Monday, 10 March 2014
Brooklyn Bowl / 02 Dome
Who are they?
Brooklyn bowl are a chain of bespoke American-styled bowling alleys with diners, bars, live stage and dance floor thrown in for good measure. While trying to be all things to all men, they wow with a nice and modern venue and an impressive-looking menu of no-nonsense American cuisine. So, on a quick visit, it seemed like a chance to see what they were made of.
This particular outlet of the chain is fairly new, having only been around for a few weeks when we popped our head around the door. The décor is pretty spartan, with flat wood panelling, though one side of the diner is fitted full of shelves with custom-designed bowling pins. A chicken-wire grill allows diners to see behind the shelf into the main dance floor and stage area, so presumably you can eat and get a back row seat on any of the live music going on.
The burger on offer from Brooklyn Bowl claims to be proper gourmet beef, though in fairness the fare on offer showed a preference for Deep American South cuisine: fried chicken pieces, sweet potatoes, barbecue ribs, shrimps and the like. It therefore seems strange that they would allude to Brooklyn in the name but serve food that's more in common with New Orleans, but I digress.
While I tried the burger, my partner went for the the chicken. While there's certainly no complaints in terms of volume of chicken, the deep fried coating is not as crispy as I would have liked and it's completely covered in crushed salt. Not sure why this would be the case but I'm not sold on it - this strikes me more as a way of extracting more money in drinks ala Theme Park than for a culinary reason.
The addition of the burger on the menu seemed to be more of an afterthought but they made a fairly good stab at it: a large patty with a choice of cheese (I went for blue cheese because why not?) and sauces and plenty of bacon encased in a soft bun. Sadly the chips are nothing to call home about, being simple thin-cut catering grade, but at least there are plenty of them.
Talking about the main event, burger itself is slightly better in taste and consistency than first meets the eye, though there's nothing especially good or bad to say about it. It certainly is on the larger side and it's good to see some excellent sized strips of crispy bacon going on there - in contrast to others. One thing in particular was the blue cheese sauce, which was slightly more sour than I am used to - a possible result of more salt being added to the sauce? Either way, at the very least this comes as a separate entity to the burger (as with the bucket of gherkins) so you can adjust it to your liking.
If it's Deep South cuisine you want, perhaps you would be better off looking at Red Dog Saloon, but if you're stuck in the O2 or want a quick bite to eat before bowling or movie, you could certainly do a lot worse. Otherwise, Brooklyn Bowl not worth the trip out to the Greenwich peninsular for - I definitely got the impression that the food is very much secondary or tertiary to the live music / bar / bowling experience.
Where can I find them?
Easy enough to find once you get the 02 / former Millenium Dome (Jubilee Line)