Gourmet Guys (American) – Bayswater
From the outside, Gourmet Guys certainly comes across as a fast food restaurant more than anything else. With a capacity of 30, if that, and situated as it is in Bayswater, we can imagine this place becoming quite cramped at rush hour.
Despite the limited seating though, Gourmet Guys have certainly spared little expense in the overall theme and design of their restaurant.
Having barely been opened a month, Gourmet Guys are, therefore, certainly out to make an impression with an impressively designed interior that successively merges the rustic with a touch of the modern.
They even have wooden disposable cutlery that seems to tie in with the look and feel of the place.
But, of course, what appears to give them that veneer of credibility is the use of a weighty word that’s been misused and abused far too often within the subculture of restaurants – “gourmet”. Do these burgers really qualify as gourmet or not?
You’ll be spoiled for choice with the range of shake combinations these guys offer. You have precisely 50 – 22 chocolate bars and the remainder an assortment of fruits, biscuits and spreads – which equates to… well, a darn lot of potential combinations that’s for sure!
The suggestion for Peanut Butter & Banana was made by one of the owners, and we, of course, duly obliged. And while we were all agreed that the pair made a lovely couple, we were divided somewhat over the taste. Hence, while the peanut didn’t come through as strongly for one Lion as it did for another, the sweet banana was deemed the dominant flavour by two Lions, but not the third! In spite of the mixed interpretations though, it was relatively thick and tasty.
The following two, we were told, were customer favourites.
The Oreo, despite being fairly milky, packed quite a punch.
The Ferrero Rocher, on the other hand, which could have been a tad thicker, wasn’t as intense as it could or should have been.
The Onion Rings were nice and crunchy, though pretty simple, with less of a breadcrumb type texture, so distinct of homemade onion rings, and more of a prepackaged feel to them. Pretty decent for what they were though.
The Coleslaw was creamy and crunchy, and, thus, tasty.
These weren’t spicy at all, and tasted more like Indo/Pak pilao. It also seemed to be reheated, which was doubly disappointing.
Good alternative though; won’t find rice as a starter at very many burger places.
Considering the prices, these chicken wings were of a satisfyingly good size – well cooked and well charred (though one Lion considered it a little too charred).
How could we not try all five flavours on offer?
The Lions were pretty much divided on ranking these wings except for one which stood out from the crowd: Mango & Lime. These wings were thoroughly coated in this finger lickingly superb marinade where the taste of the mango was well tempered by the sharpness of the lime. Very unique, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
As for the rest, then in no particular order of preference:
- BBQ – Indiscernible and rather insipid.
- Hot – typically nice Tabasco-like flavour; but, this wasn’t hot.
- Lemon & Herb – not bad. Lemony, and as good as it’ll be without blowing your socks off.
- Peri Peri – good, strong flavour. Decent.
These two sauces – garlic mayo and Tabasco – were made in-house.
The Mayo was thicker and well made.
The Tabasco, despite being extremely watery in texture, was strong in flavour, and surprisingly “addictive” for one Lion.
NOTE: All burgers cooked to at least medium-well.
The only hint of any BBQ we picked up was, perhaps, the lingering sweetness we picked up from the patty itself which, we must add, had some chewy bits of marrow that one Lion had the misfortune of tasting.
Although the burger was well lubricated, the addition of just a single pickle coupled with a brioche bun that was dense (almost cake like texture) and dry, this burger needs to be taken back to the drawing board.
The Sweet Potato Fries were, however, delicious. Rustically thin and crunchy, and very addictive.
Doughnut burger £7.25 @gourmetguysldn A doughnut for a bun, and that too with icing on it! Kudos for them thinking outside the box and, at least, having the doughnuts to try something different. Surprisingly, we all concluded that this actually worked. Having said that though, it wouldn’t surprise us if this does divide the crowd. Full review: http://feedthelion.co.uk/gourmet-guys-bayswater
Doughnut burger £7.25
A doughnut for a bun, and that too with icing on it!
Kudos for them thinking outside the box and, at least, having the doughnuts to try something different.
Surprisingly, we all concluded that this actually worked. Having said that though, it wouldn’t surprise us if this does divide the crowd.
For us though, the combination of sweet and sour here worked. The beef patty went so well with the grilled, crispy doughnut, whose icing had, as a result, been slightly charred and caramelised, and the sour pickles, which ultimately helped counteract the doughnut’s sweetness.
This is definitely the highlight of this place.
The rustic Rosemary Fries were salty, crunchy and very satisfying.
Looking past the same problem that plagued its BBQ beef cousin above, i.e. a dense and dry bun, this Buttermilk Chicken was, otherwise, pretty decent.
The chicken fillet was well cooked being both moist and succulent, and having a crispy exterior. With a hint of herb to it (though considered a little salty by one Lion), the burger itself had enough sauce to deliver an overall subtle sweet taste.
It’s not often that you get served such yummy hot dog particularly in a burger joint. This one was delicious with copious amounts of ketchup, mustard and soft red onions, badly let down by, you guessed it, the bread roll.
If we were being ultra picky though, we’d ask for the onions to be cooked for longer so as to get them that little bit more caramelised.
Nothing to rave about here. The fudge cake was perhaps akin to a luxury supermarket brand.
The ice cream, however, was disappointing – too runny with far too many ice crystals.
In our opinion, emphasis must be given to flavour before anything. For instance, if you're offering a BBQ burger, then the BBQ ought to come through properly. The management should also look to a new supplier of buns, which really let down what were some pretty good mains.
The place is small, and likely, therefore, to be quite packed during the evenings particularly given the busy nature of the location.
The service was, nonetheless, friendly, and the food brought out without any unnecessary delay.
But, what makes this place stand out is the attempt at introducing something new. It's not every day that places like these offer to serve doughnut burgers, hot dogs, and not to mention a large selection of over 50 ice cream flavours.
Gourmet Guys is a welcome addition to Britain's halal gourmet burger scene. It offers discounts to local businesses, and will soon be making use of Deliveroo.
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29-31 Porchester Road,
London W2 5DP
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-00:00 | Sun 11:00-23:00
T: +44 (0)20 7243 0172 | W: www.gourmetguysldn.com