2NO at Bedford & Strand

2NO, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

When the chips are down… Have a Kraken rum cocktail

We’d been looking forward to this burger pop-up/supper club ever since we were given the heads up a month or so ago. We weren’t disappointed, even though we had foolishly arranged to go to the Blue Boar Smokehouse for brunch the very same day, leaving just three hours to get hungry again.

We should have thought this through, as the size and quality of what was to come from the 2NO kitchen was immense! We really should have starved ourselves all day to fully appreciate what was being served without worrying about getting too full.
The event was held at Bedford & Strand and organised by Chris Todd (operations manager at The Diner group) and James Morgan, opening head chef of the Well and Bucket.
After being greeted by Chris, we were shown to our table where we were seated next to Ben Mulock, sous chef at the incredible Opera Tavern and his lovely girlfriend, Charlie. I only mention Ben’s presence because it was brilliant to be able to get the honest opinion of such an established and respected chef.
2NO, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

WLFIAWE loves 2NO too

The table was simply set with a personalised place mat with hand written messages for each guest, lovely touch. Plus a jar of Hoxton smoked bourbon pickles, a stack of eight casino chips (our drinks tokens for the night) and a huge pile of napkins… It all seemed like this could get messy!

An attentive waitress told us the drinks options, a Kraken rum and ginger beer cocktail, Hobo Craft Czech lager and Old Dominion Beach House Golden Pilsner. We stuck with the Kraken rum cocktails all evening, although there was no way we could get through eight of them, whoever did I suspect didn’t make it into work the next morning.

First up was the ‘surprise’ starter, a Buffalo wing kiev – a genius creation and my star performer! Torn chicken, hot buffalo sauce and blue cheese moulded into a tennis ball sized portion, coated and deep-fried. It was incredible, as Saff doesn’t eat cheese Ben and I shared her serving…

Next up, hitting the table in quick succession, was the Oxtail donut with black garlic mayo served in a ‘toothpaste tube’, chilli fries topped with an extremely creamy squirty cheese in a can and the main attraction – The London burger.

I was really looking forward to the savoury donuts, I love oxtail and I love donuts. But they didn’t quite live up to my preconception. The donut was maybe a little dry, but the oxtail was incredibly tender and rich (I dug mine out with a spoon). We loved the tube of black garlic mayo, the last time we had anything similar was at Tim Anderson‘s Citroen sponsored pop up event, Delicious by DS5 restaurant.

2NO, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

When the chips are down… Have a Kraken Rum cocktail. Just had a weird feeling of deja vu.

Saff worked her way through the chill cheese fries (sans cheese), declaring them the best she’s ever had. The chilli beef was pulled, not minced and the chips super crispy with a fine dousing of black pepper. The one and half buffalo wing kievs were beginning to take its toll, and I had to save what little space I had in reserve for the main event… The London burger (Rinkoff‘ horseradish poppy-seed bun, Hoxton Pickles smoked bourbon, dill pickle, Ginger Pig smoked streaky bacon, American cheese, The London patty, 2NO caramelised onions and lettuce slaw).

2NO, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

Now that’s what I call a burger!

It was a whopper, the patty alone was made from 45 day aged Hereford rump (Reading), Scotch Filet, Scotch Fore Rib and USDA Chuck. And it was cooked perfectly (Ben agreed), Chris mentioned that to make a ‘restaurant profit’ the burger would have to sell for over £30. Chris and James always come up with the goods and this smokin’ London Burger was no exception! Saff was a tad disappointed, stating the onions made the bottom slightly damp, and no one likes a soggy bottom…

2NO, We Love Food, It's All We Eat

Fancy a dip? Come on in the chocolate’s lovely

As if my belly wasn’t bursting enough there was still a dessert to come. Luckily it was a small yet perfectly formed thick, rich chocolate, served in an old school nostalgic Choc Dip pot. It even had the bonus of a splodge of caramel sauce at the bottom of the half that contained the little crispy bread sticks. While on the subject of retro sweets, does anyone other than me remember the strawberry flavoured Pink Panther bars that were around in the late 70s and early 80s? No one believes me that they existed.

Well that was that, a food coma inducing three-course burger meal with sides and eight drinks for an incredible £40. No wonder these 2NO events sell out so quickly! Keep an eye on Twitter for future burger nights… We know we’ll be going!

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