Byron have just launched their 52nd Hamburger Restaurant in High St. Kensington, London and to celebrate, along with making the best burgers around, have produced a pack of cards, one for each restaurant. High St Kensington is the Queen of Hearts, and I was invited along to the opening.
Byron in High St Kensington is hard to miss; a big cow stands outside, and the restaurant is a decent size, exactly what you would expect of a Hamburger Diner. Welcomed as I walked through the door, I was shown to my table, and offered the drinks menu; the food menu was already on the table which also acts as a place mat, which is easy and practical.
The wine list was different from anywhere I have been, simply classing wines as good, better,great and best. Frankly, that is all you really need to know about wine pairing with burgers, and its refreshingly honest approach made the experience all the better. Needless to say, I chose ‘best’, a fruity Argentinian Malbec, but this wouldn’t break the bank at only £24.95 a bottle
Byron has a philosophy of using only the best Scottish Beef from small farms, and matching it up with the freshest locally sourced produce, all cooked only when you order. The burgers are put in soft, squishy buns, baked fresh that day. And all the burgers are cooked medium and not well done, which is a good reflection on how confident they are with the quality of their meat. There were a number of ‘specials’ available, including the Run Rarebit Run Burger alongside the Bugs Brownie Milkshake. For a burger place there was a fascination with rabbits!
Looking around, the restaurant felt roomy, with high ceilings and well spaced tables.
I ordered the Run Rarebit Run burger, which is a 6oz hamburger with vintage cheddar rarebit, dry cure bacon,English mustard mayonnaise, pickled cucumber, red onion and shredded iceberg lettuce. The only decoration allowed for the burger is a sliced crisp gerkin.
And exactly as asked for, it was perfectly cooked, a lovely succulent pink in the middle. Oozing juices and adding the aromas of a real burger, it was a joy to bite into.
The menu has a range of sides, from French Fries to Skin On Chips, coleslaw to Caesar salad.
The fries were real fries, and wrapped in paper. The courgette fries crunchy in the middle and crisp batter coated.
All the food is cooked freshly to order at Byron, and you can watch the chefs working on your order in the open grill area. It never ceases to amaze me how the illusion of panic and randomness in the kitchen becomes one of calm and co-ordination as the waitress delivers your burger to the table. I guess that’s also part of the charm of Byron.
The Run Rarebit Run burger was as good as expected, the burger juicy but not dripping, the soft bun easy to bite into. As with any burger, I used my hands to pick it up and eat it, but you can use a knife and fork if you want to; it was about 50:50 with the other diners. Maybe that’s the social test on how well you know your dining partner.
Byron do desserts too, and I was tempted by the Banoffee Mess or Caramel Sundae, but the burger had hit the spot perfectly and there was no room for more.
Byron offers good comfort food; a superb burger range made from the finest ingredients that you can see cooked in front of you. It is a great place to go with friends for a meal, as well as being very easy on the pocket.
222 Kensington High St
London W8 7RG
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