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Bubbledogs


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#1 marcusjames

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:42 AM

So, was in the Smoke earlier today, just happened to be in the Charlotte St area at lunch time and, quite by chance, managed to be one of the first through the door as Bubbledogs opened for business.

Nice, small space, probably between 35-40 covers. It's mostly high wooden tables of four which are communal; you're told on arrival you may have some 'new friends' joining you very soon so if you're of an anti-social disposition this is definitely not the restaurant for you. I was soon joined by a couple of young gents keen to sample the fayre. Overall it's very much in the NY / Russell Norman / Polpo school; there's more stripped wood, a lovely copper lined bar and, of course, those old-school, dim-lit light bulbs with the naked coil who seem to be breeding throughout the London restaurant scene like rabbits!

Menu-wise they weren't kidding about the champagne, with the exception of a few cocktails and some well-sourced beers and ciders it's all about the bubbles (the clue was in the title after all!), six or seven of which are available by the glass and seem to be quite keenly priced, ranging from £6-9.50. Bottles are mostly £35-60ish.

Turning to the dogs, well, they're very traditional and similar in size to their NY cousins, so you really need two to fill you up, but considering they're mostly a very reasonable £6-7.50, I guess that's the idea anyway. I knocked in the Buffalo dog with spicy sauce, celery and blue cheese, followed by the BLT, which is a bacon wrapped creation with caramlised lettuce and truffle mayo. The latter won by quite some distance and was very tasty indeed. My 'new friends' enjoyed their dogs, though added a note of concern that the equivalent at Meat Liquor (which is just around the corner) comes twice as big and is loads more dramatic (their words) in terms of the toppings - all for the same price. I'm not sure they'll really tread on each others toes though.

Staff were polite, friendly and exceptionally well drilled. Special mention too for the toilets where I can only assume James and Sandia have pooled their menu collection from previous posts and travels to create a scanned, wallpaper collage. It makes for brilliant reading, perhaps a little too good as I can envisage a queue forming with foodie patrons reluctant to vacate the unisex cubicles!

So, def worth a look. No doubt the anticipation will be amplified when the Kitchen Table comes on line from mid-September. Actually, it will be interesting to see if the critics flock to Bubbledogs now or wait for the fine dining. Only time will tell...

#2 Matthew Grant

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:59 AM

I'm just trying to get my head around a champagne that is supposed to match blue cheese, celery and spicy sauce, that seems very gimmicky, i wonder whether the name came first?
"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

#3 olicollett

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 11:44 AM

It's bonkers but I'm looking forward to trying it out!!!

#4 david goodfellow

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:28 PM

Three blogs up already, including this one by Critical Couple with nice pics.

I hope to try it out at the weekend if the queues are not too long.

http://www.thecritic...-food-blog.html

#5 RDB

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 04:59 AM

I am astounded. What a concept hot dogs and champagne, who would have thought. What about Dandelion and Burdock and Quiche Lorraine as concept?

WHo is this Sandia that all these bloggers are drooling over anyway?

Anyway the only thing more ridiculous and funny are the attempts of the bloggers to try and write about something that can be explained in one sentence, "It sells hot dogs and champagne". The use of language is astounding and often so sychophantic it is somewhat surreal (see The Critical Couple link above).

Or I give you this section from another blog, honestly please look away if you are easily offended

"I settled for a few. Breakkie (£7.5), featuring a bacon-wrapped sausage (pork, for me), black pudding crumble, tomato relish and a sunny-side-up fried egg, captured the sensual comfort of a traditional English breakfast. The gooey protein-rich yolk burst juice and fused nicely with the sweet relish. Together it enhanced the moreish-ness of the gently spiced black pudding bits. The pork sausage snapped wonderfully and claimed quite an intensity for a not-so-large sausage. The care was observed in the lightly toasted bun – just like when I have a toastie with my breakfast. Highly recommended. Buffalo (£7.5) was a deconstruction of deep fried buffalo wings with a typical American cheesy dip. Here my sausage (pork, again) was deep fried, lubricated with spicy buffalo sauce and slipped into a toasted bun. The topping was a melange of finely sliced, pickled celery stalks, celery leaves and blue cheese flakes. The taste of stinky, salty refreshment hit first, which was complimented well by the texture contrast of silky cheese and crunchy celery. The sausage was again well cooked and was not lost among the strongly-flavoured construction. There was a feisty aftertaste of permeating vinegary heat. I wonder if the sauce would have tasted more powerful if smeared closer to the topping".

Rayner you can rest easy your job is safe!!

#6 marcusjames

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 08:53 AM

Sandia used to work at Roganic RDB, which many members of this board have sampled since it launched 18 months or so ago.

I don't quite know what you'd pair with a hot dog, but the champagne element does work. Most of all, I don't think even they intend for it to be over-analysed to this degree. It's just a bit of well thought out, aspirational fun at the end of the day.

#7 Matthew Grant

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 09:07 AM

I appreciate that its meant to be a fun concept and I love champagne and hot dogs, I'm just not sure I'd want them at the same time.
"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

#8 Tim6

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 09:52 AM

So have a Coke or a cocktail like I did.

#9 Matthew Grant

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 02:21 AM

What a fantastic idea, why didn't I think of that? Also goes someway towards my argument that champagne with hotdogs as a concept is nothing more than a gimmick
"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

#10 PSmith

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 03:10 AM

Or I give you this section from another blog, honestly please look away if you are easily offended

"I settled for a few. Breakkie (£7.5), featuring a bacon-wrapped sausage (pork, for me), black pudding crumble, tomato relish and a sunny-side-up fried egg, captured the sensual comfort of a traditional English breakfast. The gooey protein-rich yolk burst juice and fused nicely with the sweet relish. Together it enhanced the moreish-ness of the gently spiced black pudding bits. The pork sausage snapped wonderfully and claimed quite an intensity for a not-so-large sausage. The care was observed in the lightly toasted bun – just like when I have a toastie with my breakfast. Highly recommended. Buffalo (£7.5) was a deconstruction of deep fried buffalo wings with a typical American cheesy dip. Here my sausage (pork, again) was deep fried, lubricated with spicy buffalo sauce and slipped into a toasted bun. The topping was a melange of finely sliced, pickled celery stalks, celery leaves and blue cheese flakes. The taste of stinky, salty refreshment hit first, which was complimented well by the texture contrast of silky cheese and crunchy celery. The sausage was again well cooked and was not lost among the strongly-flavoured construction. There was a feisty aftertaste of permeating vinegary heat. I wonder if the sauce would have tasted more powerful if smeared closer to the topping".

Rayner you can rest easy your job is safe!!


:laugh: ROFL - although I do fancy having my sausage lubricated with a spicy sauce. :rolleyes:

Think that particular blogger ate a thesaurus rather than a hot dog.

Not my cup of tea I am afraid. Hot dogs are cheap convenience food best bought from the van on the side of the road and served with fried onions and a third of the price.

Whatever next – someone will be putting “melts” on the menu and punting it out as the latest must have in designer cuisine.
.

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#11 Matthew Grant

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 03:26 AM

....or sliders..

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

#12 MarkAli

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:41 AM

give the guys a try before dismissing it as a gimmick!!! I have been and it is good maybe it is not everyones cup of tea so to speak, but it is better to hold judgement until you have been,

#13 Matthew Grant

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:49 AM

I intend to, the dogs sound good and the chamoagne list is good and reasonable but still I pose the question, if it isn't a gimmick what champagne do you pair with bluee cheese and spicy saue, or how about pickled Jalapenos?
"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

#14 PSmith

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:50 AM

give the guys a try before dismissing it as a gimmick!!! I have been and it is good maybe it is not everyones cup of tea so to speak, but it is better to hold judgement until you have been,


Yeah - you are right. I might give it a go in six months or so.

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#15 MarkAli

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:21 AM

champagne is probably the most versatile wine when it comes to food matching, even though therew probably a champagne theat does pair perfectly with blue cheese or jalepenos
there entry level champagen at £6.50 a glass Gaston Chiquet is very good and rounded for the price point

#16 david goodfellow

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:20 AM

champagne is probably the most versatile wine when it comes to food matching, even though therew probably a champagne theat does pair perfectly with blue cheese or jalepenos
there entry level champagen at £6.50 a glass Gaston Chiquet is very good and rounded for the price point


We tried the Gaston Chiquet with a selection of dawgs and found it fine. I'm the first to admit to being not at all into wine but this did not jar at all we were ok with it. I did move on to a craft beer which had great depth of flavour and was very enjoyable.

The hot dogs are very good just as you would expect from James Knappett.

I had a sneak peek and a drool over the "inner sanctum" Chefs Table and yes it is fookin awesome :biggrin: Can't wait for that one.

#17 Gareth

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:21 AM

I appreciate that its meant to be a fun concept and I love champagne and hot dogs, I'm just not sure I'd want them at the same time.


Went to Bubbledogs a couple of evenings ago. Enjoyed the hotdogs (though they were smaller than I expected, definitely 3 between two as a minimum really). Enjoyed the champagne (and the Scottish lager that was offered). Loved the cartoons that decorate the walls (and the menu wallpaper downstairs). Pleasant staff, lively vibe and walked out for under £30 for two. Can’t complain.

And yet…this is London so what would – and should – be a simply fun place to drop by for an hour or so, becomes trendy and jammed. Grrr. So, a nice addition if you could simply walk in off the street, but you’d be mad to queue for it, especially with so much else in the neighbourhood.

Not the owners fault at all – good luck to them.

Oh, and there was one more thing. I think I am about 20 years older than their average diner. Which means that I was probably the only one there who, for the whole time, just couldn’t get out of my head the immortal words of Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling:

“Yes, well, ah, the idea for the Frog and Peach came to me in the bath. A great number of things come to me in the bath, mainly sort of mosquitoes and adders, but in this case a rather stupendous idea. I suddenly thought, as I was scrubbing my back with a loofah, I thought, "Where can a young couple, who are having an evening out, not too much money, and they want to have a decent meal, you know, a decent frog and a nice bit of peach, where can they go and get it?" And answer came there none. And so I had this idea of starting a restaurant specializing in these frogs legs and, er, peaches, and on this premise I built this restaurant.”



#18 offcentre

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:45 AM

heehee...I like that Gareth

#19 olicollett

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:37 PM

Well I went this evening and had a great time. It might be worth remembering that it tends to be quieter in that part of town at weekends, tonight there wasn't much of a queue even at 8pm.

Looking forward to returning for the &

#20 PSmith

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:20 PM

Looks like the delightful Grace Dent is not too impressed with not being able to get into Bubbledogs.

See last but one paragraph of her article

http://www.standard....er-8181921.html

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#21 olicollett

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:15 PM

Looks like the delightful Grace Dent is not too impressed with not being able to get into Bubbledogs.

See last but one paragraph of her article

http://www.standard....er-8181921.html


Odd. Doesn't tally with my experience of the service there for sure!

The queues have been absolutley bonkers. Last night we had a booking at the kitchen table and it was rather wet, but the queue was still massive at about 7.45!

Kitchen table was ace, I will add further words/pics this weekend..

#22 Jon Tseng

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:29 AM


Looks like the delightful Grace Dent is not too impressed with not being able to get into Bubbledogs.

See last but one paragraph of her article

http://www.standard....er-8181921.html


Odd. Doesn't tally with my experience of the service there for sure!

The queues have been absolutley bonkers. Last night we had a booking at the kitchen table and it was rather wet, but the queue was still massive at about 7.45!

Kitchen table was ace, I will add further words/pics this weekend..

Kitchen table sounds like it will be a laugh, but one thing that bothers me. If covers are so small and booking so impossible that you can't really get a table, should we really consider KT to be a restaurant or just a rather snazzy supper club?

I guess the same logic would apply to Fat Duck, French L, El Bulli RIP too. Maybe Momofuku Ko is a better analogy. But in my brain I don't even think of BD KT as restaurant at all because I immediately write it off as so hard to get in I shouldn't bother.

Hmmm...

J
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#23 MaLO

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 10:45 AM

They have had KT places for the last few nights through twitter – today included. I notice that lunch is no longer available on the website and dinner is two services not three (I think three sittings were advertised previously). I was hoping to go for lunch. I will give dinner a try sometime unless lunch is doable in the future when things bed in.
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#24 olicollett

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:55 AM



Looks like the delightful Grace Dent is not too impressed with not being able to get into Bubbledogs.

See last but one paragraph of her article

http://www.standard....er-8181921.html


Odd. Doesn't tally with my experience of the service there for sure!

The queues have been absolutley bonkers. Last night we had a booking at the kitchen table and it was rather wet, but the queue was still massive at about 7.45!

Kitchen table was ace, I will add further words/pics this weekend..

Kitchen table sounds like it will be a laugh, but one thing that bothers me. If covers are so small and booking so impossible that you can't really get a table, should we really consider KT to be a restaurant or just a rather snazzy supper club?

I guess the same logic would apply to Fat Duck, French L, El Bulli RIP too. Maybe Momofuku Ko is a better analogy. But in my brain I don't even think of BD KT as restaurant at all because I immediately write it off as so hard to get in I shouldn't bother.

Hmmm...

J


There's 19 spots so it's not THAT small, but given the price vs. some of the other high end places in London I expect it will soon become v difficult. I think they said it was getting busy for the weekends now but weeknights should be OK.

#25 IanT

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

An excellent first meal at Kitchen Table last night.  Highlights were the chicken skin with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam, venison with collard greens and wild garlic, and a run of very accomplished fruit desserts highlighting some impressive technique.  Service was spot on, atmosphere was great, the room is very attractive in a gleaming chef's toy kind of way.

 

The success of Bubbledogs and the press coverage of the hot dogs and champagne concept has probably led to a lower profile for the Kitchen Table.  It's certainly one of the best restaurants to open in London in recent years and,  in my view, a step ahead of its near-neighboour and press-darling Dabbous.



#26 Gaston

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

The chicken skin with mascarpone, jam and bacon is one of the worst things I have eaten in any restaurants with ambition. That people in this thread and elsewhere considers this one of the most important openings in London the last few years says a lot about both the openings and the eaters.

#27 PSmith

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:28 AM

Love it Gaston.

 

Admit that I haven't been to Bubbledogs and not likely to as I am not a fan of places that are "in".  Even reading "chicken skin" on a menu would have me gagging as it is one of the things that I cannot bring myself to eat.  I can eat pork scratchings and crackling, but any other skin, including fish (but excluding whitebait), has me reaching for the bucket. 


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#28 Putty Man

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 12:04 PM

That people in this thread and elsewhere considers this one of the most important openings in London the last few years says a lot about both the openings and the eaters.

 

Indeed it does. In fact it tells us that merely doing something well is not only insufficient to get oneself noticed and hence generate the necessary trade, but also arguably detrimental. The UK restaurant scene is driven by novelty and gimmickry. Novelty is great since it goes out of its way to avoid comparison. Consequently, it often serves as a mask for mediocrity. Gimmickry is the food-writer's 'readymade'. Foie gras parfait is hard to write about, but if disguised as mandarin it becomes an unstoppable meme.



#29 formula400

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

smashing place this is, there are endless burger places popping up in london and they are different, james and sandia have a cool place to eat and a serious place (kitchen table) out back, the hot dogs make the money and kitchen table does the proper food, have a read about james knappet and sandia chang (they have worked for noma, ramsey, wearing, williams, keller)


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