Fast food is everywhere and unavoidable, but it doesn’t always have to be cheap and bland. A selection of the world’s chefs has given their thoughts on some of the best fast food menu items available in the UK. There isn’t a McDonald’s or Burger King in sight, but you won’t have to venture far for a quick and convenient tasty meal that doesn’t cost the earth.
1.Five Guys burger and milkshakes
Heston Blumenthal believes that American fast casual restaurant chain Five Guys offers one of the best burger, fries and milkshake meals in the UK. While fast food chains are often maligned for their quality, Five Guys keeps it simple with prime beef and a bevy of toppings such as pickle, mushrooms, jalapenos, peppers and lettuce for a classic American-style burger. Blumenthal is also impressed by the fact that many of the people working at Five Guys are actually interested in delivering delicious products. He said: "The guys behind the counters actually have some interest in food."
2. Pret a Manger hoisin duck salad wrap
Vineet Bhatia of the Indego by Vineet in Dubai is impressed the huge range of high-quality sandwiches, salads, and wraps at British chain Pret a Manger. He stated: "The food is always fresh, with a good choice. It's quick and tasty and the staff always smile. I like their hoisin duck salad wrap and their chicken avocado sandwich."
3. Nando’s chicken
Nando’s was founded in South Africa but is now serving its unique brand of Portuguese-style flamed chicken at restaurants across the globe, including the UK. According to Tom Sellers, who is the head chef at the Restaurant Story in London, Nando’s chicken gets it right by being simple and delicious. He said: "I go because they serve a tasty product. It’s simple but you can build your own meal. And everyone loves chicken."
4. Byron burgers
Another burger restaurant in the UK gets a shout-out from Angela Hartnett of the Murano in London. She said that Byron is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise boring burger scene in the capital as it cooks up menu items that are of consistent quality while offering a unique experience at each of the restaurants. She added: “Burgers everywhere, it does my head in. But I was at the Port Eliot Festival dancing my head off at 3 am and I bought a Byron burger and it was just delicious.”
5. Wasabi sushi
London is a prime spot for scrumptious fast food products it seems, as Simon Rogan, head chef at L'Enclume in the village of Cartmel, Cumbria, has revealed that the hot Asian dishes and sushi at Wasabi are a cut above the rest. He added: "That's mainly because it is on the way to the station and I am always traveling. I can't say no to a katsu curry or sushi box."
Classic Italian finally gets on the list via PizzaExpress, which is a favorite of Clare Smyth, who works at Gordon Ramsay in London. Smyth loves the convenience and quality of the pizzas at the pizza chain, which has restaurants across the UK and Asia. "It is quick, it is always good and it is consistent. Pizza is a great fast food, and they use good, solid ingredients,” she said.
7. Homeslice pizza
If PizzaExpress doesn’t fit the bill, you can visit one of the three Homeslice outlets in London. Nuno Mendes of the Chiltern Firehouse is a huge fan of the pizzas due to the quality of dough, the baking method and the range of delicious toppings. He surmises that all the menu items at Homeslice are “super-good” and “super-creative.”