Ariel Way, Westfield, London, W12 7GF
T – 020 874 37755
I adore burgers. Proper, simple, tasty burgers. Be they tender beef patties, squidgy halloumi or succulent chicken, the humble burger in so many forms – except perhaps the filet o’ fish – is a wondrous thing to behold and to scoff.
My roadtrip around the States last year blew my mind in terms of what a great burger could be. Sure, I had a diabolical Burger King – sluttishly devoured in the rental car a few miles outside of Woodstock – and yes, I did chomp my way through a McDonalds cheeseburger and slurp my way through a guilty Vanilla McShake which made me feel over-full like they always do – but there were also burgers so exquisite, so perfect, so delicious that I was close to punching the air in triumph.
At Five Guys in Connecticut the burgers were so breathlessly simple – juicy, medium rare patties, soft fluffy bread, a splash of BBQ sauce, a slice of cheese – that I swore I would never eat a burger as fine again… and I am still yet to. At Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, the burgers were dripping wet and came with a spicy jalapeño kick. At a roadside diner towards Cape Cod I slurped my way through a malt shake as dreamy as Brad Pitt. This is how you do it.
And I think it’s fairly simple. Here are my* rules to achieving burger heaven:
1. The meat in a beefburger should be good quality, juicy and medium done. It should taste like it’s just been lifted off a BBQ but not one where Dad’s cremated everything in sight.
2. The bread should be soft as a cloud and ‘squishy’ around the patty.
3. Onions, lettuce, and gherkins are great for me but not, I accept everyone. I do not approve of fresh tomatoes on my hamburgers.
4. Cheese is ALWAYS good. Monterey Jack, Cheddar, American, Emmental. Yes Yes Yes.
5. Ketchup, yellow mustard, mayo and sometimes BBQ sauce just make the burger.
6. Fries should be skinny, crispy on the outside, fluffy inside and served with a grotesque amount of full-fat mayo.
Now, it just so happens that on my first trip to Byron in Westfield shopping centre today, that they had totally, utterly and completely nailed my perfect burger experience. What are the chances, I ask you?
Byron say that they serve ‘proper burgers’ and that they’re “the ultimate comfort food and so satisfying in their simplicity. Hamburgers the way they should be” and how right they are. From the unfussy, beautiful decor to the perfect, charming and (nicely) laid-back service before I lifted a French fry to my mouth I was happy and relaxed.
I ordered a bowl of fries, a cheese burger and a diet coke, my fiancé opted for a Royale with Cheese (that’s a double cheese burger to the uninitiated).. with cured bacon. The bread was really soft, lightly grilled and nicely chewy. Our burgers came medium and were pink and bloody inside; melt in the mouth good. The fries were skinny, fluffy and I hoovered them up in about a nano-second. Gorgeous. There were fricking delicious gherkins on our plate and I got to eat Josh’s too – YEAH! This was just as burgers should be. And with regular cheese-burgers coming in at £7.50 and a bowl of chips at £2.50 the prices are entirely reasonable too. The burgers at Byron today were without question the best I have had outside of the States. I always approve of a good job, well done and by concentrating on simple burgers and making them properly they are doing a really grand job.
*Of course, these are just my rules. What on earth are yours?