Bubbledogs: 70 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 4QG
Food: Hot Dogs and Champagne
I have been curious about Bubbledogs ever since it opened in Autumn 2012 and have only just got around to going recently. I must admit as a vegetarian it wasn’t really on my priority list of places to eat.
A simple concept ‘Bubbledogs’ is champagne and hot dogs. I mean who doesn’t like champagne – or hot dogs? OK, so you may never have thought of eating them together but it sort of works.
James and Sandia (in partnership with JSK owners of Hoppers, Gymkhana, Trishna and Motu) are the husband and wife team and the duo behind Bubbledogs, both formerly worked at Noma and Per Se.
Similar to the concept at Hoppers you can’t make reservations, you have to take your chance and turn up. The venue is small so at busy times expect a queue.
Bubbledogs is based on Charlotte Street, surrounded by creative ad agencies. I can imagine lunchtimes and evenings are crazy busy during the working week. It’s a simple but creative idea that turns the normal Hot Dog concept on its head. The food is served quickly, service is great and it all comes with Champagne!
The hubby and I went on a Friday evening at around 6pm and we found the place relatively empty, which meant no queuing or hanging around outside looking lost which is always a result.
A menu consisting entirely of hot dogs doesn’t require a great deal of deliberation “veggie hot dog with…..” and the Champagne was even easier ‘I’ll have pink please’. You first pick between Pork, Beef or Veggie Hot Dogs and then you pick your topping. There are 7 on-trend toppings on offer. I ordered a Jose Veggie Hot Dog (fresh tomato salsa, avocado, sour cream and pickled Jalapenos. The hubby ordered A Small Eye Pork Hot Dog (yes he is back on the meat – pickled vegetables and chillies, coriander, toasted peanuts and Sriracha mayo). We also ordered some sides, Tater Tots, Sweet Potato Fries and Cheese Sauce, these were delicious and I highly recommend you order these to compliment your Hot Dog!
Our order arrived at fast-food speed, and in fast-food containers, the Hot Dogs and sides are presented in red plastic baskets. The cutlery, napkins, ketchup and mustard are all on the table presented in a little wooden box. The whole look and presentation gives it a ‘retro 80s American diner’ feel.
I have to admit that the one hot dog was not enough and the hubby went on to also order the classic and more appealing, the New Yorker (sauerkraut and onions) and another portion of Sweet Potato Fries and Cheese sauce. If you go hungry you may need more than one hot dog and several sides! The good news is the food comes out fast, the bad news is that one hot dog won’t fill you up.
At Bubbledogs you can explore exclusive Champagnes sourced directly from the producers. When I say the champagne list is impressive I mean the choice is endless.
The hubby and I stuck to a glass each and I choose the Collin-Guill
aume, Rosé, Brut (bubbledogs’ own label) and the hubby had a glass of the Dhondt-Grellet, Dans un premier temps, Brut.
My glass of pink fizz was delicious, just the right amount of bubbles and very easy to drink. Weirdly it also went well with the Hot Dogs although in fairness I feel champagne goes well with everything!
I feel that the price per bottle is also incredibly reasonable for a central London based restaurant, with bottles of champagne starting from £35 going up to £138 for a magnum of Champagne.
For those that don’t like bubbles (gasp!) there is a limited choice of Cocktails, Wine, Beer and Non-Alcoholic drinks.
The service at Bubbledogs was good, the waiter took our order promptly, talked knowledgably about the food and champagne. Food came out quickly and everything was served with a smile. In fairness we couldn’t really complain.
So as far as hot dogs go I guess this is expensive but as far as meals in London at a cool venue go its pretty reasonable. The cost food is average and the ultimate total will depend purely on how much champagne you quaff.
Presenting a laid-back ambience, rustic reclaimed wood, and exposed brickwork, the venue is ideal for a relaxed ‘bite to eat’. We managed to get a table fairly easily as it was just before the offices finished for the weekend. If you come at busy times you may find yourself perching awkwardly at a tiny shelf overlooking the kitchen staircase – not a table as such, more a shelf, wide enough to hold a menu and a couple of glasses or at the bar. The restaurant has a very relaxed vibe and we found out that dogs are allowed – not really used to seeing this in a restaurant environment so must admit it did take us a little by surprise. The atmosphere was buzzy and lively and had groups of people catching up. A great place to meet friends, grab a bite and dash!
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED?
I am no hot dog officianado however I think if the hot dogs could be a little bigger/fatter then you would actually feel like you were eating an all American Hot Dog, as it is they are quite thin and small and unless you are on restricted calories then you will definitely need more than one or fill up on sides.