Monday, 21 January 2013

Patty & Bun, Soho

@pattyandbunjoe started selling his tasty burgers at the Doodle Bar in Battersea. I never made it over there but people raved about them. Next he moved to the Endurance in Soho, an old fashioned boozer just off Berwick street. This is where I first tried Joe's Ari Gold and Smokey Robinson burgers, in amongst a rowdy crowd of locals and a handful of excited diners sitting in the corner. The burger was great, and the fan base kept growing. Less than 6 months later, the inevitable Patty&Bun restaurant has opened in Soho and I went there last week to check it out. There were at least 50 people waiting outside in the 4 degree January evening air when I got there but fortunately my burger pals had been waiting for 40 mins already and asked for a table for 7, so I didn't have to wait long. A head nod to the friendly staff who gave the queue regular updates and well, hope

The P&B menu offers three beef patty burgers. The 'Ari Gold' is P&B's classic cheeseburger with smokey mayo. The Smokey Robinson is their bacon cheeseburger again with smokey mayo. But today I want to tell you about my favourite new chilli burger to be found in burger obsessed London, the 'Jose Jose' Chilli cheeseburger, hopefully named after the multi platinum Mexican singer who I just googled. 
Ordering a chilli burger always adds trepidation for a chilli fan and underlying chilli wuss like me. I love hot chilli, but not to the point that I start to sweat and I feel like I'm being poisoned. "Are you crying?!" No it's the chilli. "Riiiight". 
So I was pleased to find that the 'Jose Jose' is of a medium heat. The balance is spot on and allows the flavours of the more subtle ingredients to have their say. Who wants to overpower the taste of that perfectly seasoned, medium rare, 35-day aged, Aberdeen Angus beef patty, or the tang of the smokey mayo or pickled onions? P&B add finely sliced red chilli to the patty, and there's some finely sliced green chilli on top of the well melted cheese. Thrown in for good measure is the salty smokey flavour of the chorizo relish. This burger is beautifully balanced and must have taken a lot of effort to get to this point, P&B's burgers have evolved beautifully. I loved the Jose Jose and its easily my favourite of the three beefy options available. 
These burgers are seriously juicy and drippy, but I found their tasty glazed brioche buns hold up to the task especially well. No soggy fallapartyness issues at all. 
As for the other food stuffs on the card, the "Winger Winger Chicken Dinner Smoked Confit wings with BBQ sauce" are the best wings I can remember eating, you can suck them right off the bone they are so tender. Hugely recommended. The Chips with rosemary salt are pretty good too (not as good as Honest Burgers though), but portion sizes varied. The 'slaw was average, rather wet and lacking in crunch.
Now my memory might be letting me down here, but i don't think the menu prices include VAT. If so, why get all American about this and add a 20% surprise at the end of the meal? Its not like P&B are struggling to get people in based on the door prices - folks were queuing down the street, and it was cold as hell out there!
P&B is a fine soho burger joint and has made it to my top ten in London. They do everything well: the burgers are excellent, the sides are good, the staff are nice, the venue is cosy and fun, the service is fast. And if you can't face the queue they also do takeaway.

9.5/10
Patty and Bun
54 James St, W1U 1HE
Tel: 0207 487 3188
Patty and Bun on Urbanspoon

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