Category Archives: Hamburger
On the second leg of the London Burger Challenge I went to Gourmet Burger Kitchen at the Westfield London. I have a love hate relationship with the Westfield Centre. There is a great choice of shops but it is absolutely impossible to make it round in one go and after an hour of shopping I just want to kill everyone around me. Seeking respite from the swell we made our way to the Southern Terrace outside of the main entrance which features a mix of familiar chains as Real Greek, Wahaca, Wagamama etc and some interesting joints such as Balans, Ciao Baby and The Meat and Wine Co.
Fancying a burger we nipped into the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. We were shown to a dinky table for two but they grudgingly gave us a huge booth when we made puppy dog eyes.
We were told how the restaurant ‘works’. Basically, you choose what you want, go to the counter to order and pay for it and then its delivered to you. Its a bit of an odd system, I kind of resent paying £9 for a burger when I have to queue up at the bar and order it for myself. There seemed to be tons of staff too so I don’t know why they can’t just take orders the normal way. Anyway, I ordered the cheeseburger. Boring I know, there were lots of more esoteric choices but I really don’t like extras on the burger and I wanted to compare like for like with Byron.
The menu had just chunky fries. I asked the waiter whether you can have skinny fries and he pointed to the tortilla chips at the top of the menu. I don’t think he had understood. The burgers came in about 5 minutes. Chips were huge and very well cooked. The oil was obviously freshly changed. Burger was juicy and quite delicious. Bun was fluffy and sweet and held the juicy contents well without collapsing. Cheese was mature cheddar which in some ways didnt work. It was over melted and tasted a bit like an overtoasted piece of cheese on toast. I think I prefer a less assertive cheese such as American Jack for a burger.
All in all rather good apart from the odd queue up to order system and lack of skinny fries. Dips were oddly expensive as well at £1.95 each.
Unit 1072, Westfield Shopping Centre, White City, London, W127GB
I try and limit my consumption of hamburgers to once a month but I’m not sure why really. Hamburgers are a perfectly balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates and sometimes vegetables. I think the problem is the side orders which are invariably fried, salty and ahem delicious. My problem is I can’t resist a meal deal. Many times I’ve queued in a branch of McDonalds or BurgerKing determined to just have the hamburger and a bottle of water. But of course as you get closer and review the tantalising colourful panels pushing their meal deals resistance becomes futile and I end up mumbling that I’d like a meal deal number 3.
Not so at Byron, the mini chain of posh burger restaurants that is quickly getting a reputation for being the best of the new breed of chopped beef purveyors. And its here I’m beginning my year long quest to find the best burger restaurant in London. I ate at the Wardour Street branch which is on the corner of Brewer Street in Soho. The room is light and airy. Big tables and booths ensure that you have plenty of elbow room to enjoy your burger and we were greeted quickly by our server who was both friendly and enthusiastic about the food that Byron offered.
We were told of a special that they were doing today featuring meat butchered by the famous darling of butchers Jack O’Shea of which they had an 8 oz burger but only one left that would take 15 minutes to cook perfectly. We were tempted but didn’t want one of us to lose out so we decided to try the basic cheeseburger with gruyere as the cheese. We also ordered sides of onion rings and fat cut chips, a glass of wine and a beer. Water was provided on the table which is good but the water was rather lukewarm and the glasses provided a little grubby.
The food came very quickly and was utterly delicious. Perfectly cooked chips, fluffy in the middle and crisp on the outside. Light as a feather onion rings were a great addition too though I think they could have been slightly less greasy. The burger meanwhile was faultless. Soft and sweet bun with perfectly cooked tasty burger, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Gherkin spear was served on the side.
Service was flawless and the food was really good value. This is an excellent start to my quest for London’s best burger chain. Next stop Hache!
Byron At The Intrepid Fox
97-99 Wardour Street
Tel 020 7297 9390