I can’t help but feel disappointed sometimes by restaurants in Milton Keynes’ shopping centre. They have a different vibe because everyone’s primary objective is to shop. Hordes of people flock to them not out of desire for the food they serve but as a necessary pitstop for refuelling before getting back to the stores. I guess I don’t like the rushed atmosphere and the feeling of being churned in and out of an eatery that’s there to serve the masses. Nonetheless, as a burger lover who’s never eaten at one of the biggest and most successful burger chains I put aside my hang ups over the location and ventured in with a hungry and curious belly.
Sure enough we arrived to find the restaurant heaving with people; you’d never know it had been open a mere 24 hours if it wasn’t for the smell of fresh paint! As soon as we stepped inside a waitress was ready to greet us and seat us. Following her into the depths of Byron I realised the restaurant was much larger than I had first anticipated and we walked past table upon table of punters happily tucking into appetising looking burgers. Our table was in a quieter area overlooking the open kitchen, which reassured me as they worked like a well-practised team.
I sat down and immediately started riffling through the plethora of condiments and booklets. I love that there’s ketchup, mustards & hot sauce ready to go. I also found a booklet, explaining the idea behind Byron. It put a smile on my face because it’s a philosophy I think a lot of restaurants should adopt.
The menu reflects their ethos, with only a few options for burgers and sides. As a first timer Mr Yumdimsum urged me to get the Byron burger, saying, “If it’s got their name on it, it has to be what they believe in.”
Seemed like a good place to start!
It came looking like a classic American hamburger. A grilled patty, simple salad, thick slice of cheddar and 2 rashers of streaky bacon hugged between a traditional and deliciously squishy burger bun. It’s like the kind of simple burger you see in cartoons!
Of course I couldn’t resist a bit of red & yellow. Byron burgers are insanely messy, mainly because the burger patty is insanely juicy! They put big emphasis on cooking them pink, just what I like. Mr Yumdimsum devised an ingenious way to contain the mess by wrapping his burger in the paper.
We ordered skinny fries & onion rings as our sides. Admittedly I found the fries unremarkable, but the onion rings were to die for. Buttery soft onions encased in a light crunchy batter with just a hint of spice. couldn’t get enough of them!
You know what, I really liked this place! Yes it’s going to be one of those eternally busy restaurants, but what saves it is the efficiency of the staff. The kitchen got our orders out in good time, especially considering how new the place is. All the waiting staff were very friendly and attentive too. We were asked a couple of times if we enjoyed our meal and it felt like a genuine question rather than a script. I guess a well-oiled franchise like Byron has taken the time to pick the right people and train them properly.
The food is simple, but done very well. There’s little touches that hint at quality, like your drink being served in a frozen glass. £15 a head I found good value too. This is the kind of informal place I’d go with friends and okay yes I admit it, as a shopper too!