A happy return to my search for the best burger in London (criteria and list of venues here – I currently have 16 places on my list *hello elasticated jeans*).
I used to think GBK wasn’t that great, especially after an unfortunate incident involving a hideous hangover and an incredibly gloopy and garlicky garlic mayo burger which almost ended in tears. I first tried the Northcote Road GBK when I had just moved to London in 2003. Everyone was excited by it – it was certainly my first experience of a “designer burger” – beetroot! and pineapple! on a burger! – and I liked it, but personally I found the burgers (like at Grand Union) far too big to hold in my hands and eat without getting most of it down my chin. And however designer a burger is, it should still be held and eaten in your hands – there is no way I want to use a knife and fork. I also care not for creole sauce or French cheese or irrelevant vegetables on my burger – I like it simple – big patty, cheddar cheese, relish, tomato, lettace.
I was pleasantly surprised this time. I ordered the cheese burger as per the HPL criteria and I’m guessing the onslaught of London burger chains – most noteably Byron but also Ultimate Burger and Grand Union – have made GBK up their game. I could hold it fine and it was really nice. The burger could have been bigger and juicier, and the bun was a bit over-toasted, but it was really tasty and juicy and I enjoyed it. Or maybe I just haven’t had a burger in a while and it was a lovely welcome back to the fold. Either way, it was better than I expected. And the chips were nice and the blue cheese sauce amaaaazing. But the coleslaw was rubbish – more mayo in it please. I realise my life has been missing burgers for way too long so I’m right back on this burger search with abandon. Next up just has to be Byron.