Gourmet ‘Halal’ Burger Kitchen (GBK) – Ealing BroadwayHALAL STATUS All chicken is Halal, with the Panko chicken fried separately, and the grilled chicken cooked separately only at larger branches with two grills (check beforehand).
For those who might have missed our separate, though related, review of GBK’s Limited Edition burger, The Chicken Ninja, enjoyed on the same day, give that a read too in addition to this more comprehensive one.
Of course, GBK, as a franchise, needs little introduction with 50 restaurants established across the country.
And the location at which we had the pleasure of their Halal chicken burgers, was their Ealing Broadway branch just around the corner to the station. With a fairly spacious capacity of 55, this one featured these cork-bowl light shades at the front-end of the restaurant which were pretty quirky.
For those not in the know: while all GBK chicken is Halal, only the panko version used in their burgers is cooked separately from any and all non-Halal meat, and that too in a dedicated fryer filled with 100% rapeseed oil.
However, unlike the relatively smaller Ealing branch, larger GBK restaurants have the required facilities, i.e. a twin grill, to also cook their grilled chicken separately. But, be certain to double check with a given branch beforehand. Hence, although we were restricted to the panko, when it comes to their burgers, GBK’s JKD-flexibility allows one the luxury of mixing ‘n matching between the beef and the chicken. This provided us the freedom of trying the burger that won them the 2015 Chef Competition: the Bruce Leek.
Presented in mundane glasses, their fizzy Strawberry & Elderflower delivered subtly on the former, and barely of hint of the latter, if that.
The Ginger & Lemongrass, on the other hand, was refreshingly satisfying with the lemongrass dominating over the ginger that gently lingered in the background.
Good amount of well flavoured and creamy-thick truffle cheese coated these chunky, rustic fries, which were soft on the inside, but a mixture of soggy and crispy on the outside.
Hands down some of the best onion rings we’ve had in eons!
Non-greasy and with an addictively crispy exterior, these fluffy rings of gold gave way to large onions that retained a delicate crunch – perfectly cooked, on point, and a must-have side order.
A wonderful assortment of full-flavoured in-house sauces that kept us all interested till the very last lick.
The Basil Mayo the hit of basil is distinct, sour vinegary background, amazing.
The thick, salty Blue Cheese was cheesy, very cheesy, and very tasty.
The garlic cames through well in the Garlic Mayo sauce with the chives and parsley giving it that freshness.
Meanwhile, the Smoked Chilli Mayo was delicious, with the smokiness giving was to the heat of the chilli.
Similarly, the slightly sweeter Sriracha Mayo was smooth in texture with the heat of the chilli just right.
Lastly, the Satay Sauce, while being extremely thick – almost peanut butter spread like – had satisfying bits of the crunchy peanut providing texture.
As the great man himself once said:
Don’t think, feel! It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory. Understand?
Understand this well; this is as close to a heavenly chicken burger as you’re going to get.
It’s true that the Bruce Leek is meant to be a beef burger harbouring crispy bacon. But, have you learnt nothing? Stop concentrating on the finger, because with GBK’s flexibility of mix ‘n’ matching, and our penchant for knowing why this won the 2015 Chef Competition, we gave the bacon a 1-inch punch and downgraded to the panko chicken.
And thank goodness we did too, otherwise we’d miss all that heavenly “glo’y”.
The harmony of flavours in this burger was akin to pouring water into a cup and knowing it’ll become the cup.
The tanginess of the jalapenos (optional, but be certain to include) went so well with the sweetness of the Cajun relish-sriracha mayo combo.
And while the thick layer of mature cheddar gave this burger that soft, gooeyness, the watery truffled leeks provided that additional moistness to a positively crispy and perfectly cooked fillet that was succulent to begin with.
Our burger of the review!
This was generously filled in terms of the cranberry, house mayo, and relish sauces.
Add all that to the soft, creamy and plentiful Camembert cheese, and what you had was a messy little burger that demanded a number of nampkins to hand.
What was impressive, however, was that the cranberry sauce wasn’t overly sweet.
Hence, when had with the herby and extra-crispy chicken fillet, this Camembert & Cranberry burger culminated in a warm, tender and crunchy munch.
It’s all about the interplay between the pungent and peppery rocket pesto, the smooth vinegary basil mayo, and the sweetness of the relish.
The balance between the trio was quite achieved given the natural strength of a pesto sauce, which invariably prompted the nagging conundrum: Did the solution to this problem lie with the inclusion of a well cooked Halal turkey bacon rasher?
We surmised that not only would it have brought a much needed contrast to what was, barring the mild crispiness of the chicken’s exterior, a texturally linear burger, but also some smokiness that would have worked to balance things out, thereby allowing this to marry well the slightly acidic taste of the glutinous mozzarella.
Consequently, you might want to consider an alternative to the Haram bacon; perhaps the heat of some jalapenos.
The simplicity of the burger was the thing to admire here, said one Lion.
The beautiful thing about this was the balance attained between the sweet salsa relish and the vinegariness of the pickled onions.
Coupled that with the pepperiness of the rocket leaves, and though the satay sauce doesn’t come through as strongly as one would think, this was a pretty good burger.
In the grand scheme of things, however, there are better ones you might want to consider.
Although this is said to be pan-friend, the large bean patty wasn’t as crisp as it ought to have been. Had it been so, this densely packed burger would have had that much needed textural contrast.
As for what it was, then it was a soft and chew veggie delight.
The bean patty had an almost falafel-like texture on the inside – extremely moist, compact and flavourful – while the earthy cum sweet taste of the beetroot paste went superbly with the minty hummus, the relish provided a somewhat sweeter undertone.
Arguably the most thought provoking of the burgers tried.
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Wow; have they upped their game. Compare, if you will, the images of the Camembert & Cranberry and Satay burgers had then, to their maturer and far better executed counterparts this time around. Chalk and cheese!
What was impressive for us was that exchanging the beef for a chicken patty from a burger obviously designed for the former, didn't adversely affect the burger it seems. Instead, all three of us were surprised by the fact that not only did this particular burger, viz Bruce Leek, work, but it was also one of the best chicken burgers we've had in a long time. Recalling that this was an award-winning one, perhaps its success lies in the harmony of the rest of the ingredients as opposed to the patty itself, which, in this case, work for types.
If only their beef burgers were Halal, because if they're as good as their chicken cousins, we'd consider GBK for a 5/5 for sure.
And to repeat, while all GBK chicken is Halal, only the panko version is cooked separately for their burgers, and that too in a dedicated fryer filled with 100% rapeseed oil.
However, with larger GBK branches able to accommodate two grills, the grilled chicken can be cooked separately. However, be certain to double check with a given branch beforehand.
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Gourmet Burger Kitchen
35 Haven Green,
London W5 2NX
T: +44 (0)20 8998 0392 | W: www.gbk.co.uk
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00–23:00 | Sun 11:00–22:00