In its previous incarnation, Bar Kohl was one of those places that would lure you in, drastically dent your wallet, then spit you out again, usually blind drunk. Their shooter and cocktail menu remains, but there’s a much greater sense of sophistication about the place.The revamp has seen great stock placed in their burger menu with a huge array of different options to consider. Following a starter of leek and potato soup, I opted to try their cheeseburger, which was one of the more straightforward choices.
The place has a diner feel to it. The décor is slightly mismatched with elegant cornicing set against comic-book ceiling paper and exposed brick. There’s some wood and metal going on, too. It’s slightly unfocussed but has an eclectic charm.My starter promptly arrived. The soup proved to be quite good with a well-judged rustic texture. The accompanying thinly sliced toast was quite elegant, but although crisp was rather disarmingly pale. Still, this was a good opener.
The much vaunted burger was next up. It was neatly presented with tempting looking chips and a little pot of slaw. It was right on the verge of a knife and fork job, but I decided to give my jaw a workout and shove the item faceward. This was potentially an unwise move as the first squeeze shot rather a lot of juice dripping out. This was an excellent sign, but it was something of a false dawn.
The burger was of the variety that seems solidly popular, but just doesn’t hit the spot with me. Aside from the initial gush, it was light on moisture and somewhat crumbly. Flavour was light and the ratio of bun to burger was further in the favour of a rather dry experience. The pickle, tomato and cheese didn’t really add much beyond textural variation. The chips were really good, though.
So overall, I think it’s fair to say that everything at Bar Kohl is better than good. Unfortunately, I don’t think the food quite makes it to very good. The only aspect that I thought was unquestionably impressive was the service, which was efficient, friendly and really well-judged throughout. I know some that value this place as one of our premier burger purveyors. I’m yet to be convinced, but will happily visit again to try another burger topping combo.
Blythe scores Bar Kohl
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: leek and potato soup; cheeseburger
I drank: water
I wore: two tone brogues
Total bill: £11.95