Flirtatious and fun: Bubbledogs champagne and hotdog diner

Sep 27, 2012

Tapping into the trend for poshed-up junk food, this restaurant bar is a guilty pleasure

What you need to know
Bubbledogs is a new bar restaurant serving an unlikely combo of champagne and gourmet hotdogs. It’s in Charlotte St, Fitzrovia or what is sometimes referred to as Noho (North Soho).

The establishment is run by former Ledbury Sous Chef James Knappett and his sommelier wife Sandia Chang. Gourmet hotdogs include varieties such as the Trishna Dog, served with mint, mango chutney and coriander, and the K-Dawg, with kimchi, fermented red bean paste and lettuce.

Champagnes are from smaller boutique growers and can be bought by the glass or bottle. Craft beers and cocktails are also available. Hotdogs cost about £6 to £7.50, champagne starts at £6 a glass and from £32 by the bottle.

The proprietors plan to open Kitchen Table, (a tiny Modern European restaurant on the same site) in October.

What the critics like
As concepts go, Bubbledogs is right on the money, says Time Out.

This newcomer taps into the current trend for poshed-up junk food. It works brilliantly as a champagne bar, championing smaller producers, with accessible prices. They have also gone to town creating a beautiful space, and hiring an attractive and amiable workforce. The place is already heaving with “beautiful people quaffing with gay abandon”.

Bubbledogs feels fun and frivolous, says Laura Richards on View London. The wieners are “juicy and full of that all-American hotdog flavor” and the “lengthy list of grower champagne and sparkling wines shows fantastic flair in the field”. It never takes itself too seriously, making it accessible to those who don’t know their brut from their extra brut. Bubbledogs is “a guilty pleasure”.

Bubbledogs is a New York State of Mind, says Joe Warwick in Metro.

The hotdogs are reminiscent of such “cultish Manhattan wiener outposts” as Gray’s Papaya and Crif Dogs. The sweet potato fries were “perfectly seasoned and pleasingly crunchy”. Fans of salty-meets-sweet should try them dipped in a side of mango salsa. The “attention to detail, sincerity and sense of fun on display” here bodes well for their next venture, Kitchen Table.

What they don’t like
Bubbledogs is a marketing idea, an expensive gimmick, says A.A. Gill in The Sunday Times. The dogs are good, and the “high and low, street and limo” atmosphere is flirtatious and fun – “up to the point where you get the bill”.

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