Someone said the other day ‘burgers are their own food group’. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that but it did reiterate the notion that a burger is this entirely different entity that many don’t associate with beef or buns. Once that patty is placed between two buns, topped up with salad, cheese and whatever you like, it becomes this mythical food item that is a weakness for a lot of us. I know I can go without steak, chicken, bacon with no qualms, but the burger… I don’t think I could ever shake.
You might have noticed the gourmet fast food trend that has swept the nation, particularly in the burger category. It started with Junior in Cape Town and Mr Big Stuff in Joburg both bringing back a simple style of dining where you order from the front and decide on sit-down or take out. It’s the classic 60s American burger joint, and its great!
Banks Burger in Newlands have followed in these guys’ footsteps but have put their own twist on things. Myself and a friend visited on a Friday afternoon at lunch, needless to say the place was heaving!
The restaurant has a clean, minimal look despite the crowd of customers and stacks of brown bags and blue burger baskets filling up tables. It has a retro interior with turquoise and orange finishes that makes it almost feel like a school canteen with those classic wooden school chairs and white brick tiles.
Food and service
The staff were all really friendly and seemed calm despite the evident pressure they were under. It looks like lunch hours are definitely the thing here, being surrounded by office blocks, so get there early if you can.
I ordered the cheese burger, chips and an (A+) Milo milkshake, and my friend the veggie burger and chips. My burger was super tasty, with lots of crisp lettuce, a generous amount of cheese, chopped up caramalised onions, tomato relish and a slice of tomato. I liked the fact that the onion and lettuce were chopped up small so you don't have trouble taking a bite and pulling half your burger right out the bun.
The rolls are a bit thick and dense which did take over a little as the patty is fairly thin. But other than that it was fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable.
My friend’s veggie falafel patty seemed to have had a whole salt shaker chucked into the mix. It had good flavour but was heavily over powered by the salt, which I’m sure was just an error during preparation.
The fries are hand cut as is everything on site. Banks prides themselves on serving food that is all made by them. The kitchen is also very exposed so the whole approach feels honest. You really get a sense of the passion that has gone into Banks; and the energy behind the counter and in the kitchen emanated this as well.
Go and try it!
Banks Burger is a much needed addition to Newlands and the Southern Suburbs and I would highly recommend a visit. The burgers are really good quality, ingredients are fresh and it's value for money (I paid R80 for my three items). Don’t forget to try the Milo milkshake as well, it’s the bees knees.
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- Ceili McGeever