After reading a lot of blogger coverage on Patty and Bun, I thought it was time to pay a visit myself and give a personal verdict. Touted as one of the hot, ‘must-try’ burger places in London right now (now seeing the new entry of Shake Shack which officially opened in Covent Garden last Friday) with queues that average at 30 minutes in off-peak hours, I was certainly expecting a special bite.
So we actually arrived at Patty and Bun around 5.45pm, mainly because I knew that queuing would be inevitable. Tucked down the end of James Street and not without passing the bustle of St. Christopher’s Place, Patty and Bun looked every inch a pop-up restaurant already packed with ravenous young adults; each one making their burger chomps worth every minute they’ve waited for that seat. From the outside, it is very easy to dismiss it as a regular fish and chip/ fast food stop, as it is very small and ‘temporary’ looking. But just look for the pillar box red sign amongst some curious diners hanging around (mostly trying to figure out whether you need to go inside to inform the waiter that you want to put a name down, or whether you should just join the queue immediately outside) and you should not miss it.
Just to clarify, if you just join the queue a waiter/waitress will come outside and take names from everyone in the line. There is also a menu outside for you to have a good browse at during your waiting time – which admittedly I completely ignored and probably wasted some of the staff’s time in their table turn-arounds when we finally got seated. I am not joking when I say literally 2 seconds after we were handed the menus at our table, the waiter asked if we were ready to order! I guess in such a busy and high turn-around environment, customers are expected to know what they want, eat (enjoy briefly) and get out. So if you’re in a big group of friends looking to dine somewhere for a big catch up – this perhaps isn’t the best place. But if you’re a big foodie like myself – team with another who equally appreciates hyped up good food and happily dine.
I opted for the Smokey Robinson burger: ‘beef patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, mounds of caramelised onions, bacon, ketchup, smokey P&B mayo, brioche’ and although it sounds just like any other bacon and cheese burger – I can honestly say this is the best bacon and cheese burger I have ever tasted. Perhaps it’s the crispy strips of bacon which really had that freshly chargrilled smokey taste. Perhaps it’s the gooey melted cheese merging into the sweet caramelised onions. Or maybe it’s the toasted brioche that sandwiches all of this together with a perfectly juicy, medium-rare beef patty. Oh and I forgot to mention the hand-cut chips seasoned with rosemary salt – just simple and awesome. I just wish I hadn’t already filled my stomach so much earlier that day with an incredible brunch at The Breakfast Club (review coming soon), so I could also try some other sides.’Winger Winger Chicken Dinner’ was definitely calling for me!
The great thing about this place is that they also do take-out, so if you are lucky enough to drop by James Street on a lunch break, I would definitely work my way through all 6 burgers on the menu. I think just from the name alone, ‘Lambshank Redemption’ burger already rewards Patty and Bun another visit from me sometime in the future.
Atmosphere: 4/5 – because of it’s location, not far from Oxford Street and surrounded by the bustle of other cafes and restaurants, combined with the whole burger hype in London – there is no doubt a great buzz about eating at this place. Although seating is very tight inside (only seats 30 people) and I did feel like I was in a typical Asian street cafe where sharing tables with strangers is the norm.
Service: 4/5 – we didn’t actually have to wait that long, considering the whole burger-hype thing. The waiters were efficient, payment wasn’t too slow and despite the super busyness, staff were nonetheless attentive and enthusiastic.
Food: 5/5 – Beef was juicy and thick, (maybe a bit crumbly if I was to be extremely critical) and all other parts of the burger were cooked and seasoned perfectly for my taste. Fries – wish I had more!
Price: 4/5 – reasonably priced, pretty much on par with any other burger chain like Byron or GBK – but these burgers are actually very good and not as dry as crisp 90% of the time. So in that sense, I guess its even better value for money. High quality produce at an affordable price.
But like I always say to my friends, don’t take my word for it – just go and try it!