Thursday, 21 August 2014

Patty & Bun, James Street, London

You've probably noticed by now that I am quite the fan of burgers - my blog is spotted with reviews and mentions of beefy patties, sweetly caramelised onions and generous portions of fries. In fact one of my first posts was all about my favourite burger venue, 7Bone in Southampton.

It's odd, really, because I'm not a big meat-eater. I'll nearly always choose the veggie option. But there's something I just can't resist about a succulent burger (veggie, chicken or delicious beef, I'm not picky), all the toppings and a tasty bun, with sides to boot. It's indulgent, allows for plenty of flavour, and fairly low-key. A meal you can enjoy with friends, family and your other half, on any occasion.

Which is why, after plenty of research, I deemed Patty & Bun the perfect pre-theatre dinner destination a few weeks ago, during a weekend in London town.

All dressed up after a morning lazing around in Hyde Park, I left the hotel and turned to Google Maps to take me to a little gem recommended by the lovely Rosie Londoner - who seriously knows her burgers. Needless to say, if Rosie loved it, I had very high expectations, and was delighted when I found it, tucked away at the end of the street; unassuming and very, very....well, cool.

Arriving at 5.30pm on a Saturday afternoon meant that the evening rush hadn't quite started, and I was seated within fifteen minutes of asking for a table, which I was pretty pleased with. This was something I'd been really worried about - London is notorious for it's foodie hot-spots, and  with so many restaurants declining reservation requests, you never know if the meal you've been planning for weeks will actually go ahead. It seemed we had arrived at the perfect time, and I settled myself down to peruse the menu.

The room itself was...well...tiny. Unfortunately I wasn't brave enough to take photos of the room, which would have potentially made the other diners uncomfortable; I didn't feel the restaurant was big enough to snap away unnoticed! Creatively decorated with burger-themed cartoons and basic walls, it had that 'I woke up like this' vibe; as if a lot of effort had been put into making it seem like it had been decorated in under 24 hours. It was not what I expected, but it was comfortable, welcoming and relaxing.  There was, however, a definite fast-food vibe - this wasn't the sort of restaurant you would hang about at for hours, gazing into your date's eyes, reminiscing with friends or planning your evening - this was a 'get in, eat your burger and head out for your next destination' kind of place. Perfect for that particular evening, but perhaps not somewhere to go for a long, drawn out meal with friends.

Anyway, let's cut to the best bit; the food, of course. As with any great burger joint, there wasn't a huge amount of choice; but this could only mean one thing - that the effort was put into the taste, and not the range. I ordered the 'Ari Gold' cheeseburger, chips with rosemary salt, coleslaw and a simple lemonade. Everything on the menu sounded delicious, but you can't go wrong with a simple cheeseburger.

The food came very quickly - this was seriously fast food - and presented in a suitable fashion too; expertly wrapped up in paper. The coleslaw and rosemary chips came in polystyrene bowls. I liked the burger presentation but I wasn't so sure about the polystyrene - it was quirky, but I almost felt like the food seemed less appetising that way. Perhaps I'm just being picky, though.

The moment of truth arrived; unwrapping my burger. As I peeled back the paper, strings of hot American cheese clung to the sides, oozing and stretching invitingly. It was a good size too; not too small, but not too big. It smelt great too. First impressions we very, very positive.

It tasted very good too; I particularly enjoyed the tang of pickled onions, which made a great change to the usual caramelised or fried onions you tend to find in similar burger joints. I could tell that the food was incredibly fresh, and the bun was lovely and soft. The meat was good; tasty, moist and moreish, and well cooked (medium for me).

Eating the burger was a messy business; this isn't really somewhere you go if you want to seem delicate and sophisticated. It's also probably not the ideal place for a first date, unless you don't mind your suitor watching you devour a burger with cheese and sauce smeared around your greedy mouth - which will happen when the burger is as good as this. I was told that I ate mine with such gusto that I received disapproving looks from the poised ladies next to our table; I'm not a messy eater...but I couldn't help it. This was the sort of place where ketchup down your chin is a compliment.

The fries, I'll have to admit, were a little disappointing. While they were tasty, the rosemary salt just didn't come through. The coleslaw, however, was a different story. It was some of the best coleslaw I've had. Patty & Bun added a hint of mind into the mix. This gave it a surprising and delicious twist, and I just wish I had ordered two portions.

With the burger finished and the last of the sides devoured, I sat back to relax and take a moment. The table was cleared quickly - but then, with just paper and polystyrene to deal with, this wasn't a mammoth task. I left feeling happy, full and satisfied. 

My only regret upon leaving was that I hadn't ordered any chicken wings, which I remembered were highly recommended just too late. Watching the ladies at the next table tucking into them was torture, and I will definitely be treating myself to a portion when I return. I was told with good authority that the 'Smokey Robinson' burger was very good, and I'm tempted to go for the Portobello 'Dig It' Mushroom burger next time as a veggie alternative.

So, after weeks of anticipation, what is my ultimate verdict? It was good; the burger was fresh, tasty, moreish and sufficiently cheesy. The coleslaw was wonderful, but the fries left a little to be desired - I would have liked to taste the rosemary more, and a slightly bigger portion too. Price-wise, it was standard for a popular burger venue in London. The service was good, though it wasn't as it's busiest, and the atmosphere was very welcoming and chilled. I personally like my restaurants to be a place to relax and stay a while after eating,  so I wouldn't choose Patty & Bun for a leisurely lunch or dinner. It was perfect, however, for what I wanted that evening; a quick but delicious bite to eat before an event.

I'd love to return, especially to try those chicken wings, and I'd definitely recommend going it you're a burger-lover and like your quirky restaurants and excellent fast food. 

Just make sure you order the coleslaw; and don't forget a napkin to wipe the sauce from your chin.

Have you been to Patty & Bun before? What's your favourite burger joint?


  1. These look really delicious! I've never been to Patty & Bun but I keep hearing about it so feeling I should soon ;)

    Bridget @

  2. Hello! :) I nominated you for the Liebster Award the other day (sorry it has taken me so long to say so!)
    I have posted it on :) x