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Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

(Album – The Cross) A phrase used by Lady Caroline Lamb to describe Lord Byron.

Our lunchtime meeting in High Street Kensington finished ahead of schedule, and our next meeting was mid-afternoon, leaving us some time to kill. So, after some recent disappointments with ‘elf & safety’ fascists insisting on over-cooked burgers, we headed along Kensington High Street (past McDonalds second UK restaurant) to Byron, at the junction of KHS and Holland Walk.

I’ve enjoyed Byron burgers in Bluewater and Manchester (I blagged my way into their ‘soft opening’ on Deansgate) and look forward to their arrival in Chelmsford later this year.

I particularly like that their ‘default’ is to cook the burgers ‘Medium’, although my guv’nor ordered his ‘Medium Rare’ – and had no ill effects.

The first thing I noticed on entering was that the décor is, as one might expect in Kensington, slightly up-market compared to other Byron branches I’ve visited, no bare brick walls, although the air conditioning ducting remained exposed.

We started with a small bowl of green olives that were crisp, fresh and juicy, possibly the nicest olives I’ve ever enjoyed.

For mains my colleague enjoyed the ‘Double Bacon Cheese” burger that, as the name suggests, includes two six ounce burgers with all the trimmings, accompanied by a portion of skinny French fries. I was going to order the B-Rex, but was tempted by the waiter to try their latest burger – the ‘Bunzilla’ that includes a soy glaze (that dripped juices on the plate) with miso-roasted bacon, crispy onion ring, a bed of shredded white cabbage, a delicate wasabi mayonnaise, and a few slices of delicate homemade pickled cucumber.

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My burger was delicious, if messy, the wasabi mayonnaise adding a piquancy, while the onion ring added a satisfying crunch. My side order of skin-on chips was disappointing, lots of scrappy little chips.

And my guv’nor described his burger as the best he’d ever enjoyed, reinforcing my reputation as a food and beverage guru.

Drink-wise we both ordered the vanilla shake, delicious guilty pleasures.

Aside from the scrappy chips, the only down-side was the service; the restaurant wasn’t particularly busy, but the service was disappointing, with the waiters apologising for the delay each time they brought something, and a clear five minute wait for the bill, despite walking over and asking a waiter for the bill, he ignored my request and went and cleared some tables. Maybe they were short staffed, but it was frustrating.

I still look forward to Byron opening in Chelmsford.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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