“The ever-improving standard of the brioche burger bun is a heartening thing, and this is one of the better examples”
It’s the era of the pop up, and burger pop ups in particular. Every week it seems we hear about another one. This is a great thing, but their limited life span means that pesky real life commitments can get in the way of checking them all out. But where possible, we will hit these places up with a vengeance. So to just South of the river, and the bowels of Doodle Bar, to see what the latest brainchild of Street Kitchen is all about.
Doodle Bar is a South London attempt at East London warehouse drinking - it has all the trademarks of warehouse chic (the wide open, semi-open space) with all the nuances of a fancy pants bar (pre-distressed furniture, brushed steel lighting, and actual toilets). It has a table tennis table. It even has a huge wall with blackboard paint you can draw on with chalk! A great spot to wireframe your next killer iOS app then.
All this seems to please the impeccably dressed clientele inside. But enough of the scene setting. From the menu, you know you are getting the ‘pride in our produce’ style of burger, with each ingredient ingredient described in painstaking detail. We went for the Ari Gold with bacon and the Jose Jose.
The service is slick as can be, everyone knowing their role, each section manned with military precision - They even have a dude with his own grill just for toasting buns. Ridiculous. But shit, they are efficient and we had our burgers in well under 10 minutes. This is a massive surprise compared to other, more shitshowy, burger popups.
Opening the branded container, the Ari Gold looked impressive; the shiny bun radiating a come-hither glisten. But, hold up, wait a second: the trepidation begins to mount as we see the translucent-yet-electric-pink onions poking out. Not letting first impression get the better of us, we chow down.
It’s pretty good. The ever-improving standard of the brioche burger bun is a heartening thing, and this is one of the better examples - bouncy and airy, yet solid, it’s a great host for the Gold’s contents. The patty was proper quality meat and was cooked impeccable accuracy across all four burgers we ordered. Impressive.
But, and here come the buts: the cheese was dying to play a more prominent role, but there just wasn’t enough of it. The slices we saw them putting on the patty being just too thin to distinguish themselves. The onions sadly justified the worry; they weren’t just vinegary, they were the physical embodiment of vinegar. Eye-scrunchingly tart when trying them on their own. They were joined by the signature barbecue mayo sauce (more mayo than barbecue) that was abundant. Both of these strong flavours, whilst kind of working with each other, floored the beef somewhat. The addition of the bacon didn’t add anything to the mix, but banging a standard rasher into a burger with such flavours, what do you expect? And forking out more cash for it, not worth it.
Although the ingredients listed in the Jose Jose promised a very contrasting experience, what we got offered no real discernible difference. All that we could figure had changed was that the rocket has been replaced by loose leaf lettuce and the barbecue mayo with a more traditional barbecue sauce which only flecked glimpses of the chorizo that the menu promised.
These are solid, saucy burgers, with great buns. They ain’t cheap, but ain’t a rip off. Worth a pop down for the next couple of Fridays.