Friday, 22 June 2012

An updated review of Byron burgers in Covent Garden - June 2012

The Burgerman cometh

Since I first reviewed Byron, I've been a fairly frequent visitor to what is now frankly a substantial chain of 23 branches across the capital and counting.

Every time I go back there's a light trepidation. Every new site I try there's a little fear. Will this be the point they jump the shark?

Thankfully not it would seem. And I've even tried to catch them out with a Saturday early dinner in the Westfield Shopping Centre branch.

There's a constant level of innovation on the menu; most recently with the 'Chilli Queen', a collaboration with the Admiral Coddrington's Fred Smith. Other than  the semi-regular specials they have a classic, cheese, cheese and bacon, chicken or veggie variants. It's clear what they master in and they don't try anything special. They've also focussed on the beers, introducing a short but solid craft ale menu to go alongside. 

Most importantly they get the fundamentals right. The burgers are tasty, fresh and well prepared to a consistent quality. Sides are high quality, grease free and tasty. The staff are universally happy, attentive and well drilled and the spaces while different are all clean and decorated to a similar simple formula.

All in, a chain I'm delighted to see growing and growing. Assuming the standards remain as high as they have I'll keep coming back on a regular basis.

And my first review from mid 2010, the Wellington Street restaurant is still the one I go back to most often...

Where: Byron HamburgerCovent Garden
With who: Roger the Dodger
How much: £15 a head for the Byron Burger, fries and a chilled bottle of Peroni

I've been semi-resisting this one for a while. I hate to say it, but I thought that there may be a few too many burger reviews around at the moment. To be honest, I always thought there were few bigger burger fans than me, until I started writing me blog and realised that I was a rank amateur. I've mentioned it before, but have a look at A Hamburger Today if you want to understand true obsession. 

The Dodger and I had a pleasant afternoon meeting over a couple of beers (I love my job sometimes) and decided to grab a bite before heading off. In a sheep like tourist packed strip of chain restaurants running along the arse of Covent Garden towards the Strand, Byron doesn't initially stand out. It's a fairly substantial chain of its own now, ten restaurants strong stretching from Kingston to Canary Wharf. Despite my misgivings of chain restaurants generally, I have to admit that Byron appears to be really rather quite good. It's a clean, tiled room with church hall style chairs and basic decor. There's a cavernous space downstairs that I hope fills out regularly.

It was a quick bite, post and prior to a few beers. I went for the Byron Burger and courgette fries. Never having had courgette fries, I was pleasantly surprised. Soft and juicy courgette strips, in a light and crispy batter. Perfect. The burger was cooked medium, with a beautiful pink colour. The charred flavour I was hoping for only came through in the last last few mouthfuls but it was there, and it was good. There was a nice tang to the cheese, though the bacon was a little thick and came away in lumps. 

UPDATE - Byron Soho Sept 2010
The old Intrepid Fox on Wardour Street was a proper dive pub. Full of bikers, rockers and various other ner-do-wells, listening to rock music. Dingy, black and somewhere you could always get a pint. I was deeply saddened when it went the way of the developers.
And when they announced plans for a gourmet fast food restaurant underneath the luxury city centre flats I shrugged sadly and composed eulogies to old Soho.. So I was pleasantly surprised when it turned into a Byron. Service is as friendly as the others, food just as good, if not a little better. Maybe there is hope for Soho yet.
Byron on Urbanspoon
Byron Hamburger on Urbanspoon
Byron on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm checking if the patty is infused with herbs and spices. It's kind of weird that I like my patty marinated and with oregano, basil leaves, and stuff.

  2. As soon as the splash backs gets installed in our kitchen, I'll get back to making my own recipe of a luscious beef patty. I miss cooking so bad.