I love burgers. They are up there amongst my top three comfort foods. Recently I felt I should venture out in search of burger heaven. Following the footsteps of my London bible “Time Out”, I decided to go on my own personal quest to find the BEST burger in London, or at least have a pretty good go at it…
We were soon greeted by a delightful Australian chap called Kristian (with a K!), who looked after us throughout the evening. He was one of the friendliest guys I have ever met - brimming with positive energy and enthusiasm (well past 10 in the evening!), Kristian was faultless and made our meal at Byron memorable.
My first impressions were excellent – in addition to the excellent service, I loved the industrial look of the place, the exposed bricks painted white, the open plan kitchen, the video playing against the white wall, and the understated elegance of the decor.
The simplicity of their menu was also rather reassuring. All hamburgers are cooked medium and are served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and mayo only. Burger options are “Classic” 6oz hamburger @ £6.25, “Cheeseburger” (choice of Cheddar/Monterey Jack/Blue Cheese/Gruyere) @ £7.25, “Byron” (dry cured bacon, mature cheddar, Byron sauce) @ £8.50, Skinny (bun-free with salad only) @ £7, “Chicken” @ £8.25 or “Veggie” (grilled Portobello mushroom, roast red pepper, goat’s cheese, aioli, and baby spinach) @ £7.50. And that is it.
Dr G ordered the Cheeseburger with Gruyere while I went for the Byron burger, as most of my friends. Byron’s burger size is just about right – I love grabbing my burger with both hands, never really getting my head round using a knife and fork as in GBK (I love GBK too though). As I bit through my burger I found it to be perfectly cooked and deliciously charred, the meat was flavoursome, fresh and still pink in the middle, and the bun just right, showing some lovely griddle marks.
My feelings were echoed across the table, my fellow diners were ecstatic with their own choices, and having dragged them all the way from Waterloo, I was also very happy and relieved!
We also ordered various portions of French Fries @ £2.75, Proper Olives @ £2.75 (the greenest I have ever seen), Homemade Skin on Chips @ £3, and their sensational Courgette Fries @ £3, the best of them all and a “must” on any visits to Byron.
Wines are categorised into “Good, Better, Great and Best”, and prices range from £13.50 (Good) to £21 (Best). We ordered their “Good” white (a South African Chenin Blanc) @ £13.50 and also their “Best” red (a Californian Pinot Noir) @ £21. They were both excellent, and I would happily have them again.
Tap water was provided unprompted in beautiful French style carafes and was constantly topped up. This is rare in West End restaurants and is highly commendable.
Verdict – my newly favourite burger joint in London (sorry GBK!), serving no fuss but perfectly executed burgers, delicious courgette fries and chips at average prices. Excellent and personable service, beautiful decor and central location make Byron one of the best quality & value restaurants in Soho.