First things first: 1) Sorry for the terrible quality of the photographs. You have my girlfriend to blame for that one, as she forgot her incredible camera (I know, the cheek) and we had to do with my rubbish camera in Byron's strange, yellow lighting. 2) Sorry there's no "autopsy" shot of the burger, I was too busy eating it and when I realised I hadn't taken a cross-section picture it was all gone.
Anyway, I went to Byron in Soho today due to a tip-off that they would be launching a new burger in their restaurants starting the 14th (today, at time of writing). Incredibly hungry after a lecture, I quickly made my way to Soho and somehow walked straight past the place. Eventually finding it and settling down into our seats, the waitress told us about their newly released burger: an 8oz patty of 100% chuck supplied by O'Shea's, based in Knightsbridge, with nothing added but some salt and pepper. We decided to each try the new burger, which came in place of the usual Byron beef in one of their 'classic' burgers. The order was completed by some skin on fries to share, a root beer for me and an elderflower pressé (*shrugs*) for her. As we completed our order the waitress informed us it would take 18 minutes to cook the burger to medium, so about 15 minutes or so for our medium-rare.
After a few minutes (probably 15, funnily enough) our burgers came out along with the fries and they certainly looked the part. Stumpier than the usual flatter patty that Byron uses, you can immediately see it has developed a caramelised crust beneath the lettuce, onion and tomato. The first bite is a winner, with a rich, beefy taste that isn't uncommon with the great beef from O'Shea's. Combined with the previously mentioned vegetables and the decent Byron bun (I prefer potato rolls then brioche for burgers, in that order), there's a great harmony and the flavours work together, as with the best burgers. It's cooked perfectly medium rare and every bite is a joy. I considered ordering two, but I knew I wouldn't be able to take it. The skin on chips are wonderful, though some are underdone (in the sense that they're not crispy enough for my liking), yet the flavours are still good, with nuttiness provided by the skins.
In terms of where this burger places in the London ranking, well, it's up there with the best at Hawksmoor. At £9.95 (without cheese) it is significantly cheaper, and in my opinion perhaps equally as good. I've still not decided. I do know that it is probably the best widely available burger in London now, and up there with the best I've tried in New York. Try it if you can, it's a winner.