Several food vans have occupied the small car park opposite Poundland, but itinerant meat-heaters Roti Brothers seem to be sticking around. In fact, my visit coincided with the news that they are to open a kitchen in the Crow’s Nest just round the corner. Given what they can do with a handful of chuck beef and a brioche bun, this can only be good news for revellers at the late-night bar.
This mid-week lunchtime burger was unexpected. A second sinkhole had been discovered under the tracks near Forest Hill so the train situation was worse than usual (that’s saying something when your local TOC is Southern Rail). I found myself working from home, with nothing in the kitchen and an uncharacteristic lunchtime hunger, so I marched up Anerley Hill in search of food.
There are very few places you can eat al fresco on the Triangle but the Roti Brothers’ van has a pleasing assortment of tables and chairs. I ordered the Bro’s Signature Cheeseburger (medium rare) with rosemary chips, and made myself comfortable for some good old-fashioned people-watching.
The quality of burgers in London has increased massively over the last ten years. Peak Burger is behind us now but the burger bar is still very high. And Roti Brother’s cheeseburger did not disappoint: the patty was seared on the outside, pink in the middle, the strong cheese wasn’t just an extra source of grease (although if fulfilled that role marvellously), the pickle was tangy and the bun held together until the last bite. The lettuce was a silent partner in the whole affair, but who orders a burger for the lettuce?
The chips were of the triple-cooked variety: ultra-crispy on the outside, ultra-fluffy on the inside. Nothing to fault there. There’s also a lovely bit of theatre as they’re tossed in salt and rosemary before being brought out to you.
It’s only burger and chips, so let’s not go overboard, but Roti Brothers do a good burger and chips. A damn fine burger and chips even. Maybe the best burger and chips on the Triangle.
In the spirit of full disclosure, please note that I was given a free dessert – a slice of rhubarb and apple cake with a pistachio topping. I don’t believe this was an attempt to bribe me but I report it anyway, just for the record. The evidence has, unfortunately, disappeared now but it was delicious. A very fine cake. Something similar will be on offer at the Crow’s Nest soon.