GG’s Gourmet & Grill – Hayes
How catchy is that name? GG’s!
Short for Gourmet & Grill, GG’s, in the heart of Hayes’ shopping district, has only been open since November of last year.
With a rustically designed, well-illuminated interior that houses large, low-hanging, silver light shades, a large wall illustration detailing both the origin of the restaurant’s meat source, and a butcher’s chart showcasing each respective beef cut, as well as a helpful how-to-make-your-own burger diagram, it’s obvious that a good amount of thought has gone into this burger joint’s theme and makeup.
Additionally, there’s a lounge at the back too with a roof-cum-canopy (presumably for all the shishas stockpiled to one side), and a delightfully painted wall mural depicting some of London’s unmistakable icons and principal landmarks, including the big red bus; red phone box; the London Eye; The Gherkin; St Paul’s Cathedral; and, of course, Big Ben. There’s even a London constable, peculiarly represented as a dog, standing before a giant burger with the thought bubble (and hastag), “Guard your burger!!!”
Let’s start with the Leem – an extremely refreshing drink that delivered one hell of a citrusy kick that brought the taste buds alive. Definitely recommended this, especially if you like your lemony lime beverages.
As for the Strawberry, then the freshness of the fruit comes through really well making this just as refreshing albeit sweet. With cream on top and a light covering of rainbow sprinkles, this is also a good one.
Topped with cream and chocolate sprinklings, these fairly thick shakes, we felt, could have been colder than they were.
In any case, the Oreo shake had little bits of the biscuit mixed therein giving it some good texture, while the peanut buttery taste of the Reece’s shake was strong and satisfying.
STARTERS & SIDES
Not only were these standard-sized chops really well charred, but also drizzled in a most tantalisingly delicious sauce.
The marriage between the honey and spice in said sauce, along with the taste of rosemary running through it, was quite something – pungent, with the kick of heat coming through at pace before being dampened by the sweetness of the honey.
An exceptional prawn dish this, with a golden crispy, airy batter that was, indeed, covered in a dynomite sauce.
Sweet, tangy and tart, this sauce brought the contents of the entire cup together into a coherent whole making these prawns an incredibly addictive munch. Superb!
Standard fries here on both counts. The sweet potato was thin and crunchy, and the Hand Cut version had the potato skin partially left intact giving it an additional textural crunch.
While the portion size somewhat made up for their standard size, these House Wings were well made, with a crispy exterior, and drizzled in the Chef’s Special G&T Sauce.
What’s more, they also come with any of the following in-house made sauces.
Bollywood was rated the best by us with the sweetness of the tamarind marrying well with the tangy spice.
The creamy Honey & Spice came in second with a beautiful spicy-sweet note coupled with a touch of heat.
Creamy Mustard was third with its subtle sweetness going nicely with the hint of mustard.
The Caparisa had a sweet, earthy taste; the Smoky BBQ’s barbecue taste was strong enough without being overpowering; the spicy kick of the tabasco was well balanced; and the creamy Chef’s Special G&T a subtle mixture of mustard and lemon.
Ordered this medium well, but received it closer to being well done.
As to whether this adversely affected the composition of the patty was difficult to guage given how fully loaded this burger was.
Perhaps it was a little too overloaded since the meat was essentially lost somewhere in translation.
Effectively, what we had here was the tanginess of the jalapenos mixed with the sweetness of the pineapple and the touch of smokiness from the BBQ sauce dominating the show.
Ordered medium and received semi-medium well.
The patty was slightly on the dense side on account of its compact nature.
The spice of the Bollywood sauce came through well enough, though the burger could have done with a bit more, we felt.
As for the crispy fried onions, then in spite of the generous sprinkling, they failed to register with our collective palates.
This came through well done, and contained turkey bacon.
What’s more, it was positively coated in sauce, and lots of it too, to the point, in fact, that this, coupled with the rest of the condiments, effectively dominated over the taste of the burger’s most important component: the patty, which, in this case, was fairly thin in comparison to the height of the tall bun.
On the whole though, the burger had a good chewiness to it.
And though the turkey bacon didn’t quite deliver much vis-a-vis flavour, it was fairly crunchy.
We’ve had a number of decent non-meat burgers in recent times. It was predictable, therefore, that we’d be drawn into giving this a go.
However, despite the attempt, The Vegan’s balance wasn’t quite right.
The main flaw was with the strength of the goat’s cheese which, though well known for being a strong cheese, didn’t have anything to properly counter its natural intensity.
Consequently, the subtly seasoned and crunchy falafel was entirely lost among all the big, bold flavours therein that included the cheese, the pickled onions, G&T sauce, and the roasted peppers.
What we were, thus, left masticating upon was a linearly tasting goat’s cheese burger.
As such, perhaps the solution might be in either cutting back on the volume of cheese used, considering stronger flavoured ingredients, e.g. a strong earthy mushroom, as a counter balance, or both.
This, on the other hand, while being a burger recommended by the Chef himself, and one that’ll be introduced to the menu sometime soon, was unique and imaginative.
More importantly, however, and in spite of its simplicity, it actually worked.
This burger, comprising of just marinated prawns, lettuce and cucumber, delivered on solid, clean and precise flavours that all married well together.
The prawns themselves were sweet and marinated in a sweet mayo sauce, while the cucumbers provided some much needed moisture and crunchy texture. Bravo!
But, a word on the buns which, while being fluffy and well made, were all semi-warm, if that!
An indulgent blueberry cheesecake this.
The cheesecake top was smooth and relatively creamy as it ought to be; the stodgy biscuit base, however, should have been of a more crumbly, biscuity texture.
The blueberries themselves were tart and sharp, and thus contrasted well against the sweetness of the cheesecake.
This was a delicious crumble that was soothingly creamy with a sticky, crunchy top that didn’t suffer from the shortcomings of so many other crumble tops that were overly sugary and sweet.
More impressively, the crunchy texture held up well despite a generous amount of custard, which was really well made by the way, being poured all over.
In all, this GG’s Crumble just had that nostalgic homemade taste about it.
Although a decent one in its own right, this was the weakest of the trio of desserts.
This light crumbly cake, which had a sameness about it that didn’t quite make it a proper brownie (good brownies have a varied texture), went well with the smooth scoop of well made vanilla ice cream.
- BABY SEATS
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GG's has a character about it, with a dominant theme and eye-catching logo, which is sure to attract a strong following in the area.
With a capacity of 110, evenly split between two rooms - the larger, more family-friendly front-end and the secluded lounge at the back - this place offers some good burgers supported by a number of very good dishes, particularly those Dynomite Prawns and in-house made sauces.
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