Forget meatballs, move over sliders, the new kid on the block is the hot dog, and how I welcome it. Having lived in the USA where hot dogs are almost a national passion I have found the pale, flaccid frankfurters offered in this country a tragic waste of calories.
On occasional visits abroad you get a taste of the real thing, most notably, obviously, in Germany where the dog originates. Anywhere Germans have lived will also deliver a decent dog and I ate one watching the England cricket team beat South Africa in Cape Town a couple of years ago. But until very recently you had no chance to enjoy one here. Then I saw the first glimpse of promise when drinking at the wonderful basement bar @Hawksmore Spitalfields. Their dog had the right crisp snap and the right burst of porky juices, essential in a good dog.
Sadly I don’t drink in basements as much these days so I’m delighted with two recent developments. Bubbledogs is the town’s latest “must try” place. The proliferation of new restaurants in London defies all we hear about recession. It seems no day passes without yet another tapas cafe, Mexican wrap joint, steak house or ramen bar opening. Food moves from restaurants to the street and in the case of the hot dog from the street into a restaurant with amazing rapidity.
Bubbledogs has a simple menu: it serves hot dogs and champagne. And it does it very well indeed. I had lunch with a girlfriend and it was just perfect, in fact I can’t think of anywhere better for easy to eat food when a good, champagne fuelled gossip is in order.
The dogs are delicious mine, a Small Eye was served with pickled vegetables, fresh coriander and a mayonnaise spiced with another profoundly trendy ingredient Sriracha, an ouchingly hot Thai chilli sauce.Celia had the Red Rocket dog which was garnished with red cabbage and mustard. We had Tatertots, a tiny deep fried potato croquet, and a glass of fizz each and paid £17.00 a head including service.
My only quibble was the 75p charge for mayonnaise, not really a deal breaker.
There is no dessert, no coffee but a real buzz and a great place to meet and eat
Bubbledogs 70 CHARLOTTE ST, LONDON W1T 4QG 0207 637 7770
My second bit of hot dog news is that Helen Browning, one of our most illustrious and persuasive organic farmers, has produced a range of free range organic pork hot dogs that are available from Ocado. I tried some last week and they delivered on both snap and flavour. All I need now is a decent hotdog bun.