Patty and Bun have three locations in London- W1, Hackney and Liverpool St- and have garnered considerable acclaim, regularly cropping up in ‘London’s Best’ polls. They’ve been on ‘the list’ for a while, so we were fortunate to grab a table after a wait of only a few minutes. Apparently that puts us squarely in the jammy sod category, as queues are the norm (tiny premises, no reservations) and can be prodigious.
Two ‘Ari Golds’ (£7.50) arrived wrapped and were a messy, dribbling, oozing proposition. This of course is high praise- it’s a proper two-hander, something that demands some concentration to avoid a cuff-related calamity. The choice is slim: five in total, only three of which are beef, with an occasional special. if your choices are going to be limited, There’s nowhere to hide. And if your name is going to put your two main elements front and centre, you’d better ensure they are spankingly good.
Oh, but they are; a sunkissed brioche, light in texture but crucially remaining in one piece despite the wonderful messiness of its filling. There’ll be a revolt against this being the de rigeur bread of most upmarket burgers any time soon, but there will always be this example to fight the corner.
This is a patty of obvious quality, with the rich depth of flavour of really well-aged beef and cooked medium-rare to our preference. (If only this could become standard, this interest in what the customer wants from their meat…) Some salad, some ketchup, the house mayo. That’s all.
It’s with their sides that P&B show many of their competitors a turn of speed and leave the field struggling in their wake. A pair of confit chicken dishes are instantly memorable and startlingly good. ‘Winger Winger’ wings (£5.50) are sticky with barbecue sauce and are an instant success: but even they are surpassed by ‘Thunder’ chicken thighs, also £5.50, cooked on the bone confit-style (and what a rewarding style it is) and tart with tamarind, fiery with chilli, butter-soft flesh against the crunch of cucumber and peanuts. Our lips are still tingling when we are back on the Tube.
Chips (£2.75) are served skin-on, dusted with rosemary salt and are a hit, a very palpable hit. There are crunchy bits, there are scraps you jostle for.
It’s easy to sneer at ‘That London’ from the inverted snob comfort of a provincial bubble, and poke fun at anything modish in the fast-moving world of food. So yes, there is Brooklyn Summer Ale in cans and plenty of beards and tattoos. So far, so hip. There’s a Spotify playlist you can subscribe to. There’s even a food truck. But when you find true excellence, as with Hereford’s The Beefy Boys, you just have to applaud the attention to detail that brings such fine results. My sole criticism of what they do here? The lack of a CF postcode…
As they say in cycling circles: chapeau. Tweed flat cap optional.
Patty & Bun
22/23 Liverpool Street
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This blog is a very simple thing.
I won’t try to sell you any hand lotion, exercise programmes, coffee syrups or Patagonian nose flutes. You won’t find tips on dating, ‘wellness’ or yoga mats.
I write because I love it (and food, as indicated by my increasing girth). Greed happens to be my Deadly Sin of choice, but at least it is never shy of providing me with subject matter.
A simple thing, then: all you get is me wittering on semi-coherently about places I’ve eaten at; hence a ‘restaurant blog’ rather than a ‘food blog’, although there are a few recipes scattered throughout.
From mezze to Michelin ‘fine dining’ and all points in between.