Waiters are whizzing around and clearing tables faster than the speed of light. Dirty beats are playing from a laptop propped up on the bar (Find Patty & Bun playlist here). And I’m sipping on a sweet Appletons and Ginger Beer, longing – and I mean longing – it’ll be our turn to eat next.
Patty and Bun has become the Mecca for burger fans. And it’s one I hadn’t ticked off my burger to-do list until this week.
So tables are treated like gold dust here. Which means, sitting at the bar and feeling your mouth water as you watch other people tear into these tasty beef parcels is commonplace. But it’s also kinda part of the fun – or experience – shall I say.
‘This is the coolest place you’ve ever taken me to,’ BC says. (I’m not offended I do take him to cool places – a lot). But I think that’s his official nod of approval. And he’s right this place is very cool, without even really trying to be.
Old crates act as shelves for bottles of Red Stripe, cans of Longhorn IPA and soft drinks such as Ting (LOVE).
The decor couldn’t get more minimal – plain white walls with chipboard behind your seat and wooden tables and benches. And the lighting is low, very low.
Due to its teeny tiny size, it’s also an up close-and-personal-kinda-place that offers, how do I say, a modest amount of personal space. So take your coat off and hang it up before you even think about sitting down. Then breathe in as you try not to dip your sleeve into someone’s table of burger goo as you take a seat. Highly confidential discussions are also a no no.
Jokes aside, you kind of stop caring about the sardine feeling because you’re here for those burgers.
Plus you can listen in on other peoples’ conversations. Which kinda goes something like this:
– ‘Ooh my seat’s still warm. That must have been a quick turn around.’
– What are you going to have?
– Order is placed
– Have you been to [insert name of other major burger restaurant in London]
– Discussion of said major burger restaurant
– [Silence] as they eat one of the most amazing burgers ever made
– Revisit discussion of said major burger restaurant and how Patty & Bun fares in comparison
But before we get to those burgers, lets turn to another fast food staple. Because never did I expect to be eating such amazing chicken thighs (thunder thighs as they’re known here) at Patty & Bun.
Oh my. Yes, we went all out and got confit thighs. Hugged in a sticky tamarind glaze and with a crunchy peanut and cucumber sauce, I felt like I’d gone to heaven and back. It felt so gluttonous but so bloody good. BC laughed as my eyes widened with culinary ecstasy. It was just delicious.
You get three in a pot. So we had one each, and then I very nobly left the last one for the boy.
Then it was burger time.
We ordered the ‘ARI GOLD’ cheeseburger – their signature patty, named whimsically after the dude off Entourage.
I was so excited, I forgot to take an up-close picture of its lovely counterparts. But holy cow (sorry) – it was oh so pink in the middle, crunchy from the fresh lettuce, tomato and pickled onions; and full of gooey goodness from the P&B Mayo, ketchup and of course melted cheese (which there is a perfect amount of).
The shiny brioche bread is also not too sweet which I like, and it has a pillowy soft texture that melts in the mouth.
We also ordered the ‘Hot Chic’ chicken burger.
I haven’t had many (or any) buttermilk chicken burgers before and the flavour was immense – quite unique in fact. It was very rich, and the garlic aioli definitely lingered for some time afterwards (beware) but it really was splendid. Two very big thumbs up, guys.
In between burger heaven, we dipped our rosemary salted chips into a roast chicken mayo with chicken skin salt. Wowzers, again this was a novelty – a bit like roast chicken flavoured crisps but with a mightier, richer, kick of flavour.
We then sat back and had the same discussion as our neighbours. Our conclusion? P&B manage to find a nice balance between overbearing greasiness and flavoursome patties. Their brioche is spot on. And while I did find myself wanting a bit more of that flame-grilled flavour, the overall package is really impressive. And you get really reasonable prices here too (burgers between £7.50-£8.50). It’s well worth the slight food coma I experienced afterwards.
There are now two branches of Patty & Bun – one on James Street (where we are) and another one which recently opened on Liverpool Street. Hopefully that’ll ease up the pressure on this popular place. Then again, by the looks of the queue snaking out the door as we left, I’m not so sure.
Until next time x
Big thank you to Patty & Bun for hosting us in their restaurant. All views are my own. Have you been to P&B and if so, what did you think? Please leave your comments and thoughts below.
Patty and Bun, 54 James Street, London, W1U 1HE
Nearest tube: Bond Street