London’s burger revolution
Think burgers, and you think fast food. A succulent chunk of beef sandwiched between warm buns, topped with melting cheese, onions and tomato ketchup. It’s quick, cheap and fulfilling—everything a burger is traditionally known to be.
Now imagine associating a burger with a posh, sit-down meal. Hard to grasp? Not for Londoners, who are increasingly warming up to the idea of gourmet burgers consumed not as a quick bite or an in-between snack but as a complete meal.
You can’t blame them though, for a number of burger restaurants and chains have cropped up in London, each doing better than its competitor. The two leading burger restaurants in London—and we’re not talking fast food—are Byron (www.byronhamburgers.com) and Gourmet Burger Kitchen (www.gbk.co.uk), with branches spread across the city, going packed on weekdays and weekends alike. Byron is about to open its 26th restaurant in London, and has an estimated turnover of £8m (Rs69.9 crore), while Gourmet Burger Kitchen—fondly known as GBK—is almost as ubiquitous as a McDonald’s here.
What sets these chains apart from a regular burger joint is primarily the superior quality of their products, the choice of interesting sides on offer and of course, a fine-dining kind of experience. Believe it or not, burgers have become high-end too, and London’s lapping up the trend along with the mayo and mustard!
While these posh burgers come at a price (starting from £7, or Rs610, and going up to even £13 or Rs1,135), they are well worth the indulgence. Apart from the scrumptious burger itself, there are a lot more side-options than just fries. Golden-fried onion rings, freshly baked skin-on-chips, grilled haloumi…you get the drift. And super-sized milkshakes to boot (the Oreo milkshake at Byron particularly comes to mind).
Honest Burgers (www.honestburgers.co.uk) is another burger speciality restaurant in London. Inspired by great British produce, it started as a pop-up restaurant in Brixton and has now opened a second outlet in the heart of Soho. Going by its success, it looks to be expanding into a chain in the near future.
Then there’s Hache (www.hacheburgers.com), ahigh-end, classy burger joint that has some exquisite burgers on its menu that including Thai fish, jerk chicken, duck and steak, to name a few. Popular pub chain All Bar One (www.allbarone.co.uk) has joined the burger revolution with its special Crab and lobster burger, while it is believed that Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg plans on bringing his famed Wahlburgers chain this side of the Atlantic.
But it’s not just burgers going classy that’s exciting Londoners, it’s the unique flavours their taste-buds are getting to experience that’s adding to the burger craze. Game On, a popular stall in London’s Camden Food Market, has some of the rarest meats on offer—from kangaroo to crocodile to ostrich to venison to wild boar—cooked to perfection in a delicious burger.
Meat apart, it’s the toppings that matter too. Gone are the days of just onion and ketchup in your burger. Gourmet burgers now come with gherkins, an assortment of expensive cheeses to choose from, rich creamy mayonnaise, three or four different varieties of mustard, and an army of other signature in-house sauces. There are a number of different buns to choose from as well, making eating a burger an experience in itself.
Though burgers are widely considered as the ultimate comfort food, they do not however fall under the radar of healthy food. But fear not, for those looking to eat healthy while getting their burger fix, most gourmet burgers also come in low-calorie options too, sans the mayonnaise and cheese.
If you'd like to share your thoughts on what you just read, join our Facebook community.
You may also like:
- vs. SLPAK1st T20IWed, Dec 11, 2013Dubai, United Arab EmiratesPakistan vs Sri Lanka T20 ...
- vs. INDSA3rd ODIWed, Dec 11, 2013Centurion, South AfricaIndia in South Africa ODI ...
- AUS won by 218 runsvs. ENGAUS2nd TestThu, Dec 05, 2013Adelaide, AustraliaThe Ashes 2013-14...
- vs. WINZ2nd TestLIVENZ 441/10;Wellington, New ZealandWest Indies in New Zealand...
Latest Photo Albums
All the action from the match at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on December 11, 2013 in this collection.
Shahid Afridi scored an unbeaten 20-ball 39, hitting the winning six … More » Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20 International
We're back with Episode 6 of your wonderful street photography. If you are a photographer, here's how you can participate. [More » Street Cricket Photography Challenge - 6
Modern cricket may have evolved to occupy huge stadia in urban centres with thousands following every movement on the field. But the great game is not just confined to full-houses , as is evident from these pictures, which show the battle between willow and leather taken to great heights, and even greater … More » Cricket In The Weirdest Places
All the best quotes from the month of December in this collection. More » Soundbyte — December 2013
South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela died peacefully at home at the age of 95 on December 5, 2013 after months fighting a lung infection, leaving his nation and the world in mourning for a man revered as a moral giant.
More » Cricketers Remember Nelson Mandela
Action images from the first Test between New Zealand and West Indies at Dunedin, December 3-7, 2013.
New Zealand were stranded an agonising 33 runs short of their first … More » 1st Test: New Zealand vs West Indies
Virender Sehwag took the West Indies bowling apart on December 8, 2011 at Indore as he became only the second man to go past 200 in One-Day Internationals at the time.
Sehwag hit 25 boundaries and 7 sixes … More » [FLASHBACK] Sehwag Gets The Highest ODI Score
Fans dress up colourfully for the second Ashes Test between Australia and England in Adelaide. More » Colourful fans at Adelaide Oval