When Gee Ozgen announced his plans for a burger venture in Concord in 2017, almost everyone, ourselves included, was expecting a permanent Mister Gee site. But that’s not Ozgen’s style. “We really want this to be different from what we do on the truck,” says Ozgen. “We still have the same values, in keeping a simple menu and doing simple not over-the-top burgers, but it's more experimental. This whole project is more about being creative.”
The menu features four stripped-back burgers, Korean-style fried chicken tenders and flavoured lemonades. Besides the absence of milkshakes, none of that sounds like a particularly radical departure from what Ozgen was doing on the food truck, although he adds: “We’re going to be doing our own hot dogs, sandwiches, everything and anything. We want to be more outside the box.”
One idea Ozgen has is for a New York-style sub with devilled eggs and sujuk (a spicy Turkish beef sausage), another is for non-traditional bao buns. “We’ve also got a soft serve machine we haven’t even touched yet.”
Until then, it's all about the four burgers. The most popular so far is the No Mustard Please, a minimalist cheeseburger with a juicy dry-aged patty, American cheese, caramelised onion, tangy sauce and a toasted and slightly sweetened St. Malo milk bun. For something truer to Ozgen’s experimental side, try the fried chicken burger with kaya (a Southeast Asian coconut jam), pickles and American cheese.
There’s not much space to eat them in the actual restaurant, the all-white tiles and neon-lit takeaway joint is just a few stools and a front bar looking out onto the street. “Everyone said to me, ‘why don't you just expand the burger truck like every other burger joint?’ I just feel like the truck is one of a kind. I want to preserve that charm,” says Ozgen.
55 Majors Bay Road, Concord
Wed to Sun 5.30pm–10pm