So it is week three and after a false alarm with some misinformation on the Patty and Bun website about their Goodge restaurant opening we defaulted to Byron, a chain which has been growing steadily in popularity for the past few years with many new stores opening but one which I always eluded to visiting. Riding on the wave of bad press after the chain was accused of selling out workers in their restaurants with the home office in tow who may not have had the correct documentation to work there, I expected an empty restaurant.
It was busy however for a Monday and we squeezed into a table after waiting for a short while, the interior was lovely, spacious inside and set in an old renovated building just off Oxford Street with high ceilings. The open kitchen is a nice touch as it is always nice to see where your food is cooked and who is doing the flipping.
The menu had a fair selection but tally-ho, in we went with our typical order for trusty cheeseburgers cooked the house standard of medium (note we could have had the burgers rare in Byron unlike last week), the price totalling at £11.20 was on the expensive side. The staff member who served us appeared to be in charge from his demeanour but from the get-go there was a nonchalant dismissive attitude which was evident. Even after finding out about what we were doing with Two men, Ten burgers he was just the same… cold, sharp and to the point with mandatory politeness lacking any hint of sincerity. He informed us that the meat was from “a Scottish supplier” but could not elaborate on that unlike previous places where they informed us of specific farms in the counties where the meat was obtained from.
Waiting a short while we noticed standing pools of water in the condiments tray but at least there was a hot sauce on the table, more than I can say for 90% of other burger chains I have ever visited. The jug of water came with ice, lemon and chilled glasses so bonus for that.
First came the burgers, followed by the fries. A brioche bun again, shiny and fresh, the burger was an adequate size and as I tucked into the fries they tasted great, could be slightly more cooked but wonderful flavour. Each was served lined with a paper inlay in a similar style as other chains but without the branding that one would expect to see. As for the burger taste test, the patty was a great consistency, certainly the softest patty thus far, perhaps lacking some flavour all in all, the burger I would describe as nice, not great, not poor just nice, a plentiful helping of cheese inside coupled with a gherkin outside the burger initially, sliced tomato and a few scraps of red onion completed the burger. The salad complimented the burger nicely although the saving grace for me half way through was the addition of the chilli sauce which served to enhance the all round flavour. For the money it was overpriced as I was not particularly full afterwards and on the whole there is no real draw to go back there which would define Byron as any better than current competitors. This particular branch looked nice inside but we are talking about the food primarily here and how we would recommend the chain in its entirety, another encounter on the way out with the dismissive staff member capped an unmemorable visit to one of London’s big hitters, the end of week 3 and Honest is still punching above it’s weight… just.
Next week will feature a visit to one of the most hyped restaurants: Patty & Bun, the new store open on Goodge Street. High hopes and high expectations for this one.