The typically American burger chain Five Guys now has an established presence across the UK, after first appearing in London a few years ago. Hannah and I decided to pay a visit to the branch in Reading’s Oracle shopping centre to see what all the fuss was about.
When you first arrive at Five Guys, the decision is pretty straightforward – burger or hot dog? Once you’ve made up your mind (we were there for burgers, obviously), you then place your order at the counter with one of Five Guys’ overly-enthusiastic yet friendly members of staff.
Double-patty burgers come as standard, though you can opt for a ‘small burger’, which comes with just the single piece of beef. You can also add bacon and/or cheese for slightly extra cash. The benefit here though, in a similar fashion to Subway, is that all other toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onion etc, all come as free extras, making it very easy and affordable to customise your burger the way you like it.
I chose to have bacon, cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard on my burger. The cheese was the “cheap but tasty” kind you would find on a fast-food restaurant burger, however the bacon was cooked extra crispy and exactly how I like it. The salad was fresh and juicy, in particular the two large beef tomato slices made for an excellent addition to the burger, and gave it an edge over other fast food joint offerings.
With our burgers we shared a portion of Five Guys Fries – given the sheer size of the burgers, we found this to be plenty to fill us up at lunchtime.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good the Five Guys burger tasted. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, given that it isn’t a table service kind of place and effectively, it’s a very expensive fast food outlet. However, the burger easily stood alongside some of the “posher” burgers we have tried recently in terms of flavour and experience.
One tip for those visiting the Reading branch – it’s all a bit chaotic around the entrance to the restaurant so I would advise finding a table first if you want to sit down and get one of your party to go place the orders.
Five Guys Reading can be found at Upper Level, The Oracle Shopping Centre, Reading RG1 2AG. This review took place on 25/04/15.