Get ready for a mouth-watering adventure as we team up with the passionate and discerning palate of “Burgers He Wrote” on a quest to find the perfect burger! But that’s not all, this journey is about celebrating more than just the delicious bites; it’s about shining a spotlight on the incredible businesses we have right here in Andover.
If you’re a food lover and a supporter of local establishments, you won’t want to miss this thrilling blend of culinary exploration and community appreciation. Get ready to savour the flavours of Andover and fall in love with food all over again – because at Love Andover, we’re all about celebrating the best in food and our amazing community!
The Malt House ‘Big Daddy’ Cheeseburger, served with Fries, Onion Rings & Homemade Coleslaw. Add Bacon or Egg for 90p each. – £10.95 (£12.75 with Bacon & Egg).
Happy new year everybody, it’s time for another review from your friendly, neighbourhood, Burgerman!
New year, new me! Who am I kidding, my idea of personal growth is going up a shirt size, and the only thing I want to quit is my job, no real reason, other than wanting to pursue my dreams of doing something that I love and am passionate about, my resolution is in 8K Ultra HD boiiiiiiiii!
This review has been a while in the making, having previously been recommended the ‘Big Daddy Burger’ some time ago, however, no sooner had I got home after the review took place, than it was suggested that I should’ve tried their ‘Cajun Burger’ instead. Oh well, you can’t please everyone, and for what it’s worth, if it is better than the ‘Big Daddy’, then it’ll have to be pretty damn pheNOMenal! It does mean, that I now have unfinished business, and I don’t stop until the job’s done.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never eaten at the Malt House before, and it’s been run by the current landlord, Mike, since opening its doors under this name, over 7 years ago now! It’s a tad embarrassing when I think about it, but in fairness to me, I’ve spread myself over the country, dining out, and in search of the best burger for the last 6 years, whilst more recently reverting my focus to support local businesses, trying to nail down what’s good to eat in our hometown, so I don’t feel quite as shameful now, plus I’ve been in there for a few drinks now and again, so you’re not getting me on that. *Reaches for the shovel.
“Can you digggggg itttttttttt”.
The Malt House will probably always be best known as the ‘Tav’ to me, playing for their Sunday league football team, and where I once contaminated a mate’s pint, by popping my nob in it. To this day, I regret not asking him if his cup was half empty, or half full, his answer would be ‘neither’, probably. It was cold alright.
From those previous experiences of visiting the Malt House, whose outside facilities are fantastic for a summer beverage or 16, it had been obvious how they pride themselves on good customer service, led by quite possibly one of the friendliest chaps this side of Calgary, their bar manager Sean. This visit was no different, again Sean was friendly, courteous, enthusiastic, and genuinely interested in listening to any person who walked in, including myself. As I was sat eating my meal, I overheard a lovely, elderly couple commenting on how nice the service had been, so you know what that means, either it’s true, or Broadmoor are on the lookout for 2 escapees. In summary, the service is best described as a personal experience that you’ll savour in the moment, but dine out on for a while.
“So, your party. What do you wanna see? Brainstorm.
What about something for the old people? – Of course.
What are you putting? You can’t put ‘something’.
What? – I dunno.
We can’t put ‘something for old people’. Werther’s Originals? A phone call from your son?
Anything else? – Wet T-shirt competition.
We cannot have…He’s writing that down! Is that for the old people? Definitely not.
Good point. No OAPs in wet T-shirts.”
A Malt House is commonly known as a building where cereal grain is converted into malt by soaking it in water, allowing it to sprout and then drying it to stop further growth. The Malt is then used in certain foods, and in brewing both whisky, and beer. They’ve mostly been phased out in the twentieth century, and apt now, you can find me drinking water in this one. Dry January? Completed it mate, he says as it’s only 10 days in, barely able to tug myself out of debt, let alone reach a round.
Malt itself just reminds me of sleep remedies when I was younger, so what better way to get forty winks, than when a Horlicks an Ovaltine.
Much like a premature ejaculation, I came early, so had the restaurant to myself. This allowed me to have a little wander around, finding the open space, nice, cosy and bistro-esque. Mike was cooking in the kitchen on his own, so I guess too many cocks spoil the breath, or whatever the saying is, but it wasn’t long before a party of 12 arrived, along with the elderly couple I mentioned earlier, who warmed the cockles of my stone-cold heart, merely by observing their loving demeanour towards each other, and by earwigging their conversation.
The feeling above translates into their menu, as that interaction reflected the home cooked style food available to you. By no means Gastro, but a far cry away from microwaveable, run of the mill, brewery food. Home cooked doesn’t mean you can make it at home, so don’t go getting delusions of grandeur, it means it’s cooked with the same love and warmth you get at home, and this was exactly that. They have Pub Classics such as Hunter’s Chicken and Bangers & Mash, which reminds me of better times, dining out with my Mum, a rarer occasion in the 80’s / 90’s, and probably one that was appreciated more by children of said era.
Everything I’ve mentioned thus far, just makes me want to return to the Malt House, firstly to complete the set of burgers they do, but also to have a nice sit-down meal with the family and gain some much needed ‘Nostralgia’ in my life, a bit like looking for the Mysterious Cities of Gold, as I try to reverse the Cajun process.
Sean asked me if I wanted my bun Seeded or Unseeded, which is a first, and to be honest, it had me worrying about the burger being impregnated or not. I went with Seeded because my hair has already Receded. Nice to have the choice, the bun or the hair really.
“Male Pattern Baldness is a tragedy always.”
The arrival of this burger was both exciting and intimidating, I mean, look at the size of her.
“I’m expecting a blind date, and I was worried you were it… No…”
I didn’t know whether to tuck into it, or bungee jump off it. That’s what we’re dealing with here. It’s not often a burger can take you to dizzy new heights, but this certainly will. There was cutlery provided, which is probably about as useful as Ethics & Diversity training for the Klu Klux Klan. I’d imagine some rope, a harness, a few carabiner clips and a helmet might come in handier here, as I attempt to scale Malt Everest, situated in the Hamalayers.
First point of business, smashing it down so that taking a bite is physically possible. That first bite had everything, I mean, literally everything.
That Beef was cooked perfectly, often you’ll find that people tend to overcook larger patties, in the fear of them being raw, but Mike certainly knows his way round the kitchen, like a Roomba after it’s mapped the designated cleaning area. The Patty is seasoned perfectly, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
The Bacon will divide opinion I’m sure, a lot of you will want it burnt to a crisp, “So they can only be identified by reference to their dental records.”, but it’s not always needed. Cheap bacon, when undercooked, can be stringy and chewy, but this wasn’t the case here, I enveloped each bite, and neither a chewy, boingy, or gristly bit was encountered.
Egg in a burger you say? Is it Breakfast? Is it Brunch? Did it come first? What is this sorcery? It’s not that big a deal is it, I quite like an egg in my burger, and this is a first for these reviews. The egg pop had already occurred from kitchen to table, so that was a bit of an anti-climax, however, again, it was cooked nicely, not over easy, which would be a travesty, and it adds a bit of eggstra depth, if it really needed it. Let’s be honest, you can’t have The Big Daddy Burger, without adding an egg now, can you?!
How the Bun held up under all this pressure is beyond me, but it stayed strong, didn’t fall apart, and kept it all together, a real lynchpin when times are tough.
As far as the rest is concerned, the Salad does its best to counteract everything else, but it’s not fooling anyone into thinking they’re on a health trip. You can’t have this type of burger with any other cheese but proper Cheddar, and I’ll be f*cked if I can remember a sauce of any kind, not that it really needed it, but perhaps a Brown Sauce, so it can take the title of ‘Daddy’ comfortably. The good news is that you don’t need HP to finance it, as the price is very reasonable.
The Fries were ok, unseasoned, which I suppose you’re left to your own devices with. The Onion Rings were levels bruv, they really can be an underrated side, and when executed properly, they can elevate your meal like a Poltergeist. Let me tell you, these were spot on. Lastly, the homemade coleslaw is a touch always, and if I’m not mistaken the secret ingredient, is Wholegrain Mustard.
Like Shirley Crabtree Jr, this truly was a British Heavyweight Champion. It could potentially give you a heart condition like King Kong Kirk, who, ironically, was also finished off by a Big Daddy. It had the bite of a British Bulldog, was piled high like Giant Haystacks, and afterwards it’ll make you blow up, like Dynamite, Kid. Wrestling Bars!
As far as negatives go, there isn’t a lot. Like I said, it’s not gastro, the produce may not be the most unique or at the top, top end of quality street, and considering this, it has to max out at a score that is reasonable considering, but taking the service as a factor also, which vastly improves any food experience, this was extremely enjoyable, and the Beef was seasoned and cooked to perfection. I managed the lot, and for the cost, it’s great value for money.
This Burger was tall, she towered above me. People used to stop and stare at us all the time, little did they know that her bed was equipped with ropes and turnbuckles, whilst she also used to call me Big Daddy, which I kinda liked. She even proposed to me with an Onion Ring, but having turned her down, both in marriage and for blozzers, her best friend asked me to leave, so I said, “What, for turning down oral sex from the empire state building?”.
Freddie was disgruntled at not having enough lunch money, to get a drink at school, alongside his food. Kelly reminded him that he has a water bottle he’s supposed to take with him every day, to which Freddie says, “I’ve got my water bottle, but the water’s been in it since 1988!”.