24th February 2015 5:45pm
The warmth of the Southern was a wonderful welcome after the windy, bitter winter outside. The Southern, located in Newington, forms part of the FullerThomson chain who also own Holyrood 9a and Red Squirrel. The pub is full of dark surfaces but is warmly lit and has a cosy feel. The place wasn’t very lively but we had arrived relatively early in the evening on a Tuesday.
We plonked ourselves down at a free table, which also happened to be by the rather nice fire. We were promptly greeted by a friendly member of staff who asked if we were in for food and dashed off to get us some menus. The Southern’s main offerings are burger based. However, there are other options such as hotdogs, salads and other light bites. There is also a breakfast section and a special section for children. To be honest though, you would be a fool not to pick one of their burgers. We were informed that the Southern was having a cocktail themed evening (they must have known I was coming). The options were a cocktail and nachos special or a flight of cocktails for £9. I obviously went for the flight, as did one of my other friends.
The cocktails were made whilst we perused the menus. When they arrived they looked fun. They were presented on a special board, with each of the three cocktails sat in a small milk bottle with ‘shake me’ or ‘stir me’ written on them. We had a straw for each bottle too. We were told that the cocktails were cherry cola, a lychee mojito and a bramble, which came with an additional liqueur shot to be poured into the bottle. My favourite was the cherry cola cocktail, which had great flavour and you could easily forget it had any alcohol in it. I found the lychee mojito a bit too bitter but I am sure that it would be suitable for many other palates. The bramble was a classic and they really couldn’t go wrong with this.
Their burgers come in a brioche bun as standard but you can change this at no extra cost to a sourdough bun if you prefer and you also get an option of seasoned or non-seasoned fries (or you can upgrade to sweet potato fries for £1). I went for the Southern burger with the brioche bun and non-seasoned fries. The Southern burger is a 6oz beef burger with red onion, rocket, Hereford Hop cheese, beer mustard mayo and caramelised onion mayo. Everyone else also went for burgers, so I will concentrate on just reviewing mine. The burgers all arrived on wooden boards so that must be a theme. There were skewers in all of the burgers with a massive bit of pickled cucumber on top. The cucumber seemed a bit weird as it wasn’t even a gherkin and was way too massive for decoration. I also hate cucumber, so that probably didn’t help. The fries came in a cup, which works well for me as I like to slather mine in vinegar. They were great fries, crispy and fluffy, just how I like them. Those who had opted for the seasoned fries were equally enthused. My burger oozed with the rather delicious mustard mayo. The salad was generally quite nice but the tomato had a bit of that fuzzy texture rather than being firm and fresh, but that can often be the case with large beef tomatoes. For those who love pickles, you will be disappointed to hear that there were none in the burger (can I hear a sigh of relief from some of my readers?!). The beef burger itself was firm, juicy and packed full of flavour. The whole thing was a slightly messy affair in the process of eating but it was worth it.
There was no room in any of our stomachs after the burger so we all skipped dessert. However, we did get drumstick lollies with the bill and that can only be a good thing. If you like a good burger, I can recommend the Southern as a satisfying fix.
Cost £67 for 4 burgers, 2 cocktail flights, 1 gin and tonic and three soft drinks