Review of Byron Burgers – The Byronaldo
What they say:
6oz hamburger, crispy bacon, Freddar™ cheese, Bovril onions, crispy onions, bread-and-butter pickles, mustard burger sauce, all in a glazed bun.
When approaching the introduction to our latest Byron review, I thought I would check when we last visited one of our favourite burger destinations. I was astonished to find that Miss Milkshake and I have not been in twelve whole months – that was for the Sweet Caroline. (After further discussion we realised we’d done a non-review visit after that). Anyway…
Today we were back at their Bristol restaurant to sample The Byronaldo – the latest special which, if you are a member of the Byron Burger Club, can sample one day early… and… if you buy one this evening, Byron pick up the bill for the other. You can’t say fairer than that!
I would attribute not returning to Byron sooner to the lack of specials we’ve seen in the last 12 months. There was the Run Rarebit Run (review by AB) and the Freddar Dawg – two very cheesy specials which I wasn’t desperate to try, although I must confess to being annoyed with myself on passing up the opportunity to sample the Japanese-influenced Bunzilla (tonight though, I did get to have a bite of MM’s Bunzilla – oh matron!).
Of course, Byron have been busy bees by releasing their very own publication entitled Byron: The Cook Book. I’ve been desperate to get my hands on this book since it was released and finally tonight was the night! Although not the signed copy I have lusted after, it was still great to acquire this, and I look forward to replicating a burger from it soon.
The Byronaldo does not feature ingredients from Portugal (or Brazil) but is instead a British tribute to football. The story says, that a young Fred would find comfort in the hamburgers sold at half time while attending matches at Wimbledon FC. The burgers were topped with piles of soft, sweet fried onions, ketchup and mustard and were washed down with the occasional cup of Bovril – and it is those classic flavours that are captured in Byron’s latest culinary concoction.
It was absolutely packed in The Triangle location tonight as many diners took advantage of the Burger Club deal. And after a respectable wait, I was presented with The Byronaldo – a precision build as ever from the chefs at Byron. They really do know how to present a good burger and are quite possibly the best in the business out of the “chains”. This is served with a side pot of the pickles and scatterings of the crispy onions which we’ll talk about later.
The Byron 6oz hamburger was cooked to perfection tonight. Perfect. A consistent pink “ring” runs through the beef, which is seared either side and looks the part. Obviously, we were asked if cooking to this level was acceptable (blatantly it is!) and it was fantastic to see such a spot-on medium burger. But then that’s always the case when we’ve visited here.
The Bovril onions bring a really rich, dark, hearty, meaty dimension to The Byronaldo and are really rather good. I’m no musician, but eating this I felt like I should be listening to some Blue notes in Jazz or something – don’t ask me why. Despite being a tribute to a time spent on the terraces at football matches this burger felt sophisticated, grown-up and one to be enjoyed with a vintage brandy and finest cigar. I can’t explain the association, but all I could think of was the movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels when driving back on the M5. The sort of burger you’d expect an East End British Gangster enjoying. Maybe.
Back to the burger… the sauce also works really well too. I’m not a massive mustard fan but this is cracking and not too harsh – a subtle mustard flavour which offsets against the richness of the beef and onions. And that richness is cut through by the sweetness and semi-crunchiness of the bread-and-butter pickles. These are good! Very good! They are really welcome and a clever inclusion on this build by acting as a palate cleanser, before re-visiting those beefy depths from the onions.
The only thing I didn’t really pick-out on The Byronaldo was the crispy bacon. It was there, definitely, and contributed to the texture but it was the one element that seemed to evade my senses. But I would like to add this had no impact on my overall enjoyment. Tonight was also my first foray into the experience that is Freddar™ cheese – not too strong tasting but also not dominated by the other ingredients. You get the cheesy taste of it now and then and I’m looking forward to trying it on additional builds in the future.
Overall, The Byronaldo is a really enjoyable special from Byron and I recommend trying it as a must. The real talking point are the rich, beefy Bovril onions which provide a beautiful depth to proceedings and work wonderfully with the mustard burger sauce. If you found the Byronissimo light and refreshing, this is a real contrast to that burger.
As ever, presentation is executed with precision by the chefs. As you can see from the pictures, the pickles look like they have been placed with the utmost care and those smoky, crispy onions are also scattered around the base of the burger to good effect. This is served up with an accompanying pot of bread-and-butter pickles which are a welcome bonus and palate cleanser. The signature glazed brioche holds all the components together and doesn’t deteriorate as you make your way through the hamburger and as a whole it is another cracking special from Byron.
The Byronaldo is certainly more like its namesake, Ronaldo than Terry Gibson and aspires to be more similar to Real Madrid than the Crazy Gang – one thing is for certain though… it scores a spectacular goal in enjoyment.
If you haven’t done it already I recommend signing up to the Byron Burger Club. Despite receiving this burger for free, this does not have any impact on our unbiased review.
The staff at The Triangle are easily some of the best in the business. We always receive an exceptional welcome there and we were disappointed that Ian has now moved onto a different location. However, special mention must go to Katie and the rest of the gang that were working Monday night. Despite a host of new faces, they continue to offer impeccable service with a real enthusiasm and knowledge for their brand and that has to be commended.
The Byronaldo is on the menu at your nearest Byron from 17th May.