The Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been on my wishlist ever since I started this blog, and we had the chance to try it out recently. I went for the Californian, which costs £8.75 and is described on the menu as follows: “Homemade & pan-fried bean patty, mature cheddar, avocado, smoked chilli mayo, crispy onions, relish, salad.” I also went for the sweet potato fries, and shared a side of onion rings. Along with this I ordered the peanut butter milkshake.
The décor is quite “in” at the moment with that rusty chic kind of look – everything is very bare, and various bits of furniture are made out of recycled materials. It certainly adds to the atmosphere, although on top of that they then have a self service policy which doesn’t sit very well. Be prepared to stand in line to order your food, and to fetch your own condiments (if you can find them). It seems a bit odd in a restaurant which is presented in a more slick way, and personally I did not like it. However, the plates were presented nicely – the burger sits on its own, while any sides are placed on a platter for you along with special seasoning.
The burger is topped off with a heap of soft, creamy avocado, which is served at a very nice temperature making it just right to eat with the rest of the food. This adds a great note of texture and taste to the whole package, and is certainly very welcome. The burger itself appears to be made up of kidney beans, sweet potato, red pepper, and breadcrumbs, from what I could see and taste while eating it. The texture is fine and the breadcrumbs have just the right amount of crunch to them, so this scores well for me. There was some heat in the chilli mayo which did come through with each bite, although it was not too overpowering. At first I could not taste the relish much at all, but when I tried it on its own and as I got further through the burger, I discover that it was very sweet and smoky. This I think was my favourite dressing to come with any part of the meal, as it was very tasty.
There were two slices of cheese and one large leaf in the bun, which was just enough, and the leaf itself was very fresh. The onion inside the bun was also nicely done, very crispy and adding a good level of texture to the overall piece. The bread of the bun was firm yet light, and seeded.
The meal was enjoyable, except for one small thing which really cast a shadow over all of it. I quite often order milkshakes when I’m eating at a burger place, and more often than not I’ll go for a peanut butter one as I normally love them. This was not the case here. What I ended up drinking was a disgusting unmixed, unsweetened milkshake, with lumps of peanut butter coating the bottom of the shaker which I ended up lifting up with the bottom of my straw in chunks. It was just horrible and made me feel sick for a couple of days afterwards. I haven’t been able to eat unsweetened peanut butter since then, either. I should really have complained at the time but stupidly did not – I sincerely hope that this was nothing more than a badly mixed example and that the milkshakes are normally served properly. I won’t be trying it again to verify, as it was just one of the worst things I have ever drunk in my life – and unfortunately that brought the whole of the experience down.
On the VegBurge scale, I give this…
Taste – 8/10
Price – 5/10
Rest of experience – 3/10