Five Guys, Covent Garden

I had high hopes for Five Guys, the second of the American burger newcomers to Covent Garden. I tried the other US establishment, Shake Shack months earlier, keen to review the famous burger and crinkle fries.

Eagerly spotting a lack of queue on a quiet Wednesday evening, we raced to the counter and ordered our Little Bacon burgers (normal size for us English!) and a portion of fries to share. I liked that toppings are all optional and free, additions such as grilled mushrooms, pickles, jalapeno peppers and BBQ sauce allow you to create your ideal burger. We paid up and sat at one of the booths; it felt like a glorified version of McDonald’s.

Ten minutes later our order was called and our food was ready to be demolished. It looked and smelt like your typical American burger. While the taste was satisfactory, I felt there was nothing special about the Five Guys burger and I definitely felt let down after the overwhelming hype. My main issue was the food temperature, both burger and chips were lukewarm, which definitely mitigated the seductive juiciness that I was expecting. The flavour is just rather ruined when the meat isn’t sizzling hot.

Served in a retro brown paper bag (for diners in and out), the Five Guys meal is only slightly better than the McDonald’s just round the corner. We had substantial leftovers so donated them to a hungry homeless man on a nearby street – he didn’t seem interested either!

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