It brings Pacific beach vibes with wooden floors and bamboo roof stylings right through to the surfboard-adorned walls. Outdoor seating continues the theme, but, with busy shops only steps away replacing any ocean waves lapping at your feet, not to mention the winter chill, keep it indoors for the time being.
The grub Kua ‘Aina (meaning a lazy or ill-educated country person) serves up an array of burgers, sandwiches and salads. I try the gut-busting half-pounder with brie and cranberry – my only complaint is that no mortal stomach is fit to consume this succulent meat mountain which hits the spot in all the right places – and a turkey sandwich, which is tender and tasty too. The accompanying fries are decent, but outshone by the sweet potato wedges, a neat spin on regular ‘twirly fries’ burger pairings.
BEHIND THE BAR: A simple option of red or white is the wine choice (£3.95 a glass), both sufficient, if not spectacular. This is broadened, though, with a range of soft drinks, as well as Asahi beers (£3.45). However, the real treat is Hawaiian brand Kona’s Fire Rock Pale Ale (£3.95), a sweet beer, and perfect burger buddy, exclusive to Kua ‘Aina.
BILL PLEASE: Third-pounder burgers from £5.95 to £8.45, and half-pounders from £6.95; sandwiches from £3.95; salads from £5.95; fries £1.95; sweet potato wedges £2.45; and desserts from £2.95.
VERDICT: A top joint for a top burger. The relaxed and amiable surroundings make this a winning retreat from the shopping hordes and a fine escape for a pre-evening bite. The jaw-stretching half-pounder is not ‘first date’ material, mind.
26 Foubert’s Place, W1F 7PP
Tube: Oxford Circus
– Alasdair Morton