Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Bukowski Grill / Shoreditch


Who are they?

Nestled just to the north and east of the Square Mile, Shoreditch and Hoxton are famed for trendy bars, nightclubs, fashion boutiques and interesting restaurants, more or less cementing the area as a good all-round London hangout. In keeping with the rough and ready vibe, where popup eateries can be found next to well established restaurants, Bukowski are a burger hangout occupying an area of the Popup Container Mall. Promising decent food for a notably fussy East End crowd, it seemed like an excellent place to grab a bite to eat after work in London town.


With the weather being hot and sunny and also a Friday, it wasn't a surprise to see so many people out after work. Finding the place is a breeze, given the imposing grey shipping containers around the corner from the overground station, though finding space on the garden bench tables on the outside seating area was less so. Happily, it seems that Bukowski functions both as a place for food and a bar, meaning that a lot of the places became free as patrons moved on to another place to party and in general if it's a sunny day, the outside seating is a welcome option. Otherwise, there is limited seating inside, but given the weather why wouldn't you?

The menu is a brief and straightforward affair, though while I am sure they have other options worth entertaining, it was clear from the start that a few solid favourites would appear on our list. Having outlining a handful of stock options for burgers and opted for the Fat Gringo, Mr Hazeel and I could not resist trying out a second option between us - the pulled pork sandwich.

Soon to become a firm favourite, the pulled pork sandwich was a perfect opener to the evening's nomming action - plenty of pulled pork, unpinned by salad and a slightly spicy pickled gherkin meant that this was a decent meal all on its own. A slightly orangey tinge on the tongue, the pulled pork is well worth having on its own if you don't fancy a burger - recommended!

However, this only meant that the main event was even more stunning: a towering double patty burger with a cheese to separate, criss-crossed with wonderfully crisp bacon and a tomato slice on top and a hot mustard sauce and token lettuce leaf underneath, squashed lovingly between the two halves of a toasted bun. And it doesn't stop there, as the chips are a perfect side to compliment the burger and are actually chips rather than thin fries that have just come out of the packet. While slightly more expensive than other outlets, these are chunky little beasts with a not-so-secret weapon of being triple cooked in beef drippings, exuding a lovely smoky flavour with each crispy bite as a result. Understandably, these are a perfect accompaniment to a beer or a burger - or both!

As for the taste, the bacon is sweet and crisp, exactly as you might expect from well-cooked bacon, while the meat itself presents a lovely deep flavour of beef and herbs coming through with each bite. It's definitely a medium cooked burger, leaving it wonderfully juicy inside each patty and a delight to eat. These are not the largest patties by circumference but certainly make up for this shortcoming in thickness and you will certainly not go hungry after taking one of these on. This means that perhaps the only weakness of this burger is that it is too tall to hold effectively in your hands without the accompanying sticks to hold it together and that the excess mustard and dripping burger juices does affect the bun's structural integrity.

Effective comparisons with the fare on offer can be made with Rotary Diner (RIP), though here it seems that they know what they are doing with each dish on offer, can do each well and at a reasonable price. This isn't a pretentious dining experience and neither do they pretend to be, but what they offer is an more upmarket take on burger and chips for takeaway or sit down that works well for the local crowd.


An absolutely solid offering from the boys and girls at Bukowski and well worth checking out over the summer with some friends. You won't be disappointed!



Where can I find them?
A few outlets in the London area, check them out!