Recently at work there have been a lot of changes taking place; some people are leaving, some are changing role, some are being promoted and there are some new starters. What better way to celebrate all of this than with a classic team lunch!
The destination of choice on this occasion was the rather quirky Bubbledogs, located on Charlotte Street in London and just a short walk from the office.
So what is Bubbledogs? Well, as the name suggests it’s all about Champagne and hot dogs – certainly not the combination of food and drink that you would typically expect but let’s face it, among all of the competition out there in London they have definitely identified a point of different with their proposition!
On arrival at Bubbledogs the face of the building is what strikes you first; painted completely blue it stands out from all of the other buildings around it – pretty hard to miss! Couple that with the Bubbledogs signs above the door and you’re got a pretty fun looking restaurant to walk into.
Once inside the effort that has been placed on the identity of Bubbledogs becomes clear. Despite the quite frankly, terrible photos that I took, the restaurant offers quirky surroundings with varying height lighting hanging from the ceilings, wood panelled walls and an assortment of picture frames hanging around you.
On arrival my team and I were warmly welcomed by a gentleman at the door and shown to our table. Here, it was explained to us that all of the hot dogs on the menu could be ordered as either pork or beef depending on what we fancied.
Food & Drink
I’m always one that favours a pork sausage and feeling a bit nostalgic from my honeymoon to America back in September I ordered the New Yorker (again, a memory of New York!) with both sauerkraut and caramelised onions. In addition I added a kick of spice with some Japanese inspired togarashi tots and washed this down with a Harbour Little Rock IPA. My colleagues went for other hot dogs and also some of the other sides.
After a short wait, maybe 10 minutes, the food and drink arrived (I applied my own ketchup and mustard):
First impressions? Well, in all honesty I think everyone was expecting to receive something a little more substantial and for me personally, it was a definitely a case of wondering if the sausages really were homemade or taken out of a jar of brine.
In fairness, the flavour of the hot dog was good however I thought the bread roll, like the sausage, just felt a little, well, cheap. Sorry guys.
Unfortunately when it came to the Togarashi tots these underwhelmed me also. Again, although the flavour was good they seemed overdone. The nearest thing I can compare this to are over fried hash browns. My colleagues had a similar issue with their sweet potato fries which were overcooked resulting in 2 half eaten baskets of them being left on the table.
Finally, we arrive at the IPA which completed my lunch. I like ordering IPAs for a couple of reasons however the main one after taste is the art and design typically associated with the bottles/cans. For an establishment which focuses on serving drinks, OK although Champagne is the focus I was a little underwhelmed with the beer options available – just 3 against countless Champagnes and wines. Choice was really lacking. My drink was poured for me however the can was taken away so I couldn’t learn anything more about the IPA. It tasted great but I would have liked to experience the IPA a little more.
My complete order:
- Pork Sausage New Yorker – £7
- Togarashi Tots – £4
- Harbour Little Rock IPA (330ml) – £6
- Total: £19.13 – £17 food and drink + £2.13 service charge (12.5%)
Looking back on my lunch experience at Bubbledogs, for me it was average at best. The atmosphere and surroundings were fun and clean which was great however the food was underwhelming. A small hot dog coupled with a cheap looking bun and overdone sweet potato fries and tots just didn’t cut it for me.
In fairness to Bubbledogs, if you exclude the £6 IPA, £7 for a hot dog and £4 for tots in London seems quite reasonable so it’s not overly expensive to be served food at a table. That said, if I was to spend £20 on a lunch meal again I think I’d rather increase my budget and get something that feels a bit more substantial.
As an overall experience for lunch, it wasn’t bad. We all had a great time but it certainly isn’t somewhere I’m going to be rushing back to in a hurry. Although I like the quirky idea of it all, for me it really did feel more like fast food masquerading as a restaurant, much like Nandos. If I was a single man looking to impress a lady Bubbledogs would likely be the perfect meetup location for a Tinder date.
By all means check it out and judge it for yourself but do keep your expectations in check, this is certainly not fine dining – 6/10.
Reservations: 0207 637 7770 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 70 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QG