1994 spawned an era of Britpop-infused excess in London. Back then eating out was not the preserve of the edgy cool youth (this would come later with wagamama). Either nothing tasted as good as skinny felt or you never really got round to eating.
But whist Hirst and Moss were experimenting with sharks and orifices (separately) something even more significant happened over the pond… Tarantino gave us Pulp Fiction.
For some it was about Travolta’s comeback, its quixotic soundtrack or that mysterious suitcase. For me it was about Sam and his Big KAHAUNA burger.
What on earth was he eating? We had prudishly been brought up on Wimpy’s Neolithic, grey beef-burgers served with a knife and fork. Sam’s smutty, shiny hamburger looked other worldly. This was the remedial big bang moment for burgers as we now know them in London.
PattyandBun is the brainchild of Joe Grossman who cut his teeth on the pop-up circuit for two years gaining invaluable customer insight. Here he fine-tuned his ‘Ari Gold Burger’, Confit Chicken Wings and ‘Lambshank Redemption’ gaining credibility and justified hype. This patient devotion to perfecting his vision reveals a respect that’s absent from so many derivative concept restaurants. Joe’s punters have paid him back. He now has seven hugely successful venues in prime spots across the capital.
‘The best burger joint in London’ is a redundant argument deliberated only by spotty nerds. But if I had to choose, then PattyandBun would be in the top two. PattyandBun is on point with each constituent part; the music, the service, the concept, the atmosphere, the presentation and the variety. The only other that comes close is the seminal Lucky Chip in the Sebright Arms. Like a long lost lover, did it really exist?
PattyandBun proves that something as maligned and ubiquitous as ‘dude food’ can still stand out as brilliant and beguiling when every element is made with love. It really is the difference. This is why the very finest Waitrose sandwich will only ever taste like it was made by a prostitute for her pimp.