I was lucky enough to be invited to the GBK Chichester store soft launch, and thought I’d take advantage of this wonderful offer to see my very good friend Emily – who I hadn’t managed to see for about 8 months+! (Never again girl)
First thoughts when I entered was how beautiful it was. I can imagine in the day time it’s gorgeously lit, it has windows from floor to ceiling but still managed to feel intimate with low lighting in the evening. It’s an instagram-worthy interior design but it purposefully doesn’t quite fit into the trend. It’s like they were determined to be close enough but just missing the mark by adding quirky metal milkshake tumblers and txt talk scrabble spellings. I loved it!
I was greeted and led over to my table instantly, handed a menu and it was explained to me that you had to go up to the bar to order.
It does strike me as a little odd that you have to go up and order your own drinks/food etc, when the food is so obviously up to such a high standard. I mean, Gourmet Burger Kitchen is literally Gourmet. However, I quickly learnt that the brand also owns Nandos too, which (delicious, and slightly lower budget) applies the same format with guests. I won’t lie to you, it left me a little apprehensive. However, I could not fault the lovely young girl who served me at all. She was enthusiastic, she was smiling, and after a few strategically placed questions, it was clear she knew her menu – impressive at a soft launch. She advised a curious me that lime milkshakes were in fact the bomb, and GBK serves it creamy rather than tangy which is exactly what I wanted. In short, she made me forget just how much I hate bar ordering food. And they had these super cute cups that said ‘tipping isn’t just for cows’ HA!
Social Media Manager Mark had already let us know that most servers that night were newbies to the industry, and had been chucked straight in at the deep end. I was braced for the worst in all honesty. However, it became more and more apparent that the it wasn’t coming. I remember what I was like a few years ago on my first job waitressing – let’s just say I couldn’t have handled it like they did!
There were a few hiccups, like a flustered young lady asking if we’d finished as we paused eating for conversation, or an accidental overlook in not offering us deserts when clearing the mains. No the service wasn’t impeccable. However, the mistakes were quickly rectified or apologised for, and it was apparent that they were only made in a hastened rush of keeping their customers happy. They’re ones that will become habit for staff over time, words that will slip out of their mouths without even having to think about it or actions that muscle memory wouldn’t ever let them forget.
What I couldn’t fault them for was their eager and determined attitude. Each and every single staff member was on the ball. Nothing makes me happier than enthusiastic staff, and it makes the atmosphere so much more pleasant too!
Now, food. GBK had been talked up to me a lot. I was expecting damn good nosh – and gosh did I get it. Baconaise is the new love of my life.
The sweet potato fries were not too thin but not too thick – and neither type of fries were salty. Lush. The beef was offered rare/medium/well done – to be frank if you order a burger and don’t get asked that – well you’re not in the right place. The beef burger was asked for at medium, and came at medium (I’ve recently been watching Hells Kitchen and have a new appreciation for this). My chicken Satay burger was offered grilled or breadcrumbed. The buns were fresh. The salad was fresh. The starters came out quickly. The mains followed perfectly. The Lime milkshakes were just beaut. The lattes were oddly served in short glass tumblers – which is AMAZING. I mean who would think of doing that?!
We were impressed. It’s the kind of place where you don’t mind paying that little bit extra on the food, because it is actually gourmet food. It’s the kind of team where you want to talk to them when ordering some coffees because they’re just so lovely. And also, they’re the kind of company who are so amazing with their social media interactions that you want to give them your money.
GBK Chichester – Thank you for having me – I’ll be back soon.