Talk dirty to me | Dirty Burger, 13 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 6LA
Bit of a blogger fail, but we still have a few London burger places to tick off our list. Dirty Burger was one of them, although they had three branches one in Vauxhall, Whitechapel and Kentish Town, they feel like the other end of the world to us. Luckily they have now come to Shoreditch with their fourth outpost, just a hop skip and a jump away from our Southbank office and slap bang in front of Shoreditch High Street station.
For those that don’t know, Dirty Burger is part of the Soho House group (for which we’ll become members once we’ve made our fortune). The new branch is right by Shoreditch House (we’ll get a card for there too) and is more of a hatch than a restaurant, seating just a handful of people and is more set up for take outs. Before 11 they serve a Sausage and egg or Bacon and egg burger, both just £4 with bottomless tea or coffee.
We visited on the second night of the soft launch as they were offering 50% off. A little part of us died as we stood queuing for food whilst hipster after hipster walked past looking at us as if we were in line for a food bank. Initially I had to resist the urge to abandon the long line and go to our beloved Dishoom just around the corner instead, but we had a box to tick and our stomachs were geared up for burgers.
It turns out queuing isn’t too bad when you have tonnes of emails to catch up on and a copy of Time Out to read, within half an hour we were inside. The decor was shack-chic, all corrugated iron and beaten up wood, a few stools for those lucky enough to sit in and eat, thank the lord we were one of those lucky few. Although it does mean that others waiting just gawp at your food.
Ade had a Dirty Bacon £7. a good quality patty, cooked medium rare topped with smoked bacon and oozing American cheese. My order was wrong, but I won’t hold that against them, it was manic and noisy and mistakes happen, this is why restaurants have soft launches. For some reason my Cheeseburger £6 without cheese came as just a lonely patty in a bun, no sauce, no lettuce, no nothing. This was swiftly sorted and I was handed the correct burger, I wished I’d asked to hang on to the previous burger to give to a homeless guy I’d spotted by the station, I hate good food (or any food) going in the bin. Vegetarians don’t worry, there’s a burger just for you too – the Dirty Cop-Out £5, a portobello mushroom-based burger.
Anyhow, the burger was great, not as rare as we like but still juicy and a decent size too. Crinkle cut fries £3.25 were nice and chunky with a good crunch. Onion fries £3.25 weren’t what we hoped, they were more of an onion ring nugget, not fries with an oniony seasoning as we imagined, we enjoyed them regardless.
The milkshakes are lovely and thick, although pretty pricey compared to how reasonable the burgers are. We shared a Strawberry milkshake £4.50, I did order a Chocolate one too but they didn’t hear me and it was too much effort to amend. The Dirty donuts £2 were all gone so we didn’t get to try them, although to be honest I don’t think I could have gotten anything else in my mouth.
What I remember most about Dirty Burger is how smiley and friendly the staff were considering the immense pressure they were under to feed the masses, and it’s service like that (along with the prices) that will encourage us to return one day. Who knows, one day we might even venture out to the Whitechapel branch where Chicken Shop is under the same (corrugated) roof.
13 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Telephone: 0207 749 4525
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 7.30am – 11pm
Saturday: 10am – 11pm
Sunday: 10am – 10pm
Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street (3 mins walk)