Tag Archives: best burger in London

My search for the best burger in London #5 – Byron burger

Byron was my holy grail. Every time I mentioned that I was looking for the best burger in London, friends mentioned Byron; facebook and blog and twitter comments mentioned Byron; and I talked about how I was long overdue a visit.

So The Chef and I (yup he’s new, keep up – I shall say no more for now) headed to Soho on Tuesday night for burgers, wine and comedy – or my perfect-sounding evening. We went to the Byron on Wardour Street, and I loved it inside. Relaxed, converted-warehouse-stainless-steel style, table service and booze, which reminded me of posh pizza at Pizza East. The Byron burger sounded awesome (comes with bacon and special relishy sauce) but sadly my criteria says I need to order the plain cheeseburger. I had it with fries and my favourite coleslaw and obligatory courgette fries, which everyone also bangs on about.

And it was lovely. Tasty soft bun, nice pinky burger. Hmmm. So what’s the problem? Well, I think I’d over-hyped it up. I was imagining the perfect drool-fest burger and I just don’t think its the PERFECT burger. For gluttony reasons, I’d want more cheese, stronger cheese, lots and lots of cheese. And although the burger was lovely, I’d have liked it meatier, bigger basically. And more taste of meat and charcoal.  And the bun maybe toasted ever so slightly. And tons more relish and sauce, preferably dripping down my chin. I loved the coleslaw and fries, and the courgette fries were OK but not needed with my burger, sorry. Am I being devil’s advocate against the tide of glowing reviews? Maybe. On reflection, I read a children’s book years ago about a burger joint in the US finding the perfect burger sauce and I am still hunting for that perfect one. Byron was awesome but not quite there yet.

But I think I went in like Ellie Goulding (starry eyed) and need to go back – again and again and again really – to appreciate it fully without all the hype. No matter what, I think its a lovely little venue and cheap (a burger each, sharing chips and courgette fries and coleslaw and a bottle of wine was £20 each). Next up is posh burgers – I’ve been invited to try the burger at Davy’s in Regents Place (grass fed beef matured for 21 days, the perks of blogging) and I want to try Hawksmoor, Goodman and the American Bar at the Stafford Hotel. And also some pub burgers, including the Prince of Wales in Putney. But I’m on a post-Argetina DIET, so first – SALAD.

UPDATE: I was getting annoyed at my spanking new camera as the focus was out and I was contemplating actually reading the guide. However I discovered at lunchtime that I had mistakenly switched the focus to manual, hence the wonky blurriness. Have rectified error and photos should get better from now on. Doh.

Byron on Urbanspoon

My search for the best burger in London #4 – Gourmet Burger Kitchen

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.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (Wandsworth) on Urbanspoon