Seated at one of the best tables an Instagrammer could ask for at the V&A Waterfront, with a view over both the harbour and across the Cape Wheel to the lightly-clouded Table Mountain, Gibson's Gourmet Burgers and Ribs is an Instagrammer's dream location.
Of course the taste is just as important as the view, but it certainly sets you up for a positive experience. Little wonder the surrounding tables were buzzing with excitement as they slurped and snapped away at those impressive palate-pleasers.
We were a step behind, having only just started flipping through the menu that lets you see burgers, shakes and sides like macaroni-and-cheese, all at the same time – it’s by no means a case of mix-and-match, but the burger and shake I eventually opted for did just happen to magically align on the page and in my belly!
I’d heard there were new shakes to choose from, covering all the bases from fat-free fruity crushed ice options to vegan shakes like the kale, avo and mixed berry; or the cherry fudge frozen yoghurt version; bringing the tally up to 217 – yes, you read that right, two-hundred-and-seventeen. With more to come!
Gibson's fat-free apple, lime and mixed berries shake; Rolls Royce 'the ultimate' burger; and Red Velvet Neopolitan Freek shake.
That’s before you go wild by personalising them by adding your favourite syrups, sprinkles and other additions like a shot of espresso swirled through, crunchy popcorn topping, or mini Flake chocolate.
Hungry for handspun shakes
I purposely went for one of the new shakes: the chocolate toffee cashew.
With a chocolate ice-cream base, toffee syrup and whole cashews to scoop up and crunch, this is definitely a winner, especially if you gulp it down before the stripy paper straw starts to melt, and less of a mouthful than the monster Freek shake I sampled last time.
Available in 450ml or 850ml, the Freek shake is actually a meal on its own, especially if you go for the new Red Velvet Neopolitan option…
Unfortunately, Gibson’s bar counter were fresh out of the Klipdrift Black Gold on the day of our visit, which my husband had been keen to try from the adult/alcoholic shake selection for those aged 18 and over, like the Sally Williams nougat shake or the brandy-tart shake, but he was thrilled with the Amarula Colada he slurped through biodegradable straw instead, topped with pineapple and even a cherry on top.
Burgers burgers burgers, any way you like...
But the real cherry on top was the service. As it was a Saturday early evening, you’d expect it to be too busy for service with a smile, but that’s exactly what we got. Manager Raj was super-attentive and our meals were on our tables almost before I was done with photos of our drinks.
In addition, when ordering the staff mention that you can ask to have the burger standards of lettuce, tomato and cucumber removed if not a fan. It can be a little overwhelming, but I eventually decided on the very American ‘onion blossom’ burger, topped with an entire fried onion instead of the customary fried onion rings, which aren’t an option on the menu – best of both worlds.
My husband changed things up a little with the Philly cheese steak – all meat is supplied by Waterfront-neighbour, Belthazar – topped with bacon and what he called the ‘best-baked potato ever’.
That’s probably because he topped his with not only salt and pepper but also Gibson’s own ‘secret number 6’ sauce, as well as all the butter and sour cream provided and all manner of hot sauce. We ate and we ate, but despite our careful planning, unfortunately we were once again just too full to try any of the desserts. Insert sad face emoji. We will have to go back again!
Engage your other senses and help others do so, too
Luckily, Gibson’s location means it’s perfectly positioned for a quick walk around the Waterfront – something we don’t often get to do, as locals. There was so much to see and taste, but there was also lots to hear, with various seabirds cawing, the background bass of street musicians and boats blowing their horns to bring home the fact that you’re eating at a large body of water.
I'm a 'burgers and shakes' kind of girl, but have never had them quite like they make them at the V&A Waterfront's Gibson's Gourmet Burgers and Ribs. Here's how the standard weekend treat has been upgraded to legendary levels...
And Gibson’s is on a mission to help others live the full experience, through the gift of sight. Tygerberg Hospital became the only state hospital in Southern Africa to offer lamellar corneal surgery to their patients on a sustainable basis in May 2018, and the donations from Slick Restaurant Group help make this a reality. You can make your own donations to the initiative on the Slick Restaurant Group website, or simply eat at Gibson’s where a voluntary R10 donation for lamellar corneal surgery is added on to the bill for the cause.
That rounds out the experience, and makes it a little more obvious why Gibson’s is a clear favourite with locals and tourists alike.
Make no mistake, these are quality burgers made with premium products – expect to pay around R150 per burger, and please believe me when I say the Freek shake is a meal of its own!
Get down to Gibson’s and see for yourself…
*Leigh Andrews was a guest of Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers & Ribs. Save some time by browsing Gibson’s website before you get there and be sure to follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.
Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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