The burgers at Patty & Bun are total dudes. If burgers could walk, these would swagger. They would be wearing a leather jacket. They would be effortlessly achingly cool.
By Helena Berthon
The burgers at Patty & Bun are total dudes. If burgers could walk, these would swagger. They would be wearing a leather jacket. They would be effortlessly achingly cool. Right now in London, burgers are ubiquitous – street food trucks, pop-ups, totally trendy but dark and cramped joints; they are all trying to achieve the ultimate burger, the heights of burgerdom, the best thing between bread since…you know…a sandwich. Everyone trying to compete however they can – the provenance of their carefully caressed and matured meat, the exact structure and crumb of their bun, the jazzy condiments, yada yada yada. Who knew that so much thought could go into a single bovine entity that, frankly, is gone in about 5 minutes.
Saying that, I am very very happy that so much love and care has been put into the burgers at Patty & Bun. The anticipation that built up from waiting outside in the cold, catching the occasional waft of a burger’s charred crust, and gawping ravenously through the windows at the defenceless diners, made the final arrival of food even more exciting. It got so bad that, at one point, I was almost hallucinatory with greed and was convinced that the nice queue-controller was emanating the scent of burger juice.
My ‘Smokey Robinson’ burger was held together by a golden, glossy brioche hat and a bottom layer saturated to a sodden squish by the robustly savoury burger juices. A crisp shell of lettuce and a sweet slice of tomato added colour and texture, the bronze-tinged mayo was crazy good, all smoky and sloppy and with a tendency to infiltrate the tiniest crevices of your face. Midway through the burger scoffing, I ended up with mayo on my eyebrow. Note to self: stop eating like an animal. The cheese was melty and gooey. The caramelised onions were heaped in a generous mound of sticky luscious strands; my favourite addition. I do love a caramelised onion. I didn’t think that the bacon particularly stood out – I sort of forgot it was there as I was merrily chowing down, but then again, if it hadn’t been there maybe I would have missed it. The patty itself was a carnivore’s delight – a good chunky grind, a rightful crust concealing a brilliantly pink and succulent centre that, with every bite, struggled to contain its flow of richly-flavoured juices. Do not be alarmed if the juice makes it down to your elbows – you can always trust a good friend to catch the stream with a well-positioned open mouth.
On to the rest. The skin on chips were a perfect rustle, wonderfully crisp and a hop and a skip away from the norm by the addition of rosemary salt. Scrummy. And OH GOD, the chicken wings. I mean…nom…wowsers…nom…sssh, I’m eating… It was a reverential experience. Hands down, the best chicken wings I’ve ever had. Barely had you brought the wings to your lips before the tender chunks fell off effortlessly into your mouth. They were coated in a rich deep barbecue sauce that clung stickily to the wings, sweet and tangy, and dangerously moreish. The spring onions passed me by as I ploughed my way through, but they must have been there for something. Garnish? Colour? An attempt at one of your five-a-day? Decorative rather than tasty.
For a totally hip, no bookings restaurant, it was surprisingly comfortable and un-cramped – no one was being elbowed, no one had a stray bum cheek resting on their lap, the music was fun and not too loud (at the risk of sounding like a granny) and the service was great. It’s very speedy and definitely not a place to linger, mainly to avoid the death stares from the queue as you take a millisecond too long to put on your coat. All I can say is, GO, GO, GO, GO, GO! And get the chicken wings. That is all.
Patty and Bun
0207 487 3188
54 James St London W1U 1HE
Helena is a huge foodie making the most of the explosive gastronomic scene in London, England. She has had her own food blog, http://hellyfillsherbelly.com, for almost two years in which she combines recipes and food styling, with witty and engaging stories. At the moment, she's working all hours in the world of food television, which although hard work, is the perfect opportunity to taste some top notch food. She loves eating, restaurants and cooking, and can't imagine a life that doesn't revolve around food.