The Ari Gold has a reputation for being ‘a three napkin burger’ but it’s not till you open the wrapper that you realise how deliciously filthy it is.
If you walk down James Street on an evening, before too long your path will be blocked by a mass of people. Don’t worry, you haven’t stumbled upon the auditions for some ghastly reality TV talent show, it’s just the way things are at Patty & Bun. It’s kind of popular.
If this sounds familiar, you’ve wandered into London’s burger triangle. It’s pretty convenient really (if you like that kind of thing). 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 Marylebone.
Patty & Bun only found a permanent home in October and has quickly developed a massive following. We arrived at 7pm on a cold Tuesday evening and found that the queue already extended right 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. They annoy me almost as much as queueing (see what I did there?) Anyway, we waited for the best part of an hour before getting in and it’s fair to expect to have to do the same.
When we eventually got in, we were 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. As you’d expect for a dining room as compact as P&B’s, there’s a very intimate, vibrant buzz inside. I was also pleased that the music wasn’t too loud – so we didn’t have to do any shouting (yes – there’s me showing my age again).
We ordered an Ari Gold (aged patty, cheese, pickled onions, tomato, lettuce, ketchup and P&B smokey mayo) and a Jose Jose (basically the same but with the addition of chilli chorizo relish). The Ari Gold has a reputation for being ‘a three napkin burger’ but it’s not till you open the wrapper that you realise how deliciously filthy it is. It’s not just the juice from the burger either. The melted cheese and all the other toppings join forces to create maximum ooze. Suffice to say that P&B is the exactly the kind of place you should avoid on a first date. Although getting gunged up together could be a good ice-breaker.
The lightly glazed brioche bun somehow managed to hold together. It was springy and slightly sweet – in many ways, the perfect burger bun. The patties themselves had decent bite and were cooked perfectly medium rare. I was wondering if the flavour of the beef would be lost in amongst all the toppings but it actually came through really well.
The star side was undoubtedly confit BBQ wings – I’ve never eaten anything quite like them. The slow cooking meant that they had 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 but these were sensational nevertheless.
Patty & Bun’s burgers are up there with some of the best in town and I’ll definitely be back for more. I don’t fancy any more hour long waits though so next time I”ll try to arrive before the rush.
Some people seem to be upset by the current popularity of burgers but they should remember that the area around Bond St. was home to mainly generic tourist trap restaurants before the invasion of the flippers. Perhaps pimped up junk food is just a passing fad – who knows. One thing’s for sure though, when it’s this good, I’m happy to eat my fair share for as long as it lasts.
Meal for two with two beers and sides – £36.60 + service.
Address: 54 James St, London, W1U 1EU
Phone: 0207487 3188