Ed’s Easy Diner, Bluewater, Kent

Genuine 1940s Seeburg jukebox... Just 20p a song and all the money goes to the Demelza charity. Although we didn't hear any of the songs requested, oh well.

After wandering around Bluewater, for what seemed hours, trying to find a gift for my Nan’s Birthday I began to get ‘hangry’. And Saff knows when the hunger/anger strikes she needs to get me to food… and fast!

We were a mere 50 metres or so from the neon signs of Ed’s Easy Diner. I love neon (blame Las Vegas), I love American style diners (blame New York) and I love malt shakes (blame Ed’s Diner). We’ve been to quite a few diners/burger eateries in our time, from the brilliant, grungy MEATiquor to the very, very bad 8 Ball on the A12. Well, decor and attitude wise Ed’s Easy Diner is the polar opposite to Scott and Yianni’s success story. If there was an American style diner ‘scale’ then the Fangtasia-esque MEATliquor would be at one end and the squeaky clean Ed’s would be at the other (think Arnold’s From Happy Days!).

We didn’t really have a lot of time to eat and that is the beauty of Ed’s, customer turnaround is speedy, but without feeling rushed. The table next to our’s was cleaned, set and seated twice before we’d finished, and we eat quickly!

The malt shakes are gooood

Before we even looked at the menu we knew that we wanted a malt shake (£4.05). Mixed and served in a metal jug they are thick, creamy and addictive. They are worth the visit alone, I had a peanut malt – heaven! In fact Saff has been known to go to Ed’s just for a malt, especially when stressed with shopping at Bluewater. The peanut malt is even better mixed with a chocolate shake, instant liquid Snickers… Ed’s also serve up a couple of Alco-shakes (£4.95), maybe next time…

There's a patty in there somewhere...

That's slick, dog!

The burgers are all cooked medium to medium-well but the 5oz West Country beef patties are said to be juicy enough to take that amount of grilling. Ed’s recommend that you don’t ask for well done – but then again who would? Saff ordered The Original, a classic burger topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, dill pickle, Mayo and mild American mustard £5.75. She wasn’t very impressed, it didn’t taste of beef, or of anything really, and the bun was dry and obviously not the homemade ones we’re used to. Plus one corner was burnt quite severely. She normally has a dog, which is a hell of a lot better.

I would have gone for the Smokey Joe’s, £6.25 with cheese and BBQ sauce but opted for the Slick Dog, £6.25 instead. Made with 100% ground beef, this firm and meaty hotdog is served with BBQ and cheese sauces and sprinkled with bacon bits. That’s sliced bacon, not the pretend little crunchy ones that we’d eat as kids for a ‘special meal out’ to the Harvester, don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean.

Chips 'n dips... Atomic fries, enough to share

We recommend the Atomic Fries to share (£4.45). These are cracking chips served with little dipping pots of jalapeño jelly, sour cream, hot chilli, cheese sauce and guacamole. Saff said she wished she’d just had these and a malt. The onion rings were coated in breadcrumbs rather than battered (see our review of Kerbisher & Malt for some proper rings!) and tasted fine. But only fine. I was surprised to see on the menu that the fries are low in fat, they don’t taste like they are.

Brownie points for Saff...

... and a sweet slice of cheesecake for Ade.

For dessert Saff went for Brownie Points £4.15 a massive chunk of light chocolate brownie with premium vanilla ice-cream and dribbled with Hershey’s chocolate sauce. Despite hating Hershey’s and being unimpressed with the description of ‘premium ice-cream’, it wasn’t bad. I went for the Say Cheese also £4.15, a sweet tasting slow baked New York style cheesecake, again, served with ice-cream and a shot glass of delicious yet slightly sour berry compote.

Service was spot on though, our waiter wasn’t in your face the whole time but was there when you needed him, he looked mortified when a child nearby opened her ketchup and somehow a huge blob landed on my head, of course Saff found this hilarious. For just under £35, for a main, side, shake and dessert each, it was good value for money. But call us snobs, since we discovered the delights of MEATliquor, The Diner and such, we expect a lot from a burger, but will return for a malt and Atomic Fries.

For the full menu and prices click here
Click here for your nearest Ed’s diner.
Ed’s Bluewater: Upper Thames Walk
Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent DA9 9ST
Mon-Thur: 11.00am – 9.30pm
Fri: 11.00am – 10.00pm
Saturday: 9.30am – 10.00pm
Sunday: 11.00am – 6.00pm