It was a Tuesday night. We were out, in a restaurant. Suddenly, everything slowed down as if to grind to a halt, the ambient noise around me gradually lowered in tone as it stretched into slow-mo and I looked up to assess the situation. My hands were shiny and dripping with grease, with bits meat and sauce pebble-dashed all over them, as if a baby with a mouthful of burger had just violently sneezed in my direction. Where the hell was my knife and fork? I was holding something which probably used to be a burger but now looked like a savoury smoothie, in my hands. I grimaced and as I did, my face felt weird, like it was cracking. I used the one clean inch of skin on the back of my hand to investigate my cheek and, to my horror, I realised that a large majority of the same meaty liquid which I now wore as sauce gloves was also all over my face. As well as a shred of chicken wing. It was like the worst face mask ever. In a blind panic, I grabbed a load of napkins which proceeded to stick to every finger so that I now looked like I had tissue trees instead of hands. This was all getting a bit out of control. I looked down to see my lap full of rosemary chip shards. My mouth felt dry. I went to pick up my drink, but couldn’t, due to the 12-ply tissue-paws I had going on. Was it getting really hot in here? My hair fell in front of my face …and stuck to it. I tried to blow it out of the way whilst wildly wielding my napkin hands around, desperately trying to get myself in some kind of order. I looked across to see Tom taking it all in, probably wondering what the hell kind of life decisions he’d made to land himself here. Dining with an animal.
Welcome to Patty & Bun. Where table manners -and morals -go out the window. This place is mad. London has had this continual debate over the best burger in the city – and I thought I’d found it at another sloppy burger joint which will go unnamed, but Tom insisted that Pee and Bee would beat it …and it did. If these burgers were political parties and I had one vote, Patty & Bun would get my cross in its box.
Good God, what a political party they’d be.
Anyway. Frank talk, now. If you want an incredible burger, this place is the one. However, if you’re going on a first date and you awkwardly suggest a ‘casual burger and chips’ as your meal of choice, do not go here. Unless your date listed “I love people who eat half their meal and wear the other half like a dirty, edible fancy dress costume” on their Tinder profile. Or, unless you’re really, really confident or super hot, so no amount of horrendous eating habits will trip you up. Basically, if you’re Mila Kunis going on a date with Tom Hardy, then yeah, you could get away with going here.
The menu’s pretty understated. They have a small selection of burgers which they absolutely kill. We went for a ‘Smokey Robinson’ and a Meat Lovers Special. The ‘Smokey Robinson’ consisted of a beef patty, tomato, melted cheese, lettuce, caramelised onions (my mouth’s watering whilst I write this), bacon, ketchup, smokey P&B mayo (for the love of God) all in a brioche bun. The Special included all the usual suspects like, well, the burger, plus apple and bacon slaw, barbecue pork with apple glaze (I mean, seriously), duck skin mayo (I don’t even know what that is but it was ridic) ketchup and smoked Applewood cheese. WHAT.
We washed it all down with rosemary salt chips, ‘Thunder Thighs’ and ‘Winger Winger Chicken Dinner’. This may sound dramatic and too generous … But these bits of chicken were almost as good as the burgers themselves. They blew our minds. For the thighs, we’re talking a sweet tamarind glaze with smoked peanuts and smashed cucumbers, thickly coating the most flavoursome, tender pieces of chicken you’ll ever try. I have no idea what was on the wings but it was one of the most perfectly intense flavour combinations I’ve ever had in my mouth.
Fast-forward to where I started: the chicken’s been devoured and bits of bone are strewn across the table. My head is cocked to one side, resting lazily on my shoulder and I’m a paralysed mess of sauce. I think I may even have been helplessly dribbling too, but I can’t be sure. Tom assesses what he’s signed up for here. He thought he was just coming for one of the best burgers in London, but has realised it’s never that straight forward. Patty and Bun- is it the best burger in London? Almost definitely. Is it capable of making your partner reconsider being with you through sickness and mealtimes? 100%.
We went down to the flagship restaurant near Bond Street, but there’s also one in Liverpool Street.
Visit at your own risk.