Why do I fall for it? I always get sucked into the hype! But this time I had received personal recommendations, on top of the usual ‘blah blah’ hype put upon me in the press…I feel tricked!
Patty & Bun has received no end of critical acclaim for its mildly alternative burgers using the best of British ‘wherever possible’ what does that mean? What are the criteria for this? All of the time or none of the time please!
So, on a mild Tuesday night I decided to attempt it. On the walk over I passed MEATliquor and was haunted by the last experience of waiting in line for an overhyped, underwhelming burger. ‘No, I thought, my trusted friends couldn’t be wrong! I must queue.’ Well…I hereby vow to NEVER do that again.
We queued for around 45/50 minutes having arrived at about 6:45pm, thankfully I’d had a snack before arriving or I would have been giving evils to the people in front, while they wondered who the hungry psycho was behind them…
The guy organizing the queue; taking names, making rough estimates on waiting times etc was fine. Perfectly polite and friendly.
When we finally got in, early noughties pop I thought had been banished to the ‘I cant believe you owned that cd’ music pile blared. I didn’t know if they were trying to be ironic or what the deal was. The first song was Craig David ‘Fill Me In.’ Now, I like a bit of retro prap (pop/crap, I just invented it now) but there’s a time and a place and this is not it.
We sat down, the menus had already been placed on the table and there was a choice of six burgers that all sounded really good. I went for the ‘Ari Gold’ for one it seemed like the signature burger and b) I’m a sucker for Entourage! It was beef patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickled onions, ketchup, smokey P&B mayo, brioche. Along with this I had the ‘rosemary’ fries. The reason I’m using air quotes as if rosemary isn’t a real thing is because I could see flecks of something dried and dark green occasionally appear on some of the chips, like a bit of dirt you want to brush away, however no taste of ‘rosemary’ appeared. Not once. Effectively they thought that ‘fries’ on its own wasn’t interesting enough. It is.
A dinner tray packed with our wrapped up burgers and fries in cups arrived. This is clearly a no frills sort of gaff and plates would be seen less as a necessity and more as work. This makes me livid. It is a sit down restaurant, not a fast food chain, table service not buying from a counter at a cart and the chronic amount of waste produced by this restaurant of unnecessary, unrecyclable waste is appalling. Shameful in fact.
The burger itself was in a greasy bun with oozing cheese, it looked appealing in a gluttonous sort of way, but just wasn’t good. There wasn’t enough bite to it, the sauce wasn’t satisfying at all and the shredded pickled onions tasted of nothing, merely a filler. The tomato tasted of nothing as did the beef. It didn’t taste like it had been seasoned and it is also served very pink. Fine by me, but they ought to let you know.
After finishing it took a while for our tray to be cleared, in the meantime the people next to us who had shared our table had left. The useless waitress who looked like she was wearing her hipster one night stand’s t-shirt, fished out of some pile on the floor and was very casually trying to pass of this walk/work of shame as actual clothing you would wear, started to spray/clean the table and push my elbows with the dirty rag. I was still sitting there! It was so unbelievably rude!!! She must have realised that it was a bit ridiculous as she looked up and said ‘Would you like some ice cream?’ Whilst still holding the spray and the rag, like some kind of strange afterthought. We declined. She hovered as I know she wanted me to ask for the bill, but I was still finishing my drink, was very full and seeing as I had waited for a substantial amount of time, I think I had earned my seat in this establishment.
Other waitresses/waiters approached our table no less than five times over the course of the next ten minutes and there were plenty of spare seats at this stage even though the queue was still long outside. After the third interruption I asked for the bill, with relief the brat went and fetched it. We were splitting it over two cards. She used that touch thing on my card I always forget I have, so I had no way of approving the amount charged and no receipt was given. After taking the payments with no thank you or anything, not even a nod, she walked off. So, no receipt, no thank you, nothing. We sat there for a further couple of minutes finishing drinks and packing our wallets away and were again approached twice. A way of avoiding this Mr Patty & Bun is to either make it explicitly clear that customers are to sit down/shut up/eat very quickly and get the hell out or 2) take reservations. No? Didn’t think so. The first would probably mean that your nazi style catering would have you shut down and the second would mean that your hype would no longer be there. The best advertising is the fact you have these mindless hoards outside (yup, me included). I think some people might have joined the queue not even knowing what it was for, we are English after all.
Overall, a pile of toss. Sorry to be so frank but I don’t really care.
Patty & Bun
54 James Street, london W1U 1HE
020 7487 3188