I have always been quite scathing about Byron and would never choose to go there. However several of my friends rave about it and I recently saw they were doing "Freakshakes" i.e. enormous milkshakes and so I decided it was time to give Byron another go.....not that I needed much persuading, I do love American food.
Byron opened in 2007 after it's founder Tom decided that it was impossible to find the American style burgers he so adored in London. His mission was simple - good quality burgers made with top ingredients. I am also a HUGE fan of American burgers - my favourites are Shake Shack closely followed by Five Guys - so in my opinion, Byron has a lot to live up to.
The menu is right up my street starters such as chicken nuggets and wings - then different types of burgers - a cheese, bacon cheese, a chilli one, a barbecue one and more including a monthly special. This month it is the "Cheesmas No.1" There are also chicken burgers, salads, a variety of sides such as mac and cheese and onion rings and fries. Plus there is a children's menu with a mini main, side and drink all for £6.50.
Despite nearly devouring a tin of quality street the night before, we were all hungry. We started with nachos which we all love and I can safely say they didn't disappoint. The chips were crispy and they were smothered in cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. Just like the mission statement, all ingredients tasted very fresh and even though it was a generous portion, we were fighting for the last tortilla chip!
Arabella had the mac and cheese - she enjoyed it and I did "try it" a couple of times - I don't think it is as good as homemade mac and cheese and found it slightly bland however I was the only one complaining. Arabella polished the whole lot off.
Her favourite dish however was the cheesy chips - thin crispy fries covered in a cheese sauce - Pascal turned his nose up but Arabella and I loved them. They were even better than shake shack fries and Arabella announced that she would happily have them as her main!
Pascal had a cheeseburger served medium rare with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. He was so happy he could have it cooked nearly way he liked (he likes it as rare as possible) and really rated it. I found it a little "meaty" and it is not my best but I think that is just me.
Pascal also had an iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing, crispy bacon, croutons and chives. This was excellent and I was jealous I hadn't ordered one myself as it would have gone brilliantly with my main.
I ordered the chicken burger with no bun, buffalo sauce and extra blue cheese. I enjoyed this but next time I would have the fried chicken breast - probably double the calories but we can't always be good. I liked the kick of the buffalo sauce and I liked the salad it came with but I would have preferred Pascal's iceberg wedge as I mentioned. At least I won't get it wrong next time.
Finally the main reason for our visit - the freakshake - this is a extra thick milkshake with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, brownie, chocolate and caramel sauces and crushed honeycomb. There are two flavours - Oreo cookie or Reese's peanut butter cup. We went for Reese's......
I notice now that ours was missing the caramel sauce and honeycomb - we didn't notice at the time. It was good - right up my street - I would have preferred more Reese's in it but that is because I am a complete piglet, it was certainly satisfactory and it hit the spot.
So I reckon I am now a Byron convert and I can understand why there are nearly 70 restaurants in the UK and 40 in London alone. I will say that they are not my favourite burgers but there is plenty on the menu that I liked and more items that I am keen to try plus whilst you aren't eating particularly healthy food, at least all the ingredients taste extremely fresh. Service was friendly and efficient and it is very child friendly. I am already looking forward to my next visit.....thankfully there is one down the road!
Westfield Shopping Centre,
Tel: 020 8743 7755