PARENTS often tear their hair out trying to entertain the children while dining out, but I discovered a restaurant to suit everyone.
There was a distinct supper aroma as soon as we landed in the Metrocentre.
The lovely smell saw us scurrying towards the Qube’s latest restaurant like we were the Bisto kids.
The area was bustling as it was a Friday night. Arriving at Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), we encountered around 20 other diners already seated. Always a good sign.
GBK first opened its doors in 2001, the brainchild of three New Zealanders. The Metrocentre eaterie is now the chain’s 57th restaurant.
Inside, GBK has extensive seating. The decor and fixtures are modern and the tables were immaculate.
We were quickly shown a table of our own and handed a menu.
We selected a very pleasant Yealands Pinot Grigio (£4.95 for 175ml), soft drinks for the driver in our party and for the kids, and the waiter explained the GBK system.
You have to order all your drinks and food at the bar area, which means your memory will be tested when there’s a family group.
To begin with we could choose from four starter dishes. We shared the homemade onion rings (£3.95); haloumi bites served with kiwi fruit and jalapeno sauce (£3.95) and chargrilled chicken skewers served with smoked chilli mayonnaise (£4.25)
The starters were served piping hot. They didn’t disappoint. The skewers were voted the overall family favourite. The clean plates spoke volumes.
The main menu has a lot more choice. As the menu boasts “It’s all about the burger”. There are 11 choices of beef burger which come in both a 4oz and 6oz size.
If they aren’t your thing, there are five choices of chicken burgers, four vegetarian options, two choices of lamb and even a buffalo or wild boar offering.
And if none of the above tempted you there are three salads.
We opted, unsurprisingly, for the burgers. Both the adults’ dishes were well presented and looked and smelled very tempting.
I tried the GBK Sliders (£9.95). Just as well I had built up an appetite stomping around the Metrocentre, as my 100% West Country beef burgers were delicious.
The dish was made up of three mini beef burgers – one in a brioche bun, with cheese, onion ring, pickle, mayonnaise and the chain’s own ketchup. The second in a flour bun was draped with blue cheese, onion jam, mayonnaise and the third offering was in a fennel brioche bun, with Cheddar cheese and “homeslaw” made of cabbage, spring onions, carrot, celeriac and vinaigrette. I was really impressed with the chunky melt-in-the-mouth beef and all the different twists. It was super.
The other half tried the mighty burger (£11.95) which was two beef patties. Along with this came Cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, garlic mayonnaise, salad, relish and dill pickle. He was almost defeated.
He sampled some chunky chips and in the interests of reviewing also tried some dips, perfect for the chips. The overall favourite was chilli salsa.
Children are well catered for. From the £6.50 menu they had a choice of three main courses with a green salad with a lemon mustard dressing; skinny or chunky fries or chargrilled corn on the cob served with butter.
Our 10-year-old went for the junior chicken, and it was grilled as per her instructions.
The eldest had the junior beef burger and both tried the skinny fries. Thumbs up all round.
Included in the children’s package is a fresh juice (apple, orange or lemonade) junior milkshake, spring water or a soft drink like Diet Coke.
We also sampled their milkshakes made with Yeo Valley ice-cream and available in five flavours. Our eldest sampled the bestseller, the Oreo Milkshake. He raved about it.
Of course, we still had desserts to squeeze in, but the adults surrendered. The kids picked a Yeo Valley frozen strawberry yoghurt (£1).
It’s easy to see why Gourmet Burger Kitchen is so popular. This is tasty fare, cooked well, nicely presented and incredibly filling.
Find a cosy booth and you can while away a couple of hours. The children’s menus also double as colouring-in sheets to keep the little ones happy.
Address: Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Yellow Quadrant, Metrocentre, Gateshead.
Tel: 0191 460 4286
Open: Mon to Fri: 12.00-23.00
First impressions: Chic and contemporary smart restaurant, open-plan style and very spacious. Fellow diners range from young couples to big family groups enjoying a good get-together after shopping or before the cinema. We thought the complimentary water and monkey nuts was a nice touch.
Welcome: A very friendly and informative staff, happy to help you navigate the menu.
Style, design and furnishings: The restaurant offers an urban and eclectic design incorporating walls of reclaimed brick and tiles and striking pendant lighting.
Cuisine: With a broad menu to suit every burger fanatic, the choices range from 100% West Country beef to chicken, lamb, wild boar and buffalo burgers, as well as options for vegetarians.
Drinks: The milkshakes were the best the children have tasted and there was an excellent range of wines and beers for adults.
Service: The waiting staff were very helpful and gave good advice about how to manage our dining experience.
Value: Adult burgers start from £5.05 and fries from £2.75. The children’s menu is excellent value.
Disabled facilities: Fully accessible.