Burgers at Dirty Bones, Soho

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One night after work I met up with my friend Gaby in Soho. We were both in  the mood for comfort food and Gaby suggested Dirty Bones, which I hadn’t heard of before. Situated on the top floor in Kingly Court it was really popular, but we got there just in time to get one of the last tables. And the happy hour was still on – amazing!

We started with a cocktail each, called Top Dog, made with vodka, lemon, chambord and prosecco. It was really nice an fresh – not too sweet- and we both really enjoyed it.

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Having sorted the drinks out we decided on food; buffalo chicken wings to start and then a burger each. The chicken wings were very good and seriously spicy. I missed the classic blue cheese dip that is usually served alongside the wings, as it would have been nice with a cooling element.

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With mouths slightly on fire we moved on to the burgers. Gaby ordered the most insane burger ever created, The Mac Daddy with tender beef short rib and mac ‘n cheese. I tried both toppings and they were delicious, but I’m a bit conservative when it comes to burgers so not sure that one’s for me.

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Instead I had the safe option, a burger called The burger. It was what you expect a burger to be, and it was very nicely done! Only strange thing was the piped cheese, but it tasted great!

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It’s an understatement to say we were full after those burgers but we still decided to share a pudding. I mean who can resist cookies and cream; milk ice cream in the glass and a lovely chocolate cookie on the side. Nicely done and very yummy!

Dirty Bones, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London W1B 5PW

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Meat feast at Chop Shop

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It was thanks to Taste of London that I heard of Chop Shop in the first place. At the festival in June Caroline and I tried two dishes from Chop Shop and they were both really nice, so when a colleague suggested a meaty lunch (his favourite) it was the first place I suggested.

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I eat plenty of vegetarian meals when I cook for myself, so when I choose meat I want to make sure it’s of good quality. And it certainly was here at Chop Shop. Don’t let the type of food served here fool you; it’s all properly done from scratch.

To start our meal we had two starters to share, both typical fast food dishes but done very well. The sausage roll, with nothing in common with the ones sold in Greggs, was utterly delicious. The meat inside was very nicely seasoned and nice and soft, and the pastry was lovely too.

The chicken wings were some of the best I’ve had. The waitress told us the chilli sauce was very hot, so on her suggestion we had the barbecue sauce on them instead. Although delicious, I missed the heat that I associate with buffalo chicken wings. I guess I just have to come back and have the chilli sauce next time.

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For his main course Max had the burger (which I can’t wait to try next time), and he made purring sounds all the way through it, it was that good. Just look at it, it’s burger perfection.

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I had the hanger steak (so tender!), with rosemary fries and the most wonderful bearnaise sauce. Probably the best one I’ve ever had in a restaurant.

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I was so full after my steak I could barely muster the slow walk back to the office but Max still had room for pudding, and decided on this beast or a butterscotch pudding. It was also really nice, so top marks all round.

Chop Shop, 66 Haymarket, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4RF

Best burgers in town – Meatliquor

On Thursday Kristin and I met up in the insanely large queue outside probably the most popular restaurant in London right now; Meatliquor.

We were standing in the queue for a whole hour and a half before we finally were seated in the restaurant. It was even snowing as we were outside and we were so so cold, although as soon as we got into the restaurant we warmed up quickly.

The interior is rock chic with a modern painted ceiling as well as some Victorian decorations. It is dimly lit, with good music playing and the ambiance is very laid back.

Because of the large queue we expected the staff to be really on the ball to seat everyone and turn the tables around quickly, this was not the case however, we saw several empty tables before it was our turn to sit down. But as soon as we ordered the food the service improved.

Our cokes, served in the old style glass bottles and with an old jam jar as a glass, arrived instantly and short there after the fabulous chicken wings we shared as a starter. They were succulent and juicy with crispy skin and a nice spicy sauce, served with homemade blue cheese dressing. Yu-um!

Shortly after our burgers, fries and slaw arrived on a large tray. Kristin went for the green chilli burger and on close inspection we noticed there was a lot of crushed chilli in it. I chose a traditional bacon cheese burger and loved every bite.

The buns were soft and held together well, not like the dryish ones you get in some places. This was quite buttery as well, bioche style. The burger it self was lovely and rare in the middle and proper grilled on the outside adding a lot of flavour. It was seasoned well too. The bacon was nice and crisp and underneath the burger were large pieces of gherkins and dressed lettuce.

The fries (skinny ones) were ordinary, but still perfect because they were freshly cooked and very crispy. Also the slaw was nice, not too greasy, instead fresh and crunchy with carrots and white and red cabbage.

It is safe to say that we will come back, and I urge everyone to pay this place a visit. But try to go either at lunch time (they open at noon) or early or late evening.

Oh, I almost forgot. The price. We almost got a shock when we saw that the bill only came to £30 for the two of us; it felt like we had eaten more than that. But it was accurate. We’re certainly not complaining!

MEATliquor
74 Welbeck Street
London W1G 0BA

Gitto’s Damascus chicken wings

We went on holiday to Syria in March, before the country fell apart more or less, and felt very lucky that we got to visit before everything took a turn for the worst, but you also feel a bit guilty for it. We got to experience the lovely country and then just left and went back home, and didn’t have to deal with what came next.

It is terrible what is happening in the Middle East and I certainly don’t want to belittle all that. But. I did fall in love with the country and especially its food, and that is why I want to share this great recipe with you.

The most wonderful spice blend I got to taste in Syria was za’atar that is very popular all over the Middle East. It is a spice blend consisting of thyme and sesame seeds mainly, and as all other blends it can taste very different depending on the specific ratios. The one we tried and bought from a whole saler in Damascus was just fabulous and something I really treasure since we got back.

And when I saw that a Swedish food blogger had come up with chicken wings with za’atar I just couldn’t resist trying it.

It was very unusual, I bet you, just like me, think of chicken wings and chilli sauce, not za’atar. But this was new and fresh and together with a lovely feta dip this was a great weekday treat.

The original recipe is in Swedish only, so my translation follow below:

Damscus chicken wings, serves 2

400 g chicken wings

70 g or so of ciftlik paneer (or proper feta)

100 ml milk

a few mint leaves

100 ml za’atar

100 ml olive oil

vegetable oil for deep-frying

1/2 cucumber

Turn the oven on 75C. Split the chicken wings by the joint. Place in a colander. Pour a litre of boiling water over the wings and then place them on a wire rack with a baking tray underneath. Let them crisp up in the oven for 40 minutes.

Mix cheese and milk and add the mint. Mix za’atar and olive oil in a bowl. Cut the cucumber into batons. Deep-fry the chicken wings in 180C oil until nice and golden, for about 6-7 minutes. Fry in batches and place on kitchen towel. Mix the chicken wings with the za’atar mixture and dig in.

Bodean’s

A few Friday’s ago we celebrated our friend David’s birthday in one of his favourite restaurants – Bodean’s. Think proper American grub. They are known for their chicken wings and pulled pork.

We went to the Soho branch, and when I walked inside, escaping the pouring rain, I though the place looked a bit like a diner where you just have a quick bite to eat, not like a restaurant diner. But we were sat on the lower ground floor which was decorated with leather sofas, wooden tables and booths. Much cosier than on the ground floor!

To celebrate the birthday boy we started off with shots for everyone and cocktails or beer to follow.

Carribean daiquiri
Sierra Nevada porter

For some reason we felt greedy and ordered both starter and mains, which we normally do, but this was not the general place. This was an American diner, which meant huuuuge portions.

Chris started off with half a dozen hot chicken wings. And boy were they hot! Funny thing was that next to him David sat with the even hotter diavolo wings with a side of diavolo sauce!

I had the pulled pork quesadilla as a starter and it was massive. Very nice though, and not far off my at-home-version of pulled pork.

Although I didn’t finish it all, I was still incredibly full, so full I only managed a few bites from my lovely burger, sob.

I totally killed it with chilli cheese fries as well, that was a dish in itself, but very good!

I highly recommend Bodean’s, especially while hangover. Just stay well clear of the mac ‘n cheese, it tasted like it came out of a packet. The rest was very good, but sent you in food coma straight away. 🙂

Sorry about the blurry photos but it was dark and I used my iPhone.