18 February 2013

The Burger Bulletin: Patty & Bun

You wouldn't think that we were currently undergoing a crise de bœuf in the UK. When I walked past Meat Liquor at around 5.15 on Saturday the queue was already about 30-people strong. Just around the corner at Patty & Bun, the latest challenger to the hotly contested best-London-burger throne, there were maybe 15 people in line when I arrived. Luckily, the very friendly host assured me it wouldn't be too long a wait. As it was so early, I wasn't really hungry yet, anyway, and within about 20 minutes I was perched happily at a table inside.

Patty & Bun, James Street

Patty & Bun only has room for 30 covers and its size, combined with some very positive buzz, means there is probably always at least some form of queue. Unlike at Meat Liquor, there is no shelter while you are queuing—Patty & Bun is on James Street, between Selfridges and St Christopher's Place—but Meat Liquor's above-car-park location isn't really the height of glamour either. Pro-tip, though: as most of the tables are for twosomes, you're likely to spend a lot longer in line if you're waiting for a table for four.

The menu is: what burger would you like? They do a veggie option, which contains all of my least favourite vegetables; there are probably better places to take the vegetarian in your life, though. I ordered the Smokey Robinson burger, a bacon-cheeseburger with caramelised onions and smokey mayo (£8.50). I wasn't that hungry but felt I should try the rosemary-salted chips, so I ordered a portion of those as well. The burger was really great. I wasn't asked how I wanted it cooked and I was too busy trying to explain that I wanted my lettuce and tomato on the side to the less than helpful waitress, so I forgot to ask for it medium rare. Happily, it came medium rare-ish anyway. The meat was really flavoursome and the smokey mayo contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the brioche bun. The chips were OK, but nothing special. At £2.50 for a one-person portion, they were reasonably priced.

Great burgers, and a peanut butter choc ice too. What more could a girl want?

I was far too full for pudding but I can never resist desserts that involve both chocolate and peanut butter, so I couldn't turn down the peanut butter choc ice, which was £2.95 and just about the right size for someone who didn't think she could manage a pudding. The peanut butter ice cream, courtesy of The Ice Cream Union, who are based in my 'hood, was delicious, and having a choc ice made for a nice trip down memory lane.

Overall, Patty & Bun is a great little place. Over-hyped, perhaps, but no more so than many of the other new burger joints in the city. Yes, it's a pain to have to queue, but it's so rare to find a restaurant where you can book these days, and the turn-over is pretty quick. The only negative was the poor service I received from my waitress. It may have been a language thing—English wasn't her first language—but she was fairly brusque and completely uninterested in being friendly, until of course, it was time to pay. All of the other staff members, especially the host/maître d'/whatever you want to call that, were lovely, and it certainly didn't ruin a fun meal.

Patty & Bun. 54 James Street, London, W1U 1HE (Tube: Bond Street). Website. Twitter.

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