I have passed Shake Shack many times while visiting Covent Garden and finally I decided to eat there (because it had the shortest line on a Saturday night). Like many burger restaurants the menu is simple but has a huge level of customisation to it ranging from the classic ShackBurger to hot dogs made using rare breed pork and shallots.
As this was my first time I decided to keep it simple and have a ShackBurger with lettuce, tomato, Shacksauce and two beef patties with a side of fries and a black and white shake. After I ordered my meal I was given a device that looks like a refurbished taser and told to wait in line until it vibrates. This was an interesting touch although it seems a extreme to have when you could just use a screen saying when your order is ready or perhaps a person shouting your number but in any case it’s nice to see something unique.
After my buzzer went off and an order for ‘Rishi’ came through (worst spelling of my name ever) Kyri and I went to find a seat and enjoy our meals. The burger had amazing flavours on the first bite although that big meaty impact wasn’t there, it was by no means a bad burger but I just expected more emphasis on the patty as places like Five Guys and Patty and Bun have succeeded in doing.
The fries were good although you have to add your own salt to them and they don’t seem to be seasoned. As usual I tried to save a bit of money and fat by not getting the cheese fries which I regretted as soon as I realised the cheese was actually a thick, creamy cheese sauce that you dunk your fries in to instead of just grated and melted cheese on top of the fries. Perhaps the best part of the meal was the black and white shake which is remarkably simple consisting only of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce yet the flavours are so powerful.
Shake Shack has a strange atmosphere to it just like Five Guys in that it’s doesn’t have that restaurant vibe but it certainly doesn’t feel like fast food from McDonalds and the amazing flavours they give you are more than able to contend with what you can find in restaurants, some might even argue they are better. Sadly the Shake Shack in Covent Garden is the only one that England has and probably will have for a while although now that I know of and have tried this place I will surely go back to in the future.
After struggling to find the entrance to The Diner we finally managed to get in through a door we originally thought was locked and were soon shown to a private booth downstairs. We sipped our milkshakes out of glasses and shakers while deciding what to have although it ultimately came down to burgers, hot dogs or an all-day-breakfast with a few exceptions.
I decided to get a Diablo burger which had a medium 8oz USDA patty, bacon, cheese with extra caramelised onions and burger sauce (ketchup and mayonnaise) instead of jalapeño mayo. This was one of the biggest and meatiest burgers I have ever had and that is a good thing, the ratio of ingredients are balanced just right so that they compliment the overall taste without having too many of them spill out of the burger.
We also shared some cheese fries which were nice and a corn dog which surprisingly I had never tried before but found to be so good that I honestly could’ve eaten a plate full of them if I had enough room. The shakes were nice although there wasn’t much variety and while I liked them being inside a glass I found it was not necessary to have both the glass and the shaker.
The atmosphere was great, prices were reasonable and portion sizes were generous. This was the 2nd time I couldn’t finish my meal since I started the Food For Thought series and unfortunately no matter how well you reheat your leftovers they will never taste as good as when they were fresh. Thanks for showing this place to me Joe and I look forward to eating another dinner at The Diner sometime in the future.
On New Year’s Eve I went out for a meal with my Jimmy’s World Bar and Grill, we seen it before and though it would be good to try it as it was pretty empty when we first went in. For those who don’t know Jimmy’s World Bar and Grill is a massive buffet where you can have food from many differant types of culture including Chinese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Indian, British and many others. The food is replenished quickly and freshly and there are even create-your-own stations dotted around for pasta and Chinese dishes.
Instead of going for one or two types of food I chose to get a small assortment of everything. The highlights include the fried chicken which was incredibly good it wasn’t too crispy or oily and it was perfectly seasoned, the create-your-own pasta which was made in front of me was also very well cooked and you can have as much or as little of the herbs and spices as you wanted to adjust to your own personal tastes, all the Chinese food was superbly cooked and there was a wide variety to choose from.
Of course when it comes to being a jack-of-all-trades you can expect some dishes to not be up to par and unfortunately I didn’t really care for the Rogan Josh as the lamb was too chewy. The chicken nuggets, chips and onion rings were bland and some of the prawn crackers had become stale from being out in the air too long but apart from that everything was at least at the quality you would expect it to be.
Since this was an all-you-can-eat buffet and the New Year’s Eve price was higher than normal I felt like I had to have a dessert course even though I was comfortably full with my two main courses. While I love chocolate covered marshmallows I didn’t know that I was coating them in dark chocolate which I don’t like but that is my own fault as for the others the cheesecake was by far the lightest and tastiest of all the desserts and I would’ve been just as happy with a large slice of it instead of an assortment of desserts.
There were a lot of hits and very few misses with the food and I would definitely go back again although next time I would probably be a bit more sensible and go for things I know I like as opposed to trying a bit of everything.
A place that has been on my list for quite a while now that I finally got a chance to go to is Tinseltown. The interior is based on an American diner with loud colours and pictures of celebrities scattered around the restaurant. After we settled down we ordered our milkshakes I went with the Fruit A-List shake which my friend Momo accidentally drank half of although the other half which I had was definitely worth half the price of the milkshake.
Milkshake mistakes aside I ordered a double cheese burger which came topped with lettuce, tomato, fried onion and tinseltown sauce (whatever that is). The burger was good. Thats it. Good. The meaty flavour of the beef was good although the patties were very thin so it was necessary to have two of them to provide this flavour, the other ingredients helped compliment the burger rather than steal the show but nothing really made this burger stand out. Unlike. Five Guys, Red Robin and Patty and Bun which were all incredible this one just felt like something that was slightly better than what you might make at home.
The BBQ dipping sauce was amazing and the chips were good, I would’ve liked a few more chips as I constantly found myself dunking them in the sauce and they were soon gone. Overall Tinseltown is good and I would definitely go there again but it’s not something i’m in a huge rush to experience again as there are so many other burger places that just provide better quality food at similar prices.
After visiting MCM Comic Con I went across the Emirates cable car back to the o2 and had a meal in Gourmet Burger Kitchen. If you haven’t been to one before you may not know but you have to go up to the counter, order and pay before you get your meal which is unlike a lot of other restaurants except perhaps Nando’s.
I ordered the Smokin’ Joe burger which comes topped with smoked cheddar cheese, dill pickle, crispy shallots, malt vinegar aioli, tomato, relish, and a brioche bun. I have never tried the Buffalo patty or rosemary fries so I took this opportunity to try them both as an accompaniment to my meal. Since my visit to Patty and Bun back in July I have been taking more chances and not requesting things to be removed on the off chance I don’t like them and this was another one of those times that I am so pleased I had faith in the chefs who know what they are doing.
The first bite was just amazing, the flavours of the sauces packed that extra punch without it being too overpowering and there was not too much of it that is spilled out of the burger. The patty was nice and thick and meaty however I feel the sauces called more attention to themselves that isn’t say the buffalo didn’t contribute I just would’ve liked a bit more emphasis on that succulent meaty flavour I knew was there. The fries were surprisingly skinny but the right size for just snacking on after the burger, the rosemary mixed with Hei Hei salt flavoured them so well that you could always find your hand reaching out for a few more fries.
In the past I have made the mistake of trying to save money by not ordering a premium drink but I always regretted it when I see whoever i’m with has a great tasting drink with their meal. I didn’t make that mistake this time and indulged myself in an Oreo milkshake which was so creamy and chunky and not the least bit sickly. I have been to Gourmet Burger Kitchen before but not since I started this ‘Food for thought’ section of my blog back in July, one thing I wished I had done was had a charged iPhone then I would’ve been able to use my GBK app and get free sauce and fries. There’s always next time and yes there will be a next time.
While I was visiting my family in America we went out for pizza at a nearby place called Tate’s Pizza. As I had experienced the different portions sizes Americans have before I ordered a small pizza expecting it to be huge and I was not wrong.
The pizza was at least 14″ covered in ‘red sauce’ and packed with all different kinds of meat including sausage, pepperoni, homemade meatball and ham, even after sharing this we still couldn’t finish it all and the inevitable cold pizza for breakfast came soon enough. If you’re ever in Tampa and want to share a massive, freshly made and delicious pizza I definitely recommend Tate’s.
While in America I was invited to my mum’s, cousin’s, granddaughters 6th birthday at popular gourmet burger restaurant Red Robin. After getting lost and accidentally stumbling on it 45 minutes late we got settled in and looked at the menu to see pretty much every kind of burger you could possibly want available each with room for customisation in the different types of cheese, buns, extra meat etc.
I decided to get a Whiskey river BBQ burger which has a special whisky BBQ sauce as well as cheddar cheese, onion straws, lettuce, tomato and mayo. The taste was amazing as it put the flavour of the meat first and everything else was there to enhance the flavour rather than steal the show. It was messy, yummy, gets all over your hand, barbecue-y goodness and one of those burgers so big it needed a stick in the middle of it to keep it together.
Before we came my aunt recommended I get the onion rings as a side which is exactly what I did and again they were extremely generous both with the size and quantity of them. The batter was crispy but light at the same time and while with every onion ring it is possible to accidentally pull the onion out leaving a batter ring that only happened once and it was still nice even when separated from the coating.
Each meal came with their famous bottomless steak fries which were pretty bland to be honest they didn’t taste like they were seasoned and while they were thick there were very few of them and with unless you were sharing them you wouldn’t have enough room for much more than one extra portion. I expected a lot better from these as if they too would rise to the quality of the burger and onion rings but sadly it couldn’t hold its own.
Like all things in America the price was very affordable when you consider the exchange rate to GBP and for the first time in a long time that I actually struggled to finish the whole thing (and I didn’t even eat breakfast). My only gripe was the onion straws in the burger were a times a bit stringy and hard to chew through but that is such a minor complaint and not the worst part of the meal. The birthday party went down really well and Ali got many presents she liked as well as the entire staff of Red Robin singing happy birthday to her while two separate cakes were lit.
Last week I ate at Wagamama for the first time in quite a while. I remember the first time I went was with my dad near his office and I have loved it since then. I don’t know why but for some reason they waiters write your order down on your placemat and bring everything out as soon as it’s done instead of at once.
For my main I ordered the teriyaki chicken donburi which was simply incredible, at first I was a bit put off at the large amount of sliced carrots and greens but once mixed they provide great flavours to the dish. I usually don’t like carrots but in stews and apparently in this case they are really nice as their flavour is complementing the dish rather than being a main part to it. The teriyaki sauce was incredible and the spring onions and sesame seeds went well with the dish, the only thing I hated so much I didn’t want to even swallow it was the kimchee. Thank God it was separate to the main dish.
On the side we got some steamed chicken gyoza, tori kara age, negima, yakitori and half a tea stained egg. The gyoza was very nice although I was a little annoyed that they were too wide to dip in the soy sauce properly, the tori kara age was a lot crunchier than the kara age I had at Hyper Japan and a bit nicer than them. The yakitori was incredible, it was so succulent and the sauce made it even better than it already was, as for the tea stained egg I honestly didn’t notice anything different compared to a normal egg but it was still good.
While it may be kind of expensive I would definitely eat at Wagamama again although maybe for my next asian meal ill try something a little less mainstream.
Two days ago I ate at Ed’s Easy Diner. I have seen this before in Leicester square but it has usually been too busy to get a seat especially 2 that are next to each other. It has that 70s theme to it with faux retro graphics, interiors and even the inclusion of a table jukebox where I requested Johnny Cash’s Walk the line.
I had the Smokey Joe’s burger which was quite nice although there were too many onions which spilled out of the burger and the smokey sauce was contributed too much to the taste which made the meat, cheese, bun flavour not stand out as much. That aside it was a pretty good burger I just would have liked less onions and sauce.
I also has a side of wet fries which I found out when I realised was chips with gravy! Interesting. Unfortunately the chips were only just a little better than chip shop chips (not greasy but same kind of chips). The gravy was very nice though and I would certainly pour gravy on my chips in the future provided the situation. My root beer float was nice although I regret not having the milkshake as that was a lot nicer. All in all I liked Ed’s Easy Diner but I didn’t love it although I would go again it probably wouldn’t be my first choice.