Bubbledogs and I started off on the wrong foot. I wasn't in town for their grand opening, since then the queue only got longer. I was turned away at 9 at my first attempt; same for my party of 6 during my second attempt; third attempt was called off. Finally, on a dreary raining Saturday, we decided to make an early 11:45 start to beat the queue. I was still 30mins late but luckily my girls have better sense of time to secure our seats.
I heard the queue starts promptly at 12:01 as the early birdies take the first round of seating. I think it sits about 30, with people cramping stools around shared tables. The champagne and hotdog bar follows the trending winning formula of keeping it hip and simple, bricks and wood, 1 A5-pager menu on a clip board plus a bar with f-loads of champagne.
I have never consciously had growers champagne before, and wikipedia quotes "artisanal winemaking" that focus on reflecting the characteristics of the terroirs of the villages within the Champagne region. Perfect. We started off with a fruity, wallet-friendly Gaston Chiquet. There is something beautifully dizzy about having champagne as the first drink of the day.
It's the egg and black pudding bits that got my attention, wouldn't be brunch without a good yolk. The pork dog was wrapped with bacon, with tomato relish smear on the bread and a neatly trimmed sunny-side-up, sprinkled with bits of black pudding. Gotta say it was a winning combination.
The dog on its own was a little too heavy on the seasoning for my liking, especially with the bacon adding the extra lump of salt. (and after 2 glasses of bubbly I couldn't stop laughing about what it looked like!) But the sweet tomato relish and runny yolk reined it all back in balance. Bread, disappointingly, was uninteresting.
Alva was underwhelmed at first, truffle essence was barely there despite the heavy loading of the mayo. The truffle was more pronounced when I tasted the mayo on its own, but like Breakie, the bacon wrapped dog was quite salty, which destroyed the delicate fragrance. Careless design maybe; I have a feeling this would work better with a beef dog.
I love how Denice and I never choose the same thing; this could the last dog I'd pick from the list. Probably because I see this topping combination had an Indian spin, and Indian flavours are not crafted to pair with pork or beef. I'm just old-fashioned. I forgot to nip a bite of this, but it did look fabulous.
Sweet potato fries & tots
The fries were quite addictive; super sweet and super mushy on the inside, looked a bit burnt on the outside, but it's what it takes to give them the crispy shells.
Tots were too hard on the shell and too skinny on the potatoes.
Did Bubbledogs live up to hype and justify the ridiculous queues? Yea I think so, but not because the hotdogs were out-of-this-world; I thought the dogs themselves were rather mediocre, but the topping combos make things interesting. If I was in a mood for a good dog, I'd probably head for Big Apple. That said the ambience is unique. Bubbledogs have created a unique spot for any occasion, the pairing of street food with the posh champs in a buzzing room... you can take anyone there.
70 Charlotte Street
Tel: 0207 637 7770