Walking up to the first floor of the unassuming Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, you don’t know quite what to expect from the Burger Shack residency at the Loft. Maybe a modern burger chain experience? Possibly a vintage looking British pub? Any fears are allayed with an ultra modern neon restaurant sign, quirky yellow lamps shades and an artistic map of the local area as wallpaper.
What strikes you first as you enter the loft is how jovial and contemporary the whole venue is and packed with local residents. It is hardly surprising, they have a no reservations policy given how popular the restaurant and bar are. Wherever you look, the place oozes character from charming retro wall murals to vintage corn flakes and coffee boxes displayed on their shelves. Their spacious terrace overlooks the vibrant Wimbledon Hill Road.
They have quality-assured burgers from the burger shack range which you can enjoy across a whole array of Young’s pubs, but also very tempting Anglo-American options. Their buttermilk fried chicken wings is up there with the very best that you will find in London: the meat is tender and moist, the batter thin and crunchy. Although very difficult to dip the wings into, their sweet chilli sauce is a dreamy match for the meat along with their draft beer special from Beavertown, Neck Oil, which has a zesty aftertaste that cuts through the richness of the hot wings.
They have remarkable freedom to change the menu at the Loft ever few weeks. We tried their tempting special which was slow-cooked beef brisket flavoured with a sweet-tasting BBQ sauce. The meat has that desirable melt in your mouth texture and just a slight amount of fat. Even the accompaniments to the dish are created with care, the fried pickled has a light tempura batter rather than anything overly heavy and there are copious amounts of skinny fries and colesaw.
If you have extra room for desserts, which we didn’t, they do have some irresistible options like banofee pie and double chocolate and walnut brownie and their milkshakes look equally tempting with the added option that you can add-on your favourite spirits too such as Jack Daniel’s honey bourbon and Olmeca tequila.
There might be some queuing time involved but the Loft is well worth a visit. Why not combine a visit to the New Wimbledon theatre with a meal and drinks at the Loft?