Saturday, June 26, 2010

Byron Hamburgers

Byron Hamburgers
Byron At The Intrepid Fox
97-99 Wardour Street
Ph : 020 7297 9390

A couple of tweets back, I got a message from the food division of the 'Sydney Tarts', advising that the burgers at Byron's were reputedly worth a bite.

If anyone takes the time to recommend something to me (and they know how critical I can be ;-)), I always take up their suggestion.

A search of Byron website brings up a number of venue options in and around London, and the first impression you get on the main web page is that they are more than just another 'Burger joint'.  Their website emphasises that they use grass fed Scottish beef from small farms, that their meat is freshly ground at 5am every day, and served on in-house baked buns. 

Byron seems all about the genuine burger taste, freshly baked buns, aged beef, and not something that is just squeezed in a box or served with 60s background music.

So it was that one day, in-between World Cup games and trolling the West End for fine antique watch shops that, I took a break and visited the Byron's on Wardour St. This branch is in one of the more colourful neighbourhoods on the Byron list of venues.

This particlular branch has taken over an old classic corner pub, which has been gutted and refitted to an open contemporary interior. In recent times, these types of places have been put in the category of so-called "Gastro pubs" or "dining rooms". At times, these gastro venues seem to be more 'image' than food.

I kicked off the meal with a 'Brooklyn Lager', a darker lager than most, as recommend by the waitress, and a fine recommendation it was.

The menu isn't an extensive one, and of course it's all about the burgers.

I opted for the second item on the list - 'Cheese', with the choice of 'Mature Cheddar' (the other cheese options being Monterey Jack, Blue Cheese, Gruyère), and a side of fries.

On its arrival, the burger looked like the picture on the web site; impressive I thought, as so often what you see and what you get when you order turn out to be two very different things.

I went at it with a knife and fork, with a little bit of picking up in between.

Again, as Byron's web site promised, the bun was fresh and the burger very tasty and juicy. As they promise, it was medium pink, which is just the way I like my burgers.

The side of fries had that almost deep fried salty taste that you sometimes get with whitebait or fried calamari.  A touch of mayo and ketchup and voila they were gone.

The end result scored a 'Yum plus'.

I rounded off, if not sank the whole lot, with dessert number four on the list, the Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla ice cream.

Exquisite combination washed down with a Cappuccino.

The lunch cost the equivalent of roughly AU$34 without tip (£20). The Cappuccino was the only let down, being far to milky for my taste, but hey some like it that way.

The service was good, the atmosphere light and pleasant.

I asked the waitress if Byron was an Australian company with connections to Byron Bay, to which she laughed and said that lots of people ask the same question, but no Byron is a U.K. company that started small at festivals and fairs, which they still take part in. For example, Byron is due to be at Glastonbury this week.

I'll add that I was stuffed after this meal, and to quote one of the menu bylines "One of the best burgers I've had" - The Times.

It seems that this little (but rapidly growing) British company strives to bring good burgers to the people of the U.K.

If you find yourself in London and you fancy a burger, I don't think you can go wrong at a Byron.


Byron Hamburger on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I like the look of the place, and it's good to hear that what my sister also said about their burgers was confirmed!

[the Food Division :)]

Sam said...

Great... reading this at 11am made me realise i haven't had brekky and now my stomach is rumbling...

cathy123 said...

My son _ Thomas Brown is a Manager at the Islington Byron's - he says the secret to their success is the great staff morale and brilliant attitude from the owners. Everyone loves working at Byron's - so as well as the dedication to great produce and great food there is also a dedication to a great place to work. He is raising money for charity this month - for Movember - so if you see him their say hi from Australia and help him with his fund raising for Movember.