London’s hunger for burgers has not abated, even with the recent flurry of high profile launches of new American burger imports. We now have a new homegrown burger offering.
Grillshack on Beak Street in Soho is the new Richard Caring backed venture which positions itself as a casual, fast food place with a typically American diner menu. Burgers, roast chicken and steak and not forgetting the breakfast menu of pancakes and more.
We were there on the opening night to test out their technology and stress the system, so to speak. I did go back a 2nd time a few days later to see if things had settled down.
Grillshack is not your regular fast food place like the shiny plastic ones you find on the high street although it is in a similar price range. It has wooden benches and booths, naked tin cans holding your cutlery and napkins, a side table holding all the help yourself sauces and a drinks bar where you serve yourself your soft drinks. The music in the background is a soundtrack picked by whoever was nearest the mp3 player and the loos were weirdly pitch black (on the 2nd visit they had turned up the lights).
Superfast free wifi – as shown on the menu – is a nice surprise for the techie geeky friends I was with. This is for you to download their app through which you can make your order. You can then pay by paypal via the app, possibly the first UK restaurant to have paypal as a payment option.
Through the app, you can order food to have in house with your allocated table number or you can order food to takeaway. There are a couple of alternative terminals in the restaurant for you to self order and pay too.
We loved the idea of the app where you can just click a couple of buttons on your phone and a beer and burger materialises in front of you. Like magic. Without any human intervention.
The menu is short. A basic burger is £4.95 which you can then adorn with bacon, cheese and another beef patty. There is no information about the provenance of the beef like other new burger places have been playing up. I don’t think the target clientèle here care much about that. For sides, the offerings include french fries, shoestring fries, radish slaw and corn on the cob.
I had a burger with bacon and we shared a few of the sides. My single burger (£4.95) was a bit too small, even for me. Loved the Chipotle sauce (they should sell this separately) that I doused on everything but not so much the ineffective jalapeño sauce. The French fries were very crispy, big thumbs up, shoestring fries were a bit meh. Loved the corn with lots of butter and a bit of cheese on top, very messy but delish.
Friends had the roast chicken (£7.95) and steak with shoestring fries (£9.95) , a substantial portion and very reasonably priced.
For pudding only a choice of 2, a carrot cake and the cookie ice cream sandwich which was an instant hit.
The service that we experienced on the first night was a little confused but on the subsequent night, all was fine. When you order your puddings, they should give you a little token to collect your puddings after the meal. Ours came with the mains which we sent back. The food arrived promptly and the quality was uniform, the French fries were still good.
So a meal for 4 with an abundance of food and drink on the table amounted to about £30. A bargain for a meal in Soho.
61-63 Beak Street
London W1F 9SL
Opens all day.
Eat Cook Explore was a guest on the opening night and a paying customer on the second visit.