Gourmet Republik (American) – Walthamstow
Walthamstow’s Gourmet Repulik has taken full advantage of its corner road location with large windows that provide an attractive view of its brightly lit and colourfully prismatic interior, particulalry when arriving at dusk.
While the shrewd installation of folding patio doors on one side of the restaurant provides them the option of offering a semi-al fresco dining experience during the summer months, there’s also a small open-air dining garden available at the back for those preferring a little more privacy (temporarily unavailable at the time of our visit).
Additionally, a creamy-white colour scheme, coupled with low-hanging lights, helps to exaggerate the spacious feel of Gourmet Republik’s airy interior.
Having only been open for 3-months, the 60-seater eatery is, as you can imagine, brand spanking new.
But arguably the most impressive feature of the restaurant is its large bar counter, which comfortably accommodates both the paying till and the kitchen area – the latter cleverly obscured by a large glass shelf that displays a selection of Rochester’s award-winning premium soft drinks.
Gourmet Republik offers a large variety of flavours when it comes to Rochester’s Premium Pressés. The two we had were Raspberry Lemonade and Blood Orange & Mandarine.
While the former was zingy with the bitter flavour of the lemon easily dominating over the hint of raspberry, the latter was mellow flavoured though pleasantly refreshing.
The newly added Caramelised Lotus Biscoff was by far the better of the two shakes had. Milky in conisistency, the caramel sauce came through subtly on account of it combining so well with the biscuity flavour of the Lotus Biscoff.
It’s novel, extremely satisfying and, thus, highly recommended for all shake-lovers.
The Fresh Strawberry, on the other hand, was a disappointment.
Despite the presence of fresh strawberries, these were difficult to pick up given the quantity of artificially-tasting strawberry syrup, which practically drowned out everything else within the vicinity.
Gourmet Republik do, however, do some mean wings!
These large Buffalo Wings – served with fresh, crunchy coleslaw – were incredible, with a generous coating of that familiar spicy-tangy buffalo sauce. While they weren’t as crispy as their rivals below, the crunch of the sesame seeds did compensate somewhat.
A beautifully crispy top is what defined these Original BBQ Wings, including a solid glaze that assured a strong smoky-sweet taste.
Meanwhile, the Sweet and Sticky Wings, though equally crispy in places, were addictively good.
What’s more, the pomegranate salad was a surprise touch, that helped cut through all that sticky sweetness.
Aside from the Ketchip and Mayo, the other three were inhouse made: the Tartar sauce was tarty and relatively thick; the deliciously pungent, fruity Chilli intense enough to hit the back of the throat; and the Sweet BBQ beautifully smoky, with the sweetness of the honey coming through strongly.
Tremendous Flame Grilled Lamb Chops which, while having a good chewiness to them, were gorgeously succulent.
But, it was the clever yet simple addition of thinly sliced fried onions that provided that slightly bitter aftertaste.
Although this plate of smartly presented crunchy King Prawns had a good bite to them, they’d be fairly bland sans a sauce.
We were fortunate enough to be one of the first to try this exclusive and soon-to-be-added Chicken Dorito Burger.
Though conceptually unique, its biggest shortcoming was also its biggest selling point: the big chicken dorito patty.
Not only was its herb-flavoured Dorito batter overly salty, but given how thinly the fillet of chicken had been hammered out, overly crunchy too resulting in the taste of the poultry being entirely lost in translation.
In fact, the ratio of the fillet to the burgers other few ingredients was such that it entirely overpowered everything else.
In the end, it was a difficult burger to finish, let alone enjoy!
It was well seasoned and succulent due to it being presented medium.
Although one Lion couldn’t quite taste the truffle, and another confirmed its presence in the background, everyone was agreed that the Black Lava sea salt came through now and again.
Nevertheless, while we also agreed that an additional sauce was required to bring this altogether, the tanginess of the gherkins along with the caramelised onions assured that this was a tasty sandwich.
When you have a burger costing a whopping £15.95, you’d expect to receive, nay, demand something out of the ordinary.
Now, given the recent ubiquity of Halal wagyu, we don’t believe that such a hefty price tag can be justified on account of the wagyu as an ingredient alone. Besides, let’s face reality: while we praise the One above for the ready availability of Halal wagyu, we have to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that it isn’t in the same bracket range vis-a-vis quality as its non-Halal counterpart. Fact 1!
In this case, although the patty was meatier in taste than the above burger, it didn’t stand out as we would have hoped. Though cooked closer to well done than medium well, and decently seasoned, the patty, which should have been, at the very least, the star of the show visually speaking, was barely so. Instead, it was almost entirely covered by a layer of cheese, and was fairly fatty too in terms of consistency.
Before starting out with this Quarter Chicken, it needs to be noted that the sauteed potato and haloumi side is not part of the original, but can be made upon request.
And we’d certainly recommended it too given how good it was and how well it went with the moist and flavourous chicken. In fact, with its crispy chargrilled skin, this chicken was almost jerk-style in nature, and certainly fell off the bone. Would order again!
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- UBER EATS
- NHS 10% OFF
The place itself is aesthetically pleasing with impressive decor that includes a uniquely quirky lavatory.
The restaurant shows great promise, having certainly nailed the poultry side of things, with superb chicken wings and a deliciously marinated grilled chicken, and some tremendous lamb chops.
However, and in our considered opinion, while the burgers were decent, they need some refinement if Gourmet Republik is to seriously challenge the best gourmet Halal burgers currently out there.
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637 Forest Rd, Walthamstow E17 4NE.
T: +44 (0)203 802 8708 | W: www.gourmetrepublik.co.uk
Opening Hours: Mon-Thur 12:00-23:00 | Fri-Sat 12:00-00:00 | Sun 12:00-22:00