Muddy Eats: Dexter Burger bar, Purley
Who doesn’t love a burger, right? We certainly do in the Muddy Surrey house. But I’m also a bit discerning with what I eat. I prefer it when meat has been reared outdoors and grass fed. None of that mass produced meat for my family.
I guess it comes from having grown up on an Aussie beef farm. But, and here’s the thing: like most country girls who escaped to the city before heading back to the shires, I do like my urban chic.
So that’s why I can recommend with a big thumbs-up, Dexter, in Purley. It ticks all the boxes for me. The restaurant was opened several months ago by two friends, Nicholas Mason and Stewart Dunkley, with the aim of bringing a bit of Soho-style dining to Surrey. And that’s pretty much what they’ve done.
It’s a small venue, with space for just 24. Decor-wise, the lads have gone for rustic meets industrial chic. The tables, bar and breakfast bar are made from reclaimed scaffolding boards, and the seating comes in the form of old school chairs, complete with some of the original graffiti. Bare bulbs hang from hooks on the ceiling.
The menu has been kept simple, with a choice of of beef, chicken or vegi, and one or two daily specials. The beef comes from rare-breed Dexter beef from Horsegrove Farm at Rotherfield in East Sussex, and the Deer & Dexter farm at Penrith in Cumbria. It’s aged for at least 21 days, and minced on-site with just the addition of onion, salt and pepper. The chicken and eggs are free-range, and the pork is from outdoor-reared pigs.
I took Mr Muds and the Mudlets for dinner recently when the cupboards and fridge were all looking a little bare. Both me and Mr M opted for vegi burgers; mine with the addition of tomato and red onions, and Mr M’s with jalapenos, and sweet potato fries instead of the sea salt and rosemary fries.
Mr almost-12 opted for a burger from the specials board – the salt marsh lamb burger topped with pulled lamb, wild garlic and apple and mint jelly. Miss 9 chose the chicken burger but asked to have the pesto on the side. The kids also had an Oreo chocolate milkshake. This must come close to their idea of a perfect meal.
Mr Muds declared his burger the best he’d ever had, which, in my book, is pretty high praise. As a family, we’ve been several times to a burger restaurant in Cornwall, and up until now that’s been my yardstick for burger quality. They’re amazing. Were these better than the burgers there? The answer was a definitive yes from Mr Muds, though I’d be hard pressed to choose because, frankly, they’re all pretty darned amazing.
We finished with a shared Dexter’s banoffee pie which was also excellent. The other choice is chocolate brownie with ice-cream (that’s it below).
Drinks-wise, Dexter offers a selection of wine, beer from the Croydon-based Cronx brewery, alcoholic slushies and hard milkshakes. Stewart says the slushies and milkshakes they like to have a bit of fun with the flavours of the slushies and milkshakes. There were choices of Oreo Mint (Baileys, Creme De Menthe and Oreo); Strawberry Shortcake (strawberry compote and Disaronno); and Banoffee (banana syrup and toffee liqueur) on the night we were there, with a Bakewell Tart alcoholic slushie and a margarita. Mr M sampled the Bakewell Tart, and said it tasted fab.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Families, couples, people who want great food quickly.
Not for: Those looking for a fine dining experience. It’s a small venue, so not great for a large gathering. The venue is available for private hire though, so that may be an option.
£££: These are quality burgers, and you pay for what you get. The Dexter beef burger is £9, chicken burger £9.50 and vegi burger £8. All burgers are served on a brioche bun and come with sea salt and rosemary fries as standard. You can add tomato, red onion or jalapenos for free; or bacon, cheese, pulled pork or onion relish for between £1-£2.50 extra. Gluten-free buns are also available.
Dexter Burger, 10 High Street, Purley, CR8 2AA. Tel: 8660 9427. dexter-burger.com