Thursday 4 September 2014

[Review] Bobo Social, Charlotte Street: Burgers and small plates

Bobo Social on Charlotte Street is a grey and white bastion of King's Road chic on a road of identical terraces and lifeless offices. It launched in August 2014 and serves a selection of burgers and small plates.

Time to take a closer look at the burger...


Bobo Burger - £8.50 - cheddar £0.95, bacon £0.95
Battered pickles - £2.50


The Bobo Social burger is presented on fine china and I kinda like the juxtaposition between the oozing burger and the chic-yet-not-quite-matching crockery. It's not a bad looking burger, either, with a bold 'B' branded on the bun, but I feel the lid-off effect is more to do with making the burger look bigger on the plate that to demonstrate any particular feature of the meal. I promptly popped it in it's required place and got on with it.


Great. I pimped my Bobo burger with cheddar cheese and cured streaky bacon which were to add salt and acidity to the experience. The bacon was pre-cut into chunky strips which made it easier to eat without the classic 'bacon tongue' fail that plagues burgers with cured bacon in whole pieces. Braised onions, which were not as sticky as those in the Elliott's Cafe burger but had been nicely softened and added a flavoursome hit of umami, were piled on top of the patty too.

Underneath the beef a combination of lettuce, tomato and mayo completed the accoutrements, adding to the moistness, but the tomato failed to add anything else like so many of the tomato-led burgers in London today.


"Today's meat is aged Red Lincoln rare breed ground beef from Dorset cooked over plum wood in the charcoal oven", my waitress croons, "we change our beef, and our oven fuel, every week".  That's what I'm told when I order my Bobo burger. The patty in my burger is turns out to be pretty bloody good, too. It's a juicy, fatty, coarsely ground burger cooked med-rare, it's well seasoned and is full of flavour - I can even taste a slight sweetness from the plum that complements the aged beef. The burgers are cooked in a 300 degree heat of the charcoal oven which seals the burger, but doesn't give that crusty sear of a flat-top grill, or cast iron.

Changing the beef and wood it's smoked with is an interesting concept, and one that means I have to go back several times to get the full set. Clever.


Full brioche. The bun was toasted and branded with the Bobo 'B' - a nice and difficult to master - premium touch in a place of nice touches. It's fully capable of taking some serious juice punishment and there's enough acidity in the rest of the burger to offset the buttery composition of the brioche. 


Ok. I opted for deep fried pickles, so I shouldn't have been surprised when a selection of onions, gherkins and a chilli turned up - all picked - and coated with a thin, crisp batter. They batter's hot and crispy, while the pickles are sharp and acidic but slightly slimy at the same time. Accompanying the pickles is a spicy buttermilk dip which is really rather good, but I can't help thinking that for a plate of 5 pickles at £2.50 - paying 50p a pickle feels slightly mean.

Overall rating: 9/10

It all about nice touches with Bobo Social - the crisp pickles, the chopped up cured bacon, the 'B' emblazoned on the top of the bun - and it feels well thought out and well loved by its creators. I think the burger is pretty good - it doesn't have the blow-your-palate buzz of a Patty & Bun, but it's a nice, relaxing place to really appreciate the chemistry of flavours that can be pulled together using aged beef and smoking wood. I'd go so far to say as it's a great place for a date or romantic meal out.

Bobo Social, 95 Charlotte Street, London

Find Bobo Social on my Interactive London Burger Map.

Bobo Social on Urbanspoon

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