Forget diets and detoxes, Londoners are cheerfully indulging in the latest culinary trend of gourmet fast food -- and Bubbledogs, a new restaurant serving hotdogs and Champagne, is the latest place to find it.
The trend started in 2010 with food truck vendors
like Lucky Chip and the MeatWagon which both sell gourmet burgers.
But when the trucks set up permanent offerings around town -- MeatWagon opened MeatLiquor in Marylebone last November and MeatMarket in Covent Garden earlier this year -- restaurateurs also began to catch
on. Chef Mark Hix serves steak sandwiches and chicken and chips at his new East
London haunt Tramshed; exclusive
media hangout Soho House recently launched the Dirty Burger, where cheeseburgers are
wrapped in branded greaseproof paper; and crispy buttermilk fried chicken is
showing up on menus all over town from hipster hangout Shrimpy’s in King’s Cross to soon-to-open Wishbone in Brixton.
which opened last week, the owners -- husband-and-wife team James Knappet and
Sandia Chang – have impressive credentials. Knappet was head chef at the Michelin-starred
Marcus Wareing and has worked at the Ledbury and
Gordon Ramsay in
London, as well as Noma in Copenhagen, which was recently named the World’s Best Restaurant for the second year in a row by Restaurant magazine. Chang joins from pop
up restaurant Roganic and
has also worked at Marcus Wareing.
Inspired by Crif Dogs, a hotdog joint and cocktail bar in New York’s East Village, Bubbledogs
in London’s Fitzrovia neighbourhood is a tiny but buzzing space. Benches, stools
and high tables give it the relaxed feel of a bar, and playful extras like
bubble-shaped lights and witty cartoon dog artwork keep it casual and fun.
On the menu are 10 takes on the humble hotdog –
and none are ordinary. The Jose is topped with salsa, avocado, sour cream and jalapenos;
the Trishna Dog has mint mango chutney and coriander; the BLT is bacon-wrapped
sausage; and the Korean-inspired K-Dawg is served with kimchi and red bean
paste. Each dish includes a pork, beef or vegetarian sausage, a warm homemade
bread bun and simple but well-executed sides including coleslaw, potato tots or
sweet potato fries. If you prefer something plain, you can order a Naked Dog.
The list of Champagnes and sparkling wines –
many from lesser known producers – adds a touch of sophistication, with
imaginative descriptions like “Fresh Fruit Bowl” or a “Touch of Spice”, making
it easy for even novice Champagne drinkers to order.
Malika Dalamal is the
London Localite for BBC Travel