In the cosseted and slightly insular world of the London Meateratti, currently nothing seems to create more of a stir than a new “Pop Up” burger outfit. Outside of this raggle-taggle collection of bloggers, meat-juice enthusiasts and general gluttons (and I suppose I count a tick against all of those, especially the last one), people see the term “Pop Up” and mutter something about not wanting to “…freeze their arses off in a carpark, miles from civilisation, queuing for a sodding burger…”.
Having spent a pretty miserable Friday night queuing for 2 hours in a car park for hurried and luke warm fare at a certain unnamed truck last Autumn, I have some sympathy that the latter perspective too. The trouble is, for the most part, that’s where much of the action is right now. Mother Flipper is a case in point; yes, you might be spending your Saturday morning stood in a school car park in South London, but at the same time you might be getting your mits on something truly sensational, long before the Time Out crowd have caught up.
The flip to that (and that was actually an unintentional pun for once) is that at the genesis of every great outfit, they are hurdles to overcome, lessons to be learned. Whilst the reviews of Meatliquor are almost uniformly positive (for the food at least), their residency at The Rye in Peckham (slated as their “Development Kitchen”) last summer afforded them the opportunity to experiment with many of the items now on their bricks & mortar menu. And that doesn’t include the Orange Pork disaster I had amongst many great meals from them down at The Rye.
Mother Flipper have only been serving at Brockley Market since mid-December and have kept the basic ingredients simple and effective; 28 day chuck from
Marsh Produce (UPDATE: since my last tasting and first posting this review, the boys are now using another supplier, utilising a special blend of cuts in their patty) generally cooked just-over medium under a cloche to aid cooking with mighty-meaty steam.
The basic staple cheese burger -yours for a fiver – comes with a familiar sting of French’s & Ketchup, Iceburg & Pickle, plus (slightly regrettably) a fair chunk of fresh onion. It’s that last element that overpowers what is a really decent stab at a classic. The cloching gives the cheese that comforting ooze from underneath the Brioche bun (which itself is strong enough to maintain good structural integrity, not so strong that it require lupine jaws to bite through). The patty, if ever-so-slightly underseasoned for my taste, has the requisite amount of juice and pinkish heart.
Upping the ante a bit, as well as upping the price an extra quid, brings you the “Double Candy Bacon Flipper”. Double patties joined at their centre with cheese and topped with candied bacon and the aforementioned additional elements. The bacon in isolation is a wonderful thing (and having tried their experimental Hazelnut version, there’s more sweetened-pork excitement coming soon) and if only the offending onion hadn’t again slightly overshadowed matters, the combination would have worked perfectly.
Of course the beauty of this conclusion is that it is so simple to fix. Not for them – I’m sure they’ve worked hard on these combinations – but for me. Go order, ask them to hold off on the onions and I’ll have a fantastic burger in my hands every Saturday morning only a short stroll from my front door. That is until grander and hipper carparks steal them away from me.
Mother Flipper [Facebook Page]
Saturdays 10am – 2pm,
Brockley Market, Lewisham College Car Park, Lewisham Way, London, SE4 1UT [website]