Wednesday 2 October 2013

[Special] Le Smokey, Byron Hamburgers

Hello Byron. It's been a while.
Le Smokey - Byron's October 2013 burger special
Le Smokey - Byron's October 2013 burger special
That's a lie, I had one a couple of weeks ago. Actually, make that two in a week, a couple of weeks ago. Anyway that's not the point. The point is I don't write about Byron much, and that's because they tend to be consistently good at what they do. Their empire now extends to 34 restaurants across the country (though focusing on their homeland of London) and with Hammersmith and O2 being developed at the moment, their expansion is continuing apace.

The reason I'm writing about Byron today, is to alert you to their latest special - Le Smokey - and to make sure you don't miss out.


Le Smokey - £9.75
French Fries - £2.95


Impeccable. We've always know Byron for their precision burger delivery (except for the over-bunned Big D), and this takes that execution up a notch. A mouth-watering ensemble.


The secret to Le Smokey is the combination of five major elements. Fried crunchy onions, super-thin, pancetta-like bacon, smoked cheddar, sliced pickles, and a chilli/BBQ sauce. The crunchy onions and crispy bacon give a layer of resistance to the bite-through which contrasts with the soft bun, beef and cheese and a salty bite to boot. Underneath the patty, a layer of chopped lettuce and sliced pickles adds structure and bite and the chilli BBQ sauce packs a hot and semi-sweet punch that binds the whole thing together. The only element that I felt was lost was the smoked cheddar - dominated by the sauce and the awesome bacon/onion combo.

Byron's Le Smokey burger cut-through.
Byron's Le Smokey burger cut-through.


Standard. This is Byron's same classic 6oz burger patty that rolls across the rest of its burger real estate - cooked med-rare to order. It's a solid burger patty, both lightly seasoned and not overworked or too compressed. It works perfectly with the toppings in Le Smokey.


Standard. Byron's glazed white burger bun is a brilliant example of burger best practice. It's light and fluffy, yet under that exterior it's got a backbone of steel - able to withstand a myriad of condiments and burger juice (and no doubt helped by the shredded lettuce, which delivers even juice distribution). Again it shows its flawless credentials in this burger.


Great french fries. Byron's consistency with sides is a lesson to all chains. You CAN make decent, crispy, lightly salted french fries every time. And these were no exception.

Overall rating: 9/10

This is a really strong showing from Byron's latest special. You all know how awesome the Uncle Sam cheeseburger was. Well Le Smokey, for me, comes a very close second. It's a well executed, perfectly poised burger - if only that cheese packed more of a punch...

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