Published: 05:00, 28 October 2021
| Updated: 08:47, 28 October 2021
As one Kent town prepares for a new mega-food hall our intrepid food reviewer went on a hunt for one if its brand new additions, and was blown away.
Maidstone council is investing £900,000 at its Lockmeadow site and will introduce eight new eateries to the town.
One of those is the Notorious B.R.G, which will open its second restaurant in the county on Tuesday, November 2.
Sean McPolin headed to Castle Street, Canterbury, to get his hands on some of the raved-about grub.
My hopes were high after seeing the burger bar was the highest rated restaurant on Deliveroo and second-highest on TripAdvisor, but it didn't prepare me for just how good it would be.
Located just outside Canterbury city centre this hidden gem was tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy High Street.
As you walk down the quiet street scattered with lettings agents the shop is recognisable straight away with a sign and prominent painting on its side wall which catches your eye.
As I walked in with my better half I was surprised at just how small it was - only being able to seat four people on stalls against the wall - but the wood and black signs gave it a tidy look.
We were met by one of the friendliest staff members I've encountered in my life – inquisitive enough to show he cared but not so friendly as to appear disingenuous.
I'm usually a pick the menu up and order straight away kind of guy, but the amount of burgers and fries on offer had me stumped for a couple of minutes.
And, if you're not one who fancies meat or dairy the vegan menu is the best I've seen in Kent, offering as close to its carnivorous equivalent as could be expected.
In the end I went for the El Pollo, a southern-fried chicken burger, vegan crispy duck fries and a kinder bueno milkshake, while my better half opted for the vegan Mac Daddy, vegan cheesy bacon fries and an Oreo milkshake.
Coming in at just under £38 the price was incredibly fair for the amount of food we got.
Having had a hellish experience at Wingos a few weeks ago, which prompted some loving words from my fans, biting in to the fresh, flavourful chicken breast was an enlightening experience.
Sure, you'll probably pay a bit more for a place like this compared to a Nando's rip off but you get exactly what you pay for - an excellent burger.
Everything about the burger worked well. From the bun, to the cheddar slice and to the streaky bacon.
I thought the experience had peaked with the burger but was in for a shock when I grabbed a handful of fries, which could be the best in Kent.
Not content with whacking some chopped up potatoes in the fryer and chucking some salt over them the burger bar has set itself apart from others with their crispy duck chips and special hoisin mayo, which are matched expertly.
Similarly the vegan cheese and bacon fries were top notch, with a perfect amount of bacon scattered over the dairy free cheese.
The vegan food arguably stole the show, with its beyond meat patty and home-made mac and cheese combining with the smokey sauce to give you "the best vegan burger in Kent", according to my review apprentice.
If you aren't full enough from the large portions then you can try and wrestle one of the thick milkshakes before heading off.
It's clear to see the joint is loved by residents, with four Deliveroo drivers arriving to pick up orders in the 30 minutes we were there.
But overall, the visit was worth the hour journey from Maidstone and had this scruffy journo contemplating moving back to Canterbury just to visit this place more regularly. It quite simply doesn't get much better than this.
Having tried a lot of the restaurants in Maidstone and Canterbury it is the nicest place I've visited in years. The opening in Maidstone is something people in the town should be pencilling into their diaries.
Out of five:
Food: Sensational. Fresh, flavourful, not your boring every day stuff and a big portion. *****
Drink: A selection of milkshakes, vegan or not, as well as your usual cold drinks. What more can you ask for? *****
Decor: It's small, but you're probably more likely to order it than eat in. Despite its size the wooden look works and it's found in a quiet part of Canterbury. ****
Staff: Friendly, helpful, inquisitive. I'm not a tipping man but even I was convinced to go the extra mile for their warm reception. *****
Price: £38 for two big burgers, two sides and two large milkshakes is decent. It may be slightly on the expensive side, but the price matches the quality. *****