We’re back after our hiatus while we were off sunning and funning ourselves – we are proud to be back with what everyone has informed us is one of the big hitters in the burger world – the ever expanding Patty&bun chain and it’s rapid rise to fame with several new outlets opening up in a short amount of time. I must admit – I like the branding and in my mind I was very hopeful with high expectations before stepping foot inside rightly or wrongly, not that I would let that sway my decision either way.
We entered the small restaurant and selected our seat shortly before 1pm in an almost empty establishment, it was Monday and for that reason we thought had the best chance of being quiet given its small and cramped seating arrangement inside (later on it did get fairly busy and quite cramped). The menus appeared as part of the rustic approach with a sheet of branded greaseproof paper as a placemat and wooden tables. It seemed like a slightly more budget version of Honest burger with their organic approach taken from there, something that many burger chains are jumping on the bandwagon of as part of the interior and brand feel.
We were approached by our server enquiring about what we were doing with regards to the challenge and to take our order. The server started telling us how he used to work for Byron burger as a manager and down-talking them regarding an antibacterial disinfectant used on the salad there which was actually detrimental to people’s health. I don’t know how much truth there was in it but it seemed like a wild claim for such an established chain.
We ordered our usual two cheeseburgers with the two forms of fries on offer – one type which were rosemary salted and the other which came with chicken salt and chicken skin mayonnaise. Our server asked us the questions “Burgers are served pink, is that ok?” We agreed to it as we assumed that this was house standard and they were optimally cooked like this. A short time later a different server asked the table beside us “How would you like your burgers cooked?” That in itself was contradictory to serving output and was a point of contention. The servers were not able to fully inform us of where the cows were from but spoke of the meat being from a butcher called HG Walter in Kensington and thinking that the beef must be locally sourced.
A short time later when our burgers were served, Divin’s burger in particular was very bloody and a stream of blood came out after biting onto the greaseproof paper. The meal was served without plates as we dripped blood and grease around and dipped chips into sauce around the greaseproof on the table. I think in effect when a meal is this messy and there are so many sauces involved there should be some kind of bowl or plate for serving, we just didn’t feel completely relaxed eating it. On the flip side of the messiness and overly intimate setting is the burning question, how were the burgers? Well for starters the extras were excellent, the chips were an exceptional addition, they tasted great and were cooked perfectly. Besides the usual ketchup and mayo on the table there was a chipotle smoky chilli sauce which was sensational both to add to the burger and the fries. The burger was tender and free from any hard chewing gristle or fat, the meat was wonderfully tender and flavoursome and for them to cook it so rare they must be confident in the quality of the meat, the burger itself was served in a standard brioche bun and had some pickled red cabbage inside which complimented very well, the cheese was passively minimal but sufficient, there could be more inside for texture but i didn’t really miss it. In terms of size of the burger, it was a little small for a combined cost of £10.95 each including fries. The carafe of water with cucumber and lemon served was welcomed.
When the bill came a 10% optional service charge was added to the bill – this is the first out of the restaurants to do that and in our opinion was completely unnecessary, I should not be dictated to and feel obligated to pay for service if I am not happy for service so this brought the burger and chips to over £12 each, marks down for value. In essence we feel this could have been a lot better, the whole experience and food did not live up to the hype that the chain has gathered and there are teething problems as to process as highlighted above. Is it the best yet? Perhaps marginally as our scores would suggest but we are still waiting for the wow factor we know exists out there. Maybe on a different day or a different branch the meal would have scored higher, maybe. But as for now we like you Patty&Bun, we do, we just don’t love you and therein lies the problem.