Monday, November 20, 2006

Gourmet Burger Kitchen - London Soho - How does it compare?

I haven’t been very true to the Alan in Belfast moniker over the last fortnight, having spent time in San Francisco, Ipswich, London, Ipswich and back to London again.

On Thursday night, the only cinema in London’s Leicester Square showing Casino Royale was sold out. So along with a colleague, I popped up the road to Gourmet Burger Kitchen on Firth Street, off Shaftsbury Avenue on the recommendation of Aaron who left a comment a couple of weeks ago.

It was about a quarter past eight, but they still had a few tables free.

How would it compare with Belfast’s own Gourmet Burger Bank on Belmont Road or London’s Ultimate Burger chain? The differences can be summarise as:

  • the menu seemed shorter than the other clones, no onion rings;
  • after you’re shown to your table and given a menu, customers have to go up to the counter to place their order and pay (in advance);
  • there’s not much atmosphere, the d├ęcor is bland, and the tables are packed in. (Though it was brighter than Ultimate Burger.
The Blue Cheese burger and fries, along with a magnificent strawberry milkshake arrived quickly. My colleague’s approach of picking up the burger and eating it with his hands was a big mistake! Definitely needs a knife and fork to attack the layers of salad, sauces that fly out onto your shirt, and cheese that drips onto the plate.

Overall, it was good quality, fast, but not terribly exciting. I think this just leaves the Burger Shack chain to check out!


John Self said...

Can't remember if I commented on this before (don't think comments are searchable on Blogger?), but we went to Burger Shack on Charing Cross Road over the summer. A small notch above GBB I would say, mainly because their buns were firm enough (ooer, obviously) to enable the burger to be lifted and eaten traditionally. Your colleague would have loved it. Oh and the cranberry and brie chicken burger I had was one of the best I've ever tasted.

(Burger Shack had signs suggesting a similar order-at-the-counter-and-pay-before-you-eat policy was in place as the one you describe at GBK; but in the event we had waiter service and paid at the end. Maybe because they weren't busy.)

Alan in Belfast (Alan Meban) said...

You did indeed mention Burger Shack before.

Given the state of my travelling, I'll be back in London for a few nights this week. Wed or Thur night is looking good if I feel like a burger.

Anonymous said...

this is the most interactive blog ever :)

GBB is, by far, my favourite, but your point about the messiness is well made!

Anonymous said...

sorry, GBK!