The Diner is one of the restaurant chains enjoying the surge of American-style eateries in the UK. The website refers to how, unlike many, they are bucking the trend and growing their food menu, as opposed to the seemingly shrinking restaurant menus in the more ‘gourmet’ type restaurants.
The Diner offers a selection of burgers, hot dogs, ribs and wings, as well as a large breakfast menu (which, despite my comments later on I wouldn’t mind going back to try). However, on a beers and burgers mission, I wanted to try what I thought sounded like the tastiest option on the menu – the Arch Burger.
Described as a 6oz hamburger topped with St. Louis pulled pork, Monterey Jack cheese, coleslaw and dill pickle on a sesame seed bun, the description was enough to reignite my appetite after enjoying an excellent brunch at the Me Hotel Radio Rooftop bar to celebrate Hannah’s birthday earlier that day.
Whilst waiting, I asked our waitress for a beer recommendation. She suggested the Lervig Hoppy Joe – a 4.7% Norwegian “Amercian Ale”. I was definitely happy with the choice – Hoppy Joe lives up to its name without being TOO overpowering, and was definitely a good accompaniment for the food which was to come.
Apologies for the lighting in the photos – it was really dark inside The Diner; fine for ambience but not for taking discreet photos on a smartphone!
Accompanied by waffle fries, the Arch burger – from a visual perspective at least – looked great. Cooked medium as requested, it was piled with pulled pork and had a solid bun which more than capably coped with the large amount of ingredients which filled it.
Unfortunately, whilst a great looker, the burger wasn’t that special when it came to taste. I’m a firm believer that the beef patty should be the dominant flavour in a burger, no matter how many toppings it has. However the pulled pork was easily the most noticeable taste.
In fact, getting rather full towards the end of the meal, I decided to leave the bread and just finish the beef – this was when I realised how bland and under-seasoned it actually was.
Far too full for a pudding, it was also unfortunate that we were ignored by the waiting staff when we were wanting to leave.
Overall The Diner offered good beer, and the waffle fries were a unique, tasty accompaniment, but it was let down by the burger on the day. Luckily for us, a trip to the ever-outstanding Meat Liquor the next day more than made up for our fix of beef!
The Diner Soho can be found at 18 Ganton Street
London W1F 7BU. This review took place on 15/11/15. You can visit their website at http://goodlifediner.com/, where information about their other branches can also be found.