First came here with my daughter. We were both relieved that we didn’t have to go to either the King’s Road (pretentious and poncey diners) or Westfield (I hate malls and she’s perfectly happy with her little Brent Cross) branches. She went for the eponymous Byron and I, the Gruyère. Unlike our experiences at Westfield, the burgers were cooked perfectly medium and decent eating; in fact I think it’s Byron’s policy (well at the Soho branch anyway) to have all burgers cooked medium unless you insist on having yours charred to death. The accompanying fries whilst edible looked underdone, pale anaemic yellow as opposed to goldenlicious. No worries as it wasn’t too apocalyptic, like father like daughter, we’re both not the greatest champions of carbs.
Byron is fine as a whole and certainly better than the other ‘proper’ burger chains like GBK. As for the latter the original West End Lane branch was a revelation but then it started to go downhill when the subsidiary decided to expand its interests across blighty. Give Macs its due at least their burgers taste consistently and perhaps brilliantly approximate. I wait in anticipation if and when Byron goes nationwide and then heaven forbids, complacency sets forth.
Dinner would be a perfect time to devour an 8oz patty. Came here again with two hi-fi geeks, Pete (anti-foodie) and Lowey (possessor of a bird-like appetite). And it was just as well that I booked, the restaurant was packed (I didn’t even know they took reservations as there was no indication of it on their website and in any case I only called a couple of days earlier to ensure that the Big D wasn’t a mythical tease). The evening crowd (a Friday in this case) was quite different to the sedate lot from my first visit. It was devoid of both kids and more mature lost souls like the three of us, the diners were vibrant and complimented the cool that’s Soho.
Likewise the friendly and competent waiting staff, especially the waitresses (I’m sure looks play an important part if one is serving here). Word of advice if you’re allocated one of those diner style tables along the Wardour Street side, you’ll need to be super slim as the tight seating is a bastard to negotiate if your waistline exceeds 34". You’ve been achtunged!
The Big D premium does not appear on the menu, you’ll need to enquire about it or maybe even reserve one or two in advance. It’s made from bespoke bovine meat supplied by London’s Number One Premium Butcher (they coined that, not
Once again perfectly medium, but even more moist and gregariously beefy. I’m convinced that this is more than a very good burger and so should you, let’s just hope the Big D becomes a permanent fixture on the menu. A triumph for a chain, well-done Pizza Express, oh sorry Byron!
Hang on sec, Pete said it was good but…
Well it’s a burger it’s needs some bacon and cheese. It’s… you know a bit bland.
No I don’t know, that’s a serious patty there on your plate, it doesn’t need more than the lettuce, tomato, onion and gherk. Sometimes you must take the purist route and wakey up.
Bloody snob, bloody foodie!
So what’s the best burger you’ve had then?
That place you took me to in Camden
Haché? Oh yes that’s rather good as well*.
Pass the bottle please…no you #*%!, the ketchup!
Meanwhile Lowey was struggling with his 6oz Byron burger (c/w dry cure bacon, mature Cheddar, Byron sauce) and to which I’m sure Pete was gawking at. Lowey said his burger was very good but a little too much for him to finish.
The Home Made Skin-On Chips were better cooked than the fries from my first visit, the bowl of Courgette Fries was emptied in no time and the mediocre Coleslaw wasn’t a patch on KFC’s (no, I’m not going to spell it out).
We all skipped desserts but Pete had a tasteless cappuccino, Lowey, his bedtime hot choc and I finished off the bottle of the ever so-so Italian Kabbs Soveeonn.
The location, the service and most important of all, the burgers are good enough reasons for Byron Soho to get my fat thumbs up. Food. By Mark thank you.
*When burger baiting I can’t help but wallow on a debate about where the best burgers can be found in the capital. My next post will showcase what I believe is the best and that’s at Goodman.
Byron At The Intrepid Fox
97-99 Wardour Street