Bubbledogs? an unusual name for... well anything !
People were raving about it I wanted to know more.
It turns out to be a restaurant serving hot dogs and champagne, really ?
I'm not a lover of hot dogs, if I fancy fast food which I often do it's generally a burger but never ever a hot dog.
It's always had a bad reputation, true or urban myth word on the street has always been they only contain around 30% meat the rest being inedible bits of animals and rusk, they look so unappetising too. Orange sausages standing bolt upright in jars of briney water sat the supermarket shelf, Yuk.
So a trending eatery or not this was was an easy one for me to pass or was it ?
A couple of weeks ago whilst driving home from work I was listening a radio 4 food programme, the subject was "rethinking the hot dog" presented by Tom Parker Bowles.
Radio was cranked up, I found it a fascinating piece. You can listen to it Here.
After listening to the programme my interest was high. Who would have thought a proper hot dog was so far removed from what I knew. During the podcast you can hear Tom biting in and describing eating one of the Gourmet dogs at Bubbledogs, it just sounded so good, this sealed the deal.
Bubbledogs was now on the hit list during our trip to London.
We had a reservation at the Electrolux cube on The Saturday evening so a dog and glass of Champers seemed the perfect Saturday lunch, not too much as to spoil our appetite but enough to stave off the hunger.
The brainchild of Husband and wife team James Knappett and Sandia Chang. between them both they hold an impressive CV in the industry, working at some of the most exiting restaurants in the world. James Knappett Chef and co-owner was head chef for Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, and Sous-chef at the Ledbury not to mention Per Se New york and Copenhagen's Noma... Yes the very same Noma that served live ants to diners at Claridges! whilst Sandie Chang was sommelier at Roganic.
But Bubbledogs is not all it seems! whilst the front of house has a very rustic wine bar look and feel to it, with its bare brick and exposed metal pipe work, there is a secret fine dining twist at the back. Hidden behind heavy leather curtains is a 19 seater fine dining restaurant called Kitchen Table, this is essentially a chefs table where James gets to show diners what he's made of serving up a tasting menu.
Sandia Chang said Bubbledogs was part inspired by a hot dog joint in new York's east village called Crif Dogs. A quick Google search of Crif Dogs revealed it has a secret speakeasy cocktail lounge attached called Please Don't Tell this is accessed by a fake phone booth in Crif Dogs, here you pick up the receiver which alerts the bar tender who checks you out on his monitor and will buzz you in if there's a seat.
You can see the similarity here at Bubbledogs with it's secret fine dining restaurant attached and bookings often offered over Twitter. And what a fantastic place this turned out too be !
Thank god I gave the hot dog another chance.
There are no reservations taken here unless you have a party of six or over so queueing is inevitable but I have to say we only waited about 30 Min's for a table to become available. The only draw back for me are there are no seats for two so you are forced to share your table with two others but it is a very small place so it's totally understandable they wouldn't waste space by setting up smaller tables.
The Champagne served here are grower Champagnes. Made in the Champagne region by small producers from hand working farmers tending to their own vines. This is a great opportunity to try some of the independent Champagnes out there as the big Champagne houses dominate the market and it's the same big names we tend to see on the supermarket shelf or wine merchants.
On to the food, as I mentioned earlier we had a reservation that evening so we thought we would just get one dog each but we couldn't resist a side order of tots and sweet potato fries ! and of course the obligatory glass of bubbly. The Idea is that the Fizz cuts through the fat ..... yup that worked for me.
The Dog Producers
Gloucestershire based food hero and King of Charcuterie (Native Breeds) Charles Waddington and his wife Ruth are the people chosen by Knappett to produce their gourmet dogs, they are no strangers to supplying well know chefs their produce. Jaime Oliver with ham and salami, and a string of Michelin starred chefs are supplied with their smoked goose and pastrami.
The quality of the dog is of course down to the breed of animal and the cuts used not to forget the lengthy process of producing them, spicing is a big part of the alchemy.
Knappett has commissioned a bespoke secret recipe so their dogs are unique to Bubbledogs.
And last but not least lets not forget about the humble bun the dog is served in, just as much thought has gone into this, steamed and slightly burnished and soft and chewy it's the perfect bun.
In short if you want to taste your very own you'll just have to pay them a visit!
The menu offers Pork or Beef dogs with a choice of thirteen different toppings starting at £6 - £8 sides from £2.50 - £3.
A glass of Champers starts at £ 6 - £11.50.
For the none Champagne lovers there is beer available and I witnessed a couple of cocktails being mixed up at the bar.
We both chose a pork dog, for me a sloppy Joe with toppings of chili,onions and cheese. Rach had the fourth of July with toppings of bacon wrapped with smokey BBQ sauce and coleslaw. The tots where crunchy outside with perfect soft potato inside and the Sweet potato fries where to die for and vry addictive.
Along with the bill your presented with a comments book to sign.
The secret Kitchen Table
Stay Connected With Free Updates!
To get every new Eat Slurp Burp post delivered to your inbox