Bubbledogs, 70 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QG
OK, let me just come out and say it. We didn’t like Bubbledogs.
We booked a table weeks and weeks ago, and had been excitedly anticipating the day of the booking. We didn’t fancy queuing for hours in the freezing cold, so as the minimum amount of people you need to book a table is six, we did just that.
Selecting a few random fellow Bubbledog virgins to join us, a mixed bunch. There was a food PR, fellow blogger, a film director and man with the best job in the world, a Google employee, we didn’t really get what his job entailed but we were jealous regardless.
For those that don’t know, Bubbledogs serves a weird old mix of hot dogs and champagne. Run by a husband and wife team, James Knappett, ex Ledbury, Marcus Wareing, Alyn Williams and Noma chef. Alongside Sandia Chang, who was most recently front of house at Roganic. Part inspired by Crif Dogs, a hot dog and cocktail restaurant in New York.
So we finally all met and squeezed onto our stools at our table. The champagne list was a total mystery but our friendly waiter helped us out. It didn’t go unnoticed that he selected one of the lower priced bottles. Still a fair whack though, we would never order a bottle of fizzy stuff over dinner. But when in Rome and all that.
I should mention that I’m really not that bothered about champagne, although I did quite enjoy this one, and liked the way the bubbles created a continuous little whirlpool in the centre of my glass. Something I’ve never really noticed before.
Ade and I both went for a Sloppy Joe bubbledogs chilli, onions, and cheese £7.50, mine without cheese of course. I was alarmed at how small they were, and how normal they looked. The bun was veering on the dry side, the mince lacked spice and was lukewarm. The sausage was, well, unremarkable.
We tried again with another dog (you need to have more than one as they’re so bloody small). I was equally unimpressed with my BLT bacon wrapped with caramelized lettuce and truffle mayo £8. Bacon woven around the sausage just made it tricky to eat, especially amongst almost strangers. The Breakie with fried egg, tomato relish and black pudding bits £7.50 looked more exciting, perhaps I should have gone for that. What we did really like however was the sides. The Sweet potato fries and Tots both £3.50 were warm crunchy perfection.
As we paid the bill and I reluctantly chucked £40 down the drain for my share, I felt like a fool. I looked over my shoulder at the curtained off area that contains the Kitchen Table, and wished we’d gone there instead. With head chef James Knappett cooking at a unique chef’s table for an intimate audience of just 19.
What did impress us, was receiving an email the next day from restaurant manager Sandia Chang. She’d seen my tweets from the night before and wanted to ask our feedback.
It’ll be interesting to see is if Bubbledogs still exists in two years time, especially as it’s at the dreary, and opposite end to where all the other restaurants are on Charlotte Street.
When the novelty wears off and the next trend hits, I wonder how much passing trade it’ll get. We still feel disappointed as we had high hopes, nothing at all wrong with the service, or food for that matter. It just didn’t live up to the hype.
Opening Times. Tuesday to Saturday 11:30-4 • 5:30-11.
Kitchen closes half an hour before closing time
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Nearest tube: Goodge Street