there was bargaining over the last one. Up next a spicy pork and aubergine stew accompanied a plate of clams, with dishes well-paced throughout the evening. The only difficulty of the night was not ordering one of everything.
So, this burger. Jimi was right, it was a bloody delicious burger. It’s not what we expected though. Normally we’re a fan of the burgers that can’t be eaten without juice running down both arms. But this was actually the most sophisticated dirty burger we’ve ever eaten. The brioche bun was shiny, glazed perfection, the meat spiked with onion, oozy cheese and a shock of pickles. It’s a Big Mac crossed with Massimo Osteria’s Gucci Burger which we recently tried in Florence.
Almost everything is set up for sharing, with the exception of the burger and the tagliatelle (unless you fancy a Lady & the Tramp moment). So we’d recommend cutting it in half and ordering a side of the fried new potatoes with aioli along with the smaller dishes.
There’s was just one simple dessert on the menu, strawberries and cream, but quite honestly they were so utterly delicious there needn’t be anything else.
The whole Four Legs set up reminded us a little bit of the early days of Smoke & Salt and we think we’re going to see a lot more from these guys.