Having moved to within walking distance from Balham, on a hungover Sunday afternoon me and 3 friends were in need of something edible. “Something fried” was my friends only requirement.
I have walked past Cattle Grid several times as it is right by Balham station but have never ventured in. It recently underwent a re-furb and opened up again on the 12th, so we decided to give it a try. This was at about 3.30pm and the place was pretty busy (which I find is always a good sign), there was no space on the ground floor so we were taken upstairs and ended up having the whole top floor to ourselves for the entire meal. Upstairs is nowhere near as pretty as the ground floor, which is lovely and light and has some beautiful tiles on the floor. It slightly seems like they forgot about upstairs! The one nice thing was that we were eye level with all the trains pulling in to Balham station which was nice to watch as we waited.
Being the only people upstairs I was slightly worried we were going to be forgotten by our waitress (a nice blonde Australian lady). It was OK but I’m sure if we were downstairs we would have had a better service. I liked the look of the menu, all on one laminated page and had a “Cow” and “Pig” section. We also were given a bottle of water almost immediately on sitting down which is great. I ordered a beef burger with mature cheddar and bacon, and seeing as how it doesn’t come with chips i ordered a side of them too!
Once again i got overly excited and ate half before taking a picture, and i also apologize for the quite poor picture too! I blame hungover me.
So, thoughts. I wasn’t particularly impressed to be honest. The waitress said that the burger is usually cooked medium which was OK for me. It definitely was not medium, it had no pink to it at all! (my friends “rare” burger is what i would probably consider medium) It was actually quite dry and over-cooked, I don’t really understand how though because there was so much juice (fat?) dripping out the end of the burger on each mouthful. I don’t think it particularly tasted of much either which is a shame really. The bacon on top was quite thick and relatively chewy, and the cheese was barely melted in the middle of the burger. The bun was brioche-esque and looked quite dry but thankfully wasn’t, it also didn’t disintegrate which is a positive! There was also a good burger to bun ratio. This chips were skin-on which i always love, and they weren’t too bad! I think they needed an added something though, maybe some sort of seasoning?
All in all, a bit of a let down on the burger front! However, my friends ribs looked awesome so maybe just burgers are not their forte? I’m undecided on if I would go back, maybe to try the ribs. But the more I think about it the less likely I think I will go back. There are just so many other better restaurants out there!
Overall the bill came to £12 for me which included: burger and fries (no drink)