Burgista (Siirgista) Bros’ Historically Good Burgers
After 20 busy years of bashing out burgers across the bustling cities of the Middle East and Asia, Burgista Bros (AKA Siirgista Bros) have finally laid their foundations here in Britain, specifically speaking, in west London’s Shepherd’s Bush, and Feed the Lion wanted to find out why.
Why has it taken them this long? What do they have to offer an already saturated burger market?
What are their goals and objectives?
And who on earth are those posh looking fuddy duddies?!
All these questions, and more, were thrown at said restaurant’s Group Executive Chef, Chris Large.
Feed the Lion (FtL): Burgista Bros has been established for over 20 years, but what does Burgista actually mean? Who exactly were these brothers? And who are those three well-dressed 19th century European looking gentlemen displayed on your advertisements?
Burgista Bros (BB): Burgista is a play on words: a barista is a coffee expert, and Burgista is a burger expert. We have taken the idea of using quality ingredients and creating the amazing items we have on our menu. Always trying to be mindful of being inclusive to ensure everyone can enjoy what we have created. The Burgista Bros represents the business as a whole. We are very family orientated and we want everyone who visits one of our stores to feel that they are part of the family. The Victorian gentlemen we feature in our advertisements are a representation of the knowledge of good food and great taste that has been handed down through the generations to us.
Firstly it is the ingredients that we use. Organically raised, free range, Halal beef in all of our burgers. Free range, Halal chicken. Heritage tomatoes. Rosemary salt for our fries. Quality ingredients across the board.
FtL: You’re established across the South East of Asia and the Middle East, and have only just touched foot in the Europe. Why has it taken this long, and what have been the obstacles, if any, that have impeded your invasion here?
BB: The Burgista brand has been around in the Middle East and Asia for some time and it has taken a while to make it here. The challenge whenever you enter a new market is to understand what the market you are entering wants. The time has long past, thankfully, where people will accept less than “The best” when they want to eat. It is with this mentality in mind that we embarked on the journey to bring the Burgista ideology to Britain. I wouldn’t say there are obstacles but opportunities to find new and interesting ways of doing things to be able to do what we want to do in this market.
FtL: On your website, you highlight the point that “the catering business demands a constant influx of fresh culinary ideas mixed with gourmet experience to keep the most demanding customers satisfied”. What fresh culinary ideas have you brought to the table, particularly with your burgers, which you believe will give you the edge in a gourmet burger market that seems to now be saturated in London?
I think our signature burger is the Portabello.
BB: Firstly it is the ingredients that we use. Organically raised, free range, Halal beef in all of our burgers. Free range, Halal chicken. Heritage tomatoes. Rosemary salt for our fries. Quality ingredients across the board. We started out in our first store with the idea to not over complicate what we are offering. A small menu focused on what we and the buying public want. What we are planning with our second store is to extend that offering by creating things like our burger of the month. We will, as always be serving any offering as Halal and creating a new and exciting burger each month that will allow us to push the boundaries of what is expected from a burger restaurant. Things like kangaroo could well make an appearance. Watch this space.
FtL: If there was one thing you could recommend from your menu, what would it be and why?
BB: I have been asked this question by many guests and my response is always the same “What do you like?” Of course I believe that everything on our menu is amazing but my personal favourite is the BBQ burger. As an Australian, Bar B Que is an ingrained part of our culture and whenever I eat that burger it takes me back across the oceans to remind me of those memorable times spent with family and friends. The Mexicali burger is another burger that stands out. The spice and flavour of that burger is something else. But I think our signature burger is the Portabello. A burger that combines our incredible beef patty, plum tomato and black olive chutney, portabello mushroom and shaved black truffle is something that makes us stand out from our competitors.
The time has long past, thankfully, where people will accept less than “The best” when they want to eat. It is with this mentality in mind that we embarked on the journey to bring the Burgista ideology to Britain.
FtL: Many restaurants have what is known as a “Secret Menu”. Do you have anything similar?
BB: I’ve heard stories of secret menus at other establishments. We are introducing Burgista Bros membership that will give our members opportunities to try new things that we are thinking of putting onto our menu and also other exclusive member offers and dishes. Details of this will be outlined soon on our updated website within the next few weeks.
FtL: What are your short- and long-term plans both here in Britain, and across Europe?
BB: We are in the process of opening our second store, in Baker Street, in mid-November and a third store to follow in London early next year. If we continue to be as well received as we have been there are plans to open stores across the UK and into Europe in the next few years.
FtL: One shortcoming the Lions have encountered with some gourmet burgers is the lack of seasoning and/ or sauce (the latter, in our opinion, being an integral part of any successful burger). How have you addressed this issue, if at all?
BB: As with every part of building each and every burger on our menu seasoning is key. We use a special blend of smoked Maldon sea salt and other spices to season our beef. The seasoning is designed to enhance the natural flavour of the beef and gives our burgers a broad flavour that I believe makes our burgers memorable. Our burger sauce, made in-house of course, is also vital to enhance the flavour of all the ingredients on our burger. It is simple but also incredibly tasty.
FtL: Since your recent opening, how has the response been so far?
Things like kangaroo could well make an appearance [on the menu]. Watch this space.
BB: We have been overwhelmed that the local community has not only accepted, but endorsed us, and we have had a number of local resident’s comment that it is nice to have a restaurant that brings a bit of class and quality to the neighbourhood. We will ensure to keep welcoming guests and producing quality products that people will want to come back and enjoy time and again with friends and family.
FtL: Wanna take this opportunity to say anything to our many hungry Lions out there?
BB: I’d just like to say thank you for the opportunity to talk with you and we look forward to meeting you all and welcoming you to the Burgista Bros family in the near future.
And we’ll certainly be looking forward to that welcoming!