Restaurant review: Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Islington, N1

The Taxidriver burger

The Taxidriver burger - Credit: Archant

Gourmet Burger Kitchen is by now familiar to most Londoners. The first restaurant was opened in Battersea back in 2001 by three Kiwis with a mission to treat the humble burger with more respect. Now there are more than 25 branches across London and dozens more nationwide.

The most recent incarnation is in Islington’s N1 Centre and once inside the atmosphere is lively and relaxed.

The burgers may be upmarket and the décor contemporary but the fun and informal atmosphere of the burger bar remains.

Food is ordered at the counter, condiments taken from a communal stand, and the service friendly and unstuffy.

The starters are little more than nibbles – the likes of chicken skewers and grilled halloumi – but are well done. The desserts, on the other hand, are a bit underwhelming; pre-packaged frozen yoghurt and ice-cream.

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But, of course, it’s burgers you go for and in that respect the chain’s success is no surprise.

My patty, made from 100 per cent West Country beef, was cooked fresh to order, juicy and perfectly medium rare as requested.

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Served on a brioche bun and with bacon, blue cheese, American cheese, onion jam, rocket and mustard mayo, it was oozing with flavour.

My friend’s wild boar burger was rich and earthy, and along with the lamb and buffalo burgers, made the menu more innovative than expected.

If burgers are your thing - GBK more than hits the spot.

Joel McMillan

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