If you walk down James Street on an evening, before too long your path will be blocked by a hungry hoard. Fear not, it just means you’ve stumbled upon Patty & Bun.
It’s pretty convenient really. Three of London’s most talked about burger places; Meat Liquor, Tommi’s Burger Joint and Patty & Bun are situated just a stone’s throw from one another, between Bond Street Station and Wigmore Street. Prior to this “burger invasion”, this area was home to mainly generic restaurants, aimed at tourists, so I say, “long live Burgertown.”
Patty & Bun only found a permanent home in October and has quickly developed quite a following. Prior to this, they’d made a number of acclaimed cameo appearances, popping up at places like The Doodle Bar in Battersea and The Endurance on Berwick Street.
We arrived at 7:15 on a cold Tuesday evening, by which time the queue already extended out across the pavement. Don’t worry though, this isn’t going to be one of those annoying blog posts that just complains about queues! We did wait for the best part of an hour, but this was what we expected. P&B only seats thirty, so realistically, demand is always going to outstrip supply. If you don’t want to queue, remember, there are plenty of other options elsewhere in town!
Once we got in and were seated, we were made to feel really welcome by our waitress (Ely) who was friendly and attentive throughout. We were also delighted that the most annoying person in the world (who through bizarre coincidence happened to be behind us in the queue) was seated a decent distance away from us! As you’d expect for a dining room as compact as P&B’s, there’s a very intimate, vibrant feel. I was also pleased to that the music wasn’t too loud – so we didn’t have to do any shouting.
We ordered an Ari Gold cheeseburger and a Jose Jose chilli burger. I’ve never seen Entourage but I’m reliably informed that Ari Gold is a ruthless, loudmouthed Hollywood Agent. Ari’s namesake has plenty to say for itself too and is far from your ordinary, run of the mill cheeseburger. It consists of a beef patty, topped with cheese, pickled onions, tomato, lettuce, ketchup and their special P&B smokey mayo. The Jose Jose is basically the same, but with the addition of some chilli chorizo relish.
I’d read that the Ari Gold is a “three napkin burger” and this certainly proved to be the case. As soon as you open up the wrapper, you can see exactly how juicy it is. It’s not just the juice from the burger either. The melted cheese, ketchup and smokey mayo also help ensure that P&B is the exactly the kind of place that you might want to avoid on a first date. Despite this, the lightly glazed brioche bun did an admirable job of holding together. It was also springy and slightly sweet, in many ways, the perfect burger bun.
The patties themselves had fantastic bite and were cooked perfectly medium rare. You might expect the flavour of the beef to be somewhat lost in amongst all the toppings but I actually found that it came through really well. The Jose Jose had an extra hint of spice and tanginess, but the two burgers are very much of a muchness. If I went back, I’d be tempted to try the chicken burger, which sounds fantastic too.
The star side was undoubtedly the confit BBQ wings, I’ve never eaten anything quite like them. The slow cooking means that they have a fantastic, crispy crust and wonderfully soft meat that just falls away from the bone. If these had been confit Buffalo wings, I’d have literally been in food heaven. Unfortunately, I found the BBQ glaze to be a little too sweet. Nevertheless, there’s no getting away from the fact that they are sensational.
If it was a little warmer outside, we might have fancied an Ice Cream Union choc ice, but summer it was not! Instead, we headed home to raid the pantry, handily freeing up a table for some of the people still waiting patiently outside. I’ll definitely pay Patty & Bun another visit but next time, I’ll try to get there earlier in the evening.
Some people seem to be upset by the fact that there are so many popular burger joints around at the moment. Others complain that burgers have got “boring” and say that they are “over them.” Surely burgers have never been less boring?! Perhaps this is just a passing fad, but I’m happy to eat my fair share of “pimped-up junk food” while it lasts.
Meal for two with two beers – £36.60 + tip.