Burger joints in London seem to be popping up like nobody's business this year, and for what looks to be a fad food most places are providing good stuff, so maybe designer burgers are going to be sticking around for a while. But while it remains fresh on the scene, it looks as though massive queues will continue to come along with the dining experience.
S had been dying to go to Patty and Bun for a couple of weeks, so I finally met up with him, M & B for dinner. I got there early at 7.50 pm for our designated 8 o'clock meeting time, but the rest had reached even earlier to stake our place in line. S had given his name to the lady wielding the clip board, and we were given an estimated seating time of around 8.15 pm, so we decided to pop around the corner for a quick pint and catch up first.
When 8.15 rolled around we made our way back, only to be told that the table they had for us was still being occupied. They'd finished eating a while back, but sat there and continued chatting, completely oblivious to the rest of us standing out in the cold. We were let in to the standing bar area for drinks first, but it still seemed fairly awkward with the four of us standing there staring at the table silently willing them to go. By the time they did it was 8.40 pm. The staff were quite terrific and kept coming over to apologize for not being able to kick them out, and they let us place our orders at the bar, so the food arrived quickly enough after we were seated.
Like most of the new gourmet burger places, the look here is minimalist industrial. The menu itself is also very simple, with just 6 burgers, a couple of add-ons and four kinds of sides (There are a couple of desserts too). We got some sides to share: the chips with rosemary salt (Which were more wedge-like than anything else) and the 'Winger Winger Chicken Dinner' - smoked confit wings with BBQ sauce and spring onions. The chips were a bit limp, but the wings were quite delightful, the meat falling-off-the-bones soft. Everyone licked their fingers clean after.
A word of caution: the burgers are small. I'd been pre-warned by JL, who seems to have been to every burger joint in town, so I'd already eaten my first dinner in preparation. I ordered the Ari Gold, a patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled onion, ketchup and smoky P&B mayo combo lodged between their light brioche. I had mine topped up with a serving of bacon. As you can see, Patty & Bun keep true to their word on sourcing fresh and tasty ingredients. No sign of limp vegetables here. The pickled onions were luridly pink and added a nice hint of acidity to offset rather sweet mayo.
Given that the place is called Patty & Bun, let me now turn my attention on to the foundations of a good burger. The patty itself is cooked medium rare and taste-wise wasn't overpowered by the bacon and cheese slathered on top. The texture was also good, the outer layer of meat giving way to a silky, chewy middle. And with everything held together by an ultra-soft brioche, well. It was a pretty good burger.
54 James St London W1U 1HE http://www.pattyandbun.co.uk