A new burger joint opening is always music to our ears and as avid meat eaters we rejoiced upon hearing news of the recent opening of flagship Bukowski Grill opening in the heart of Soho and promptly booked a date in our diary to check it out immediately.
Inspired by an American diner, Bukowski Grill is a 70-cover, all-day, restaurant and grill that showcases carefully sourced British produce cooked over charcoal in a josper oven as well as their signature range of well-loved hamburgers, with adventurous toppings. For instance for those who love all things smokey there’s the smokey beast (tobacco onions, smoked pulled pork, smokey honey & chipotle bbq sauce, smoked gherkins, lettuce and smoked garlic/scotch bonnet mayo…), BUT more on the burgers later…
Chef/ Owner/ Designer Robin Freeman’s third site (The first Bukowski Grill opened in Boxpark, Shoreditch in 2011 followed by a second larger site opening in 2012 in the heart of Brixton Market) is considerably different from the others; a no-frills, inviting space with an informal and relaxed atmosphere with a bright pink neon ‘Bukowski’ sign lighting up the entrance (a nod to American diners no doubt). The restaurant’s interior is another string to multi-talented Robin’s bow – a combination of exposed piping and reclaimed school-style chairs, simple hanging lamps, corrugated iron wall panels and a scuffed floor.
We settle into our comfy chairs and dive straight in, ordering a selection of starters. Indecisive as ever, we ask our friendly waiters to assist our decisions, collectively settling on Robin’s new menu additions of Puck Nuggets with kimchi remoulade, Fried mac n cheese and signature Buffalo chicken wings. Unfortunately (or fortunately in our case) the waiter misheard our buffalo wings as buffalo cauliflower fritters with blue cheese sauce so we end up with a bonus dish. The latter was actually one of our favourites from the selection so we were glad of the mistake as we’d otherwise have missed out on this interesting concoction of cauliflower (who knew this veg was so versatile). So far so good!
For the main event, the choices were just too overwhelming after a long day in the office, so once again we turned to our waiter to guide our choices and upon recommendation picked a deliciously crunchy and healthy (in our minds at least) soft shell crab sandwich and the red n blue burger, a divine combination of beef patty, blue cheese (stilton) and red onion chutney with lettuce and mayo – absolutely out of this world good!! All of the food is served with in-house made condiments, the ketchup was unbelievably tasty.
Whilst the drinks offering has some impeccable choices we stuck with homemade lemonade (for me as I’m on Lent) and my friend red wine. The extensive offerings include cocktails, reasonably priced world wines as well as a celebrated list of beer from local breweries and an expanding list of bottled and aged cocktails.
There’s so much choice at Bukowski Grill and as usual our eyes were bigger than our bellies. As much as we’d like to fit more in we physically couldn’t but we’re already planning our next trip back so we can attempt the fat gringo (beef patty, topped with monterrey jack cheese, candied bacon, jalapeno mustard, red onions, tomato, lettuce and a smoked pickled gherkin) and pulled pork sandwich (oak smoked pulled pork shoulder topped with pickled slaw, spiced apple sauce, bbq mustard mayo, pickled gherkins, our roll).
Of course it’s not only burgers on offer, other dishes include BBQ bean cassoulet with smoked Toulouse sausage and confit duck leg, Swaledale lamb cutlets with smokey chilli jelly or Deep-fried cream cracker coated smoked haddock with clam chowder. There is also a good selection of BBQ ribs, slow cooked beef and pork dishes, as well as BBQ and fried chicken. Bukowski Soho is open all day and features a larger range of dishes than its predecessors, weekly changing blackboard specials, weekday breakfasts and an incredible new weekend brunch so we’ll be making a few trips back to go through the full menu.
T: 020 3857 4756
Social media: Twitter: @bukowskigrill; FB: Facebook.com/BukowskiGrill.Uk; Instagram: @bukowski_chef