Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gourmet Burger Kitchen - Victoria Square - yummy but expensive

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Victoria Square, Belfast

There’s something very reassuring about a burger and chips. It’s the reason that airports, railway stations and sporting venues have burger outlets. A lot of people enjoy munching a bit of beef between two pieces of bread, and eating salty chips.

But society has a funny way of bringing the fast and convenient, and making it trendy and frankly, more expensive. And so we’re now blessed with gourmet burger restaurants. Belfast got its first Gourmet Burger Bank on the Belmont Road a couple of years ago, with a second branch now open on the Malone Road. (Not that there haven’t been establishments capable of serving up a decent burger – like Dixons in Ballynahinch – long before the word gourmet entered the signmakers’ vocabulary.)

A year or so ago, I ended up eating in a lot of different “gourmet” outlets in central London – Ultimate Burger, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Burger Shack.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Victoria Square, Belfast

While the main Victoria Square complex opened in March, a lot of the food outlets remained closed until last week. We nipped into the new Gourmet Burger Kitchen branch (GBK – the English chain – not the local GBB).

It’s a bit strange. Practically empty restaurant. Waiter comes over, takes a drinks order and then gets us to walk across to the cash till to order burgers, sides and pay up. Efficient, not.

George Best = Belfast; Evening Standard Van != Belfast

The d├ęcor is smart but basic. There’s a picture of George Best that makes it feel very local. But then there’s a picture of an old Evening Standard van that makes it a lot less Belfast.

The food was excellent. My Chicken Camembert & Cranberry burger with fries was wonderful. Typing this brings back the taste into my mouth. The salty, thick cut chips. The cranberry mixing with the melted cheese. Umm. Heavenly.

Chicken Camembert & Cranberry burger from GBK

A colleague enjoyed his Blue Cheese burger. The problem comes that you’ve got to pay quite a bit for the burger, and then extra for the fries, and over the odds for the (soft) drinks. (The menu suggests that they’re licensed – offering wine, beer, lager and cider.)

Overall it’s a bit very expensive for lunch – might be good for a team lunch, but not for a quick bite to eat. Charging £1.60 to add a piece of bacon into a Cheese burger seemed excessive. But terribly, terribly tasty if you’ve the spare cash or want a treat.


Timothy Belmont said...

I look forward to trying it; perhaps when the Odeon opens!
How does it compare with GBB Belmont Rd?


Alan in Belfast said...

Tasted ever-so-slightly better, but felt dearer.

mikethepikey said...

the price sends a shiver down my spine. it look nice though, but trying to put the tag 'gourmet' seems a bit much for the humble burger.