GBK Canterbury – Gourmet Burger Kitchen
GBK is a national chain of burger restaurants with four branches across Kent. Research reveals it has a history of alienating customers with crass anti-vegetarian advertising (unbeknown to the author at the time of his visit). Is it a reasonable destination for a vegan? Whilst a burger emporium may not be the restaurant of choice for all, it can be a necessary compromise. It’s not simply a issue of being in a mixed group of vegans,vegetarians and carnivores. There is also the question of is it useful or desirable for vegans to support or encourage food outlets that have vegan option(s)? Whilst there is a reasonable availability of vegan food in Canterbury compared to other local towns. Many restaurants still don’t offer vegan main dishes outside of the usual clichés such as salad or soup.
Vegan Food In Canterbury
Leaving the philosophical aspects of meat free menus to one side, as vegan burgers go GBK deserves a creditable mention. Although I found the name Dippy Hippy burger patronising, the taste was excellent. To quote the menu the Dippy Hippy is
..pan-fried bean patty, beetroot & mint hummus, avocado, piquillo pepper, salad, relish, sourdough bun.
The taste experience is rich with a depth of flavour, beetroot, mint, fried bean and avocado distinct and complimentary. Unfortunately this was the only vegan burger on the menu. Vegetarian options included, Californian (pan-fried bean patty with cheese and avocado), Falafel (spinach & kale falafels, beetroot & mint hummus) and Johnny Be Goat (grilled field mushroom, goat’s cheese). For brevity we’ve only summarised the ingredients, see menu for full details.
Aside the fries there’s not much else to interest diners committed to a plant based diet. Olives to start and perhaps char grilled corn (without the butter) as a side. Amongst the non-alcoholic drinks the refillable Elderflower was very pleasant. But nearly £6 for a 500ml of Budvar seems a little steep (perhaps I don’t get out enough). Service was good, atmosphere OK given that it was freshers week. Get the GBK app if you plan to go, we picked up a 25% student discount!.
Reading of GBK’s ‘tongue in cheek’ denigration of vegetarianism in their 2016 advertising campaign has taken the enthusiasm from this review. I can’t fault the food, I just don’t want to go back. Perhaps the naming of the vegan option as Dippy Hippy makes a little more sense now. Other purveyors of vegan food in Canterbury are available If you have a view one way or another let us know.
Location & More Information
Outlets nationwide, Kent restaurants in Bluewater, Maidstone, Bromley as well as: 9A St Peter Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2BE. GBK is open from 12 noon to at least 10pm seven days a week. Details for information purposes only, please see the GBK website for more details. For more restaurants in Kent visit Kent Restaurant Reviews.