Scribblings from the hard shoulder of the Information Superhighway

Canary in a Coalmine

(Police) – Byron Burgers – Canary Wharf

When I first moved back to Essex in the 1980’s I took my parents for a trip up to the East End, they were both ‘East Enders’, born in West Ham and we lived in East Ham for a while when I was a child. On that trip, in about 1987 I guess, we stopped at the tent housing the displays by the ‘London Dockland Development Corporation; it was in the middle of an urban wasteland.

Canary Wharf, as they said in the eighties and nineties “will feel like Venice and work like New York“. I’ve visited New York a few times, but never yet made it to Venice.

One Canada Square, Canary Wharf @ Tolfalas.com

One Canada Square Canary Wharf

The site of that tent, as far as I can ascertain, is now the site of One Canada Square, the second tallest building in the UK (after ‘The Shard’) but there are some 15 buildings over 14 stories high in the ‘Canary Wharf’ campus.

One Canada Square Canary Wharf @ Tolfalas.com

Canary Wharf

And, of course, in keeping with 1990’s sensibilities, there’s also a sizeable shopping mall that boasts more than 300 ‘shops, cafés, bars and restaurants’. So, when I arranged to meet up with some friends for a Saturday lunch, it seemed an appropriate venue.

And there’s a branch of Byron Burgers – my fifth Byron, although they (and I)  will have to go some to beat my thirty two Hard Rock Café’s.

Byron Burgers, Canary Wharf @ Tolfalas.com

Byron Burgers, Canary Wharf

The décor is ‘industrial chic’, much as the other Byrons that I’ve visited, but while the Chelmsford branch has some homages to local history (the birthplace of Radio) the Canary Wharf branch has no such flourishes; perhaps that’s appropriate.

We’d booked a table, but arrived early; no problem, we were shown to a table, but there were several others free.

Partizan IPA at Byron Burgers, Canary Wharf @ Tolfalas.com

Partizan IPA

Drinks-wise, Byron usually stock Thornbridge ‘Japiur’ – probably my favourite British beer, but the Canary Wharf branch stocks an IPA from the ‘Partizan’ brewery in Bermondsey, fewer than two miles away, as the crow flies. It’s a well-crafted modern British IPA, brewed to 5.4%

Chilli Burger and Cheese & Bacon Fries at Byron Burgers, Canary Wharf @ Tolfalas.com

Chilli Burger and Cheese & Bacon Fries

The two ‘lads’ (as Kit and I like to think of ourselves despite our advancing years) both othered Chilli Burgers, these comprise “Green chilli, American cheese, shredded iceberg and chipotle mayonnaise” – oh and of course a 6oz burger cooked – in my case ‘medium’, ‘well-done’ for my Kit.  I ordered the bacon & cheese fries, Kit, plain French fries.

Elaine ordered the Bean Burger – ‘skinny’ – with a side-salad instead of a bun – which she declared to be very, very tasty. Although she was less impressed by the side salad, being mainly spinach.

Our Chilli Burgers were delicious, the chipotle mayonnaise being lip tinglingly spicy, the burger, juicy and tasty. The bacon & cheese fries were the best I’ve had to date in a branch of Byron.

We followed up with black coffee, which was fine, although they were having problems with their coffee machine, no fancy frothy cappuccinos today.

My friends picked up the tab,  which came to around fifty quid for lunch for the three of us, no complaints there.

So, excellent food and drink, well priced. A great place for lunch, even if the décor is a little uninspired.

Rating: ★★★★★