Southport Ocean Plaza's new
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) is a hit
ON Thursday, 9 February 2017, we
attended a special 'Grill Warming' night at Southport's brand new Gourmet Burger
Kitchen (GBK) in Southport's Ocean Plaza, next door to Vue Cinema.
started in London by New Zealanders Adam Wills, Greg Driscoll and Brandon Allen,
but is now owned by Famous Brands
Ltd. This is an interesting place to visit,
offering not an American dining experience but New Zealand cuisine. Since its
inception this chain has been sinking its teeth into the British Catering market
and growing steadily. On Merseyside, the chain now has 2 locations, 1 in
Liverpool One, the other is a brand new diner in Southport. GBK Southport will
be the chain's 81st establishment to open. It has created 20 jobs in the local
area, with possibility of creating more!
The diner has, like most chains, has its own key features, 1 of them is the use
of Scrabble letters, making up signs all over the place, including on the toilet
doors. Sadly, no indication as to the connection to Scrabble has emerged just
yet, but we will keep you posted, if you don't find out 1st! Like most chains,
this is an open plan layout, with fixed seating booths and a few tables to allow
alterations, within some areas, to be made for bigger and smaller parties. For
dyslexics, we don't often hear about lighting that works well and menus that you
can easily read in places like this, but the lighting in this venue is very
interesting. It's relaxing and the colours used are very complimentary to the
lighting, unlike in most chain restaurants. The menus are very clear and easy to
read, and with the smooth lighting, which suits people who have issues with
reading, like dyslexics. We were told that the design of Southport's GBK was:-"inspired
by the seaside location. It's colourful and design has evolved from aspects of
the area, such as seating based on the idea of funfair rides, colours associated
with the sea and other interesting features." Our Editor took a bit of
time out to look around and try to connect some of the items and found it quite
interesting. A novel feature that runs in line with the fun interior is the
addition of a special hatch, on the shop front, allowing people passing by to:-
"grab a milkshake on the go." That is very much the type of thing you
would expect from an ice cream shop and other small stalls, not a restaurant. We
look forward to seeing this in action, especially when the Air Show takes place,
later in the year..
Anyway, we did not go to look at the interior, but to take note of the food on
offer?. GBK have told us that they are:- "proud of serving gourmet burgers
since 2001" and lay claim to kick starting the premium burger trend in
the UK. They go on to say:- "We have a huge range of adventurously crafted
burgers, using only 100% prime beef, hand selected and traditionally reared on
independent farms across the South West counties. GBK only uses the freshest
ingredients and creates sauces from scratch in the restaurant every day." So with the offer of a free sample, we had to put this to the test? Yes, all
in the name of journalism folks? Well, we can't put out "Fake News?"
So we picked a sample of the menu to try out ourselves. As we waited and took in
the atmosphere, we also made inquiries of other diners, who had been, or were
enjoying their GBK favourites? It's not often we say it, and it was definitely
not the fact it was free, but quite honestly, it was a gristle free burger. Well
cooked? Not the slightest suspicion of burning on it. It tasted as well as it
looked. Often, in places like this, we find when it looks good, it is a letdown,
but not this time. It was also surprisingly, in a good way, very meaty and is
not what I'm accustomed to in venues like this, which are fatty in taste or
texture. The onion rings, a huge problem for many food establishments, were also
crisp, well cooked and presented in a fantastic way. They also were very evenly
cooked and not dripping in fat, in fact dry and crispy to touch! This was a real
shocker, and a pleasant one at that! If this standard is kept up, Southport has
a huge hit on its hands!
If you want to experience this for yourself,
from 13 February 2017, just in time for Valentine's Day, you can take your taste
buds out on a date with a burger, when it opens fully to the public?.
From then on, burger buffs, in Southport, will
be able to sink their teeth into GBK's favourites like the 'The Major Tom'
with a 28 day aged beef patty, crispy bacon, beef ketchup and blue cheese slaw
or try the new special 'Veg-Out', with sweet potato, pea and feta
croquettes, grilled aubergine, chermoula yoghurt, Cajun relish and garlic mayo.
These fantastic combinations can be tried, on their own, or washed down with a
mind meltingly good milkshake (try the new Black and White milkshake with
vanilla ice cream and Kalamata olive sugar).
GBK Senior Marketing Manager, Laura Pettingale
comments:- "We've had a great response from the community since announcing
our opening plans and we can't wait to fire up the grills and welcome burger
lovers through our door. Diners will be able to enjoy some GBK favourites like
the Major Tom or the Taxi Driver after a day of shopping at Ocean Plaza."
For exclusive burger rewards and benefits, download the GBK app.
Spread the burger love and refer a friend to the GBK app to get a free side for
you and a friend. Just log in and share the unique Burger Pusher code, and your
freebie will be automatically uploaded to your rewards. Take advantage of GBK's
Order and Collect service to pre-order burgers from GBK Southport and collect at
a time that suits you.