I HAD only vaguely heard of the American YouTube star MrBeast but knew enough about his success to be surprised that he was not only opening a sort-of-restaurant but had chosen to do so here in Swindon, of all places.

His videos often popped up on the homepage as I browsed through YouTube, with thumbnails featuring the same facial expression – eyes wide, mouth agape – and titles promising an intriguing mixture of generous philanthropy and eccentric excess (I Uber’d People and Let Them Keep The Car,, I Adopted Every Dog In A Dog Shelter, etc.)

In this same vein, he opened a ‘virtual’ restaurant in 2020 which sells branded meals through existing businesses to provide them with an extra source of revenue. It’s done well enough to expand overseas, with The Village Hotel chain making some room in their kitchens for the Beasty boy’s venture.

Orders can be made online through https://mrbeastburger.uk/order-now/#/where or UberEats, with collection and delivery options available.

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I needed a late lunch but everything was sold out by 3.30pm, so the next morning I pre-ordered a £6.99 Beast-style burger before it re-opened at midday. My choice included beef patties, American cheese, pickles, white onion, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. Extra veg, sauces and bacon can be added for a few pence each.

I almost went for the straightforward, no-nonsense (boring?) beef-and-cheese-and-that’s-it option of the Chandler-Style Burger (also £6.99), the Karl’s Deluxe (£6.49) with caramelised onions and cheese on a toasted upside-down bun intrigued me, and I wondered whether the Chris Style (£7.99) fillings - which include chips in the actual burger - would work.

Crispy or Nashville-hot chicken sandwiches (both £6.99) and crinkle-cut or loaded (cheese, caramelised onions, pickles, mayo, ketchup, mustard) fries are available, too.

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I parked up at Shaw Ridge but couldn't see MrBeast Burger signs outside the hotel. Inside, a big arrow pointed down the corridor, I wandered in that direction and poked my head into the restaurant to mention my order before being told to walk further along towards a pick-up point.

Paper signs showed I was now in the right place and the food arrived promptly with a smile from the cheerful staff. A notice said Mr Beast orders could only be eaten on the outdoor seating and it was a rather chilly day, so I took the brightly-coloured bag back home.

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I arrived at my kitchen table while the burger was still warm and the first bite was promising, as it did not cause the whole thing to immediately collapse. Burger buns can often become so loaded with the greasy contents they’re squeezing together that they become soggy, flimsy and disgusting slivers of fatty cardboard, not only tasting horrible but causing the structure of the stacked sandwich to disintegrate and cause a heck of a mess.

This burger’s bun is a good example of how they should be - soft, lightly toasted, sturdy and seasoned with seeds that don’t get stuck in your teeth.

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The meat was well-cooked, the mustard was mild and did not overpower the other ingredients, the assorted veg worked well together and, as always, the American cheese tasted nothing like actual cheese but had its own familiar charms.

It’s a decent burger. Nothing to write home about (unless you need to cobble together 600 words for a review), but I didn’t regret ordering it and would probably pop back over to the Village Hotel again for another one.

This YouTuber knows his stuff.

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