In Itaewon burgers are ten a penny, there’s a burger on just about every menu in town. However great burgers, true OMG just one bite and I’m in heaven kind of burgers, well those are rarer than a virgin on Hooker Hill. Don’t get me wrong there are some good burgers to be had, I’m a big fan of Left Coast and Phillies, but I’m still searching for a true 10 out of 10 burger. For me a 10/10 burger warrants an almighty Mmm after I bite into it, the perfect mingling of bun, meat, sauce, cheese and salad, a burger that’s so good I want to eat another one straight after, and if the price is right I usually do. For me in Seoul that burger no longer exists, Burger B in its heyday was there, but on subsequent visits the quality has never been the same. Reilly’s when it first opened also did a 25 dollar burger that was of epic proportions and so tasty I practically inhaled it. My three favourites now are the Juicy Lucy at Left Coast, the Sid 2.0 at Sid Burger or the cheese burger at Phillies, but the search for my perfect burger still continues.
I’d always heard good things about Gilbert Burger, run by a previous owner of Brooklyn Burger, but the fact the locations were a wee bit far away put me off going. So when I found out that a Gilbert Burger had opened up in Itaewon, well, I knew my time had come to give it a try. I have to confess I didn’t really have much in the way of expectations. I figured they would be very similar to Brooklyn Burger which I always find has a strange iron-y taste, but still the die hard burger fan inside me couldn’t resist.
I took two visits to Gilbert Burger, on my first visit I tried the 5oz Mr President (12,500). I tried to make it a set but was informed I couldn’t have a half portion of fries because I wanted a milkshake and not a soda. a bit silly to say the least. The burger was topped with sharp cheddar, red onion, tomato, dill pickle, romaine lettuce, bacon and horseradish mayo. No Mmm factor but pretty good, a nice medley of toppings on it and I adored the horseradish mayo. When I bit into the beef burger by itself though it was tasteless, way under-seasoned. It needed all the extra crap on it to make it tasty that’s for sure. No yucky taste in the meat so a plus. Not the best burger in the world but good, I figured they deserved a second chance.
The Vanilla Coconut Milkshake (7,500) I had on the side was a nice blend of creamy coconutiness. It was a nice shake but I cant say it was really worth its hefty price tag like the Nutella & Burnt Marshmallow at Brooklyn Burger, this one just seemed nowhere near as special.
On my second visit I got the 5oz Gilbert (10,500). This one was topped with American cheese, red onion, tomato, lettuce, bacon, fried egg, and a homemade sauce. I really enjoyed it and this time the beef burger was actually seasoned. It was a bit sloppy with the oozy egg, and the sauce was a tad too spicy but overall this one was pretty darn good, no Mmm, but good. . One thing also to mention is that Gilbert Burger cooks their burger to medium, which personally I prefer but if you don’t then you’d better let them know. I managed to get a set this time for an extra 5,000. The fries were just your standard ones you seem to get everywhere. I also got a can of peach ice tea, which was delicious and one of my new favourite drinks, thanks America.
I think on the whole I can get on board with the new Gilbert Burger, and I will certainly return, but for me I’m still looking for the kind of gourmet burger I’d get back in England. My main problem with burgers here, is that I don’t care so much for the 100% beef patty that Americans seem to love, shake shack and In n out, I just couldn’t give a fig about. I’m European and we like onions in our burgers, lots of seasoning and maybe even just a tiny pinch of herbs and spices. But overall I enjoyed the burgers at Gilbert’s, I’d give them a solid 8/10 but the search for Seoul’s perfect burger continues.
Gilbert’s Burger & Fries is located at 2F, 55-2 Noksapyeong-Daero 40-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and exit using the lift. Walk over the bridge, and turn right, follow the road around past Coreanos and Manimal until you get to the GS. Turn left at the GS and walk slightly up the hill, you will see Gilbert’s Burger & Fries just ahead on the right. For more information you can call them on 02-792-7676. they are open everyday from 11:30am – 9:30pm.