Bye patty – hello gourmet burger
PUBLISHED: 16:25 23 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:19 23 August 2010
The first time I ever ate a beefburger it was on bright red Formica table and I sat on a moulded plastic seat drilled to the floor. The patty (as it was called then) was greasy and limply hung out from underneath a white fluffy bun sandwiched between a s
The first time I ever ate a beefburger it was on bright red Formica table and I sat on a moulded plastic seat drilled to the floor.
The patty (as it was called then) was greasy and limply hung out from underneath a white fluffy bun sandwiched between a slice of gherkin and lettuce leaf. I was in heaven, or so I thought . . .
In the past 30 years I've grown up and so has the burger bar and the burger - it's marvellously evolved into a gourmet dish at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen (gbk).
The rapidly growing chain which was founded by three New Zealanders eight years ago, has just opened a branch at Bluewater shopping centre. So shop and eat then shop again, or shop a lot then eat as the restaurant stays open long after the stores have shut for the evening.
The full table service means you can drop your bags at a canteen style table or a more intimate booth and concentrate on the main event - choosing from the dozens of burgers on offer.
There are so many different combinations - beginning with a choice aof a 4oz ' low rise' or a 6oz 'high rise' version. The there's just about anything under the Kiwi sun to go in it - mozzarella, beetroot , egg, pineapple, blue cheese, chicken, avocado, bacon, even the exotic - buffalo and wild boar. I chose one with mushrooms, aubergine, red pepper, sweet potato and camembert.
Unlike many burger eateries there are positively loads of choices for the vegetarian which help to make up the full complement of 28 different burgers on gbk's winter menu.
The fries are extra but chunky and if you take the large portion there's plenty enough to share between two.
Especially for Christmas gbk has created the staked turkey burger - a crumbed turkey breast topped with stuffing, cranberries and bacon. And for something a bit different they've also added an indulgent venison burger with gbk's home-made spiced redcurrant and cranberry sauce. There's even a mince-pie to finish.
But it's not just burgers at gbk there's also a real choice of scrummy salads too.
And if you've got room for a pre-burger bite there's crispy Cajun chicken pieces served with homemade dip a traditional gbk 'Homeslaw' (made with cabbage) as well as lots of other tasty treats.
Gbk chefs don't flip long lines of burgers, they make each one individually with 100 percent Aberdeen Angus scotch beef as the customers orders come in.
I was knocked out by the freshness and the taste. Little wonder then that the gbk has notched up many awards - including Best Burger in Harden's London Restaurants 2006 and scoring five out of six stars in Time Out's Top Ten Burgers 2008 where is was hailed as 'still one to beat'.
The staff are cheery, intelligent, quick on their feet and really know the menu.
"The only problem with them", says the waitress delivering my high rise Veggie and Camembert burger which was skewered by two wooden sticks to stop it and its sumptuous accompaniments toppling over, "is just how to eat it".
The Gourmet Burger Kitchen is at Bluewater's Lower Level, Watercircus. Telephone: 01322 423888. Prices range from £4.50 to around £9 for a burger.