The Restaurant: Patty & Bun, 54 James Street, London W1U 1EU
The Hungry Ones:
Gemma and Katie ordered: Smokey Robinson burgers (beef patty, cheese, tomato, caramelised onion, bacon, ketchup, smoky P&B mayo, brioche), coleslaw, chips with rosemary salt, red stripe beer and sauvignon blanc.
Patty and Bun opened their first restaurant in Marylebone a year ago and has already become the stuff of London burger legends. Despite having had their burgers from stands at various street food events, I had yet to visit the restaurant. I had two failed attempts earlier in the year when the queue was so enormous that my hunger forced me to go elsewhere. Such is the popularity of these burgers that queueing is always a major concern, hence why we planned our visit for 6pm on a Tuesday – and walked right in. It has everything you would expect from a central london no-reservations burger bar: stripped down decor, communal tables, food eaten from paper, buckets of cutlery etc. etc. It had a really pleasant atmosphere and my only real bugbear was the wine served in a tumbler. I know this is the cool thing to do these days, but sometimes I just yearn for a proper wine glass. Anyway, I can easily overlook this due to the magnificent quality of the food. The burger had all of my favourite things: slightly sweet brioche, crispy bacon and a seasoned patty cooked medium rare. It had a pile of soft caramelised onions and some good tangy cheese, but I just would have wanted my smokey robinson to have a touch more smoke – just a few notches up on the chipotle, perhaps. The chips were among the best I have had in London recently and the slaw perfectly creamy. This restaurant has had a lot of hype and it is all to be believed, thoroughly excellent burgers and, at £34 for two burgers, two sides and two alcoholic drinks, a total bargain.
A note on the photography: I was only able to take a picture of our newly-arrived order before my iPhone died. I wish I had better photographs of the burgers as they looked quite spectacular. If you’d rather not take my word for it, go to the Patty & Bun website for the ultimate burger gallery.