As I slumped across my couch all day Saturday, feeling slightly worse for wear from the 2 pints of cider I had the night before (one of the most obvious signs of ageing I'm told), all I could think of was cow. Big, juicy minced up cow and served to me between a squashy bun garnished with lettuce and tomato. When SM turned up asking me what I had in mind for the evening, I jumped at the chance of going to Byron. Now, I've never been to Byron so maybe I should have suggested something safer, somewhere I was familiar with but McDonald's just wasn't going to cut it for me. And my cow between bun fantasies didn't include other high street favourites either ... Ultimate Burger, yuck. Gourmet Burger Kitchen, yuck. But I was willing to take my chances with Byron. So I grabbed the postcode of the nearest branch (Kings Road), jumped in the car and off we went. I like Kings Road. What's not to like. It's Kings Road. It's Chelsea. Enough said.
It was just past 9 when we arrived and the restaurant was still heaving with people. Not that we waited long, probably about 5 minutes in total. Our waitress was all smiles as she handed menus and took orders for drinks. She was still all smiles when SM attempted to a badly aimed, English humour laden joke. She didn't get it but she still smiled like she got half of it. Service was pretty good then.
SM got a coke float. Every time I see a coke float I remember my mother's stories about how she had her first float - or brown cows as they used to call them back in the day. My mum's über '60s - think floppy hats, flowers in the hair. The mental image I get is of her in a Mary Quant miniskirt with a big floppy hat sitting at the counter of A&W, the first US fast food chain to arrive in Malaysia, sipping from a glass of root beer float. It's a totally incorrect image, of course (the timeline is just all wrong) but that's what I see in my head when there's a brown cow around.
I stuck to fresh lemonade. I love proper lemonade. Icy cold and sour, balanced oh so slightly by a hit of sugar. Just right for a warm Spring day - it was all of 10°C yesterday.
I wanted to go for the Classic - 6 oz patty with lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayonnaise and a pickle on the side. But SM convinced me that for a whole £ more, I could get cheese too. I paid the £ and got the Monterey Jack (see the first photo). I should have stuck to my guns and just gone for the Classic. The cheese does nothing for me. Neither does the mayo. Next time I'll have to remember to tell them to hold the mayo. Other than that, the burger was pretty good. Much better than either Ultimate Burger or GBK. It had a nice grill char flavour and other than the useless cheese, it was simple and honest.
SM went for the full Monty and got the Byron - dry cure bacon, mature Cheddar and Byron sauce (whatever that is). SM winced at how pink the patty was (mine was definitely more well done and apparently had more of a charred flavour) but still managed to wolf it down in an astonishing amount of time. I didn't try it so I can't comment on how it tasted but it seemed to go down well with SM.
And we most definitely need sides, various deep fried sides. Chips. Crisp but the most boring bowl I've had in awhile. It tasted like something I could buy from the shop and fry myself. Fail.
Courgette fries - I love the idea of courgette fries but they always let me down. As SM described it - "as limp as a man's penis after 9 pints of beer". Sorry, that was very rude! SM's words, not mine. But oh so true though in the case of the courgette fries.
The onion rings on the other hand were a really winner. Ultra crisp and very yummy. Same batter used on the courgette fries I believe but there was absolutely no limpness whatsoever.
Winners: The burgers were good minus a few points of cooking inconsistencies of the patties, the onion rings, the lemonade, our waitress
Losers: Limp courgette fries, factory fries, the dirty floor (when we arrived I noticed a stray chip lying on the floor that had been stampled to death on, it was there throughout our dinner and it was still there when we left. The said chip was right by the entrance).
A Malaysian foodie at heart, I now live in London where, after eight years, I am still trying to come to terms with the four changing seasons. Although far from home there is never short of good food to be salivated over!Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org