Like good old Ronseal, Bubbledogs does exactly what it says on the tin. There are bubbles and there are dogs. The bubbles are delicious, carefully chosen, grower champagnes and the dogs are gourmet hot dogs. Admittedly, there are one or two other things on offer in this funky new establishment, such as the odd beer, soft drinks and a couple of sides but if you aren’t a fan of hotdogs or champagne then this place really isn’t for you.
Bubbledogs is the brainchild of the hugely talented James Knappett and his beautiful, charming wife, Sandia Chang; both of whom have previously worked at the likes of Noma, Per Se and Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley. It opened at the end of August and was an instant success. I believe the first blog was posted within minutes of the doors opening and there has been a queue outside ever since.
If you don’t fancy queueing, which I generally don’t, find yourself 5 friends and you can book a table no problems. You might have to wait for a couple of weeks but when you see a queue of 20+ people standing in the rain it certainly seems worth the wait. At first Bubbledogs operated the very civilised system of taking your name and number and allowing you to wait in a nearby drinking establishment until a table became available. However that is no more, you now have to queue in the more conventional sense, by standing in a line until it’s your turn.
I’ve been to Bubbledogs twice and have managed to try a fair few of the many hotdogs on offer. My favourites so far have been the Jose and the Trishna. I was most surprised by the Trishna, it comes with mint, mango chutney and coriander, not something I would usually think of putting on a hotdog but it was really rather good indeed. The Jose whilst less inventive, was equally delicious, with salsa, avocado, sour cream and jalepenos.
What I will say about the hotdogs (and going back to the Ronseal analogy) is don’t expect too much. It is only a hotdog after all. A simple frankfurter style sausage in a bun. Yes, it may be a homemade sausage in a choice of pork, beef or vegetarian and yes it may come with all manner of delicious and interesting toppings but at the end of the day it remains a hot dog.
I took some friends and because of all the hype, I sensed that they might have been a tad disappointed. Perhaps they wanted something more than the humble hotdog was able to offer. I think the key is to set your expectations at the right level.
If you’re looking for a slap up meal you won’t find it here (unless you venture behind the curtain that is). If you want some of the best food you have ever eaten, this is not the place for you. However, if you fancy a quick snack, a tasty treat, a mouthful of bread and sauasage, then make your way to Bubbledogs and you will be happy as larry.
If you really want to spice things up you could also order a side and one of the various toppings to dip your side in. There’s a choice of sweet potato fries, tots and coleslaw. For my money I would go with the fries and some buffalo sauce but each to their own.
Anyhow, that is enough about hotdogs. There are so many other things I want to tell you, like how excellent the service is, what you’ll find in the loo and how you should order a double (or triple) egg on your brekkie dog, but I want to get onto the main event…
The real reason I love bubbledogs and will keep going back….
It’s not because of the hotdogs, it is because of the bubbles.
The lovely, sweet bubbles!
For me Bubbledogs is a sanctuary. A place where I can order glasses (or bottles) of champagne to my heart’s content and no one will judge me. They wont even give it a second thought because unlike in most eating and drinking establishments in the world, where I feel like a bit of a snob if I order champagne, here, drinking it is the norm.
Champagne is my most favourite drink, bar none, but there just aren’t enough opportunities, or more accurately ‘excuses’ to drink it. I recall a couple of years ago I made it my new year resolution to only drink champagne. It only lasted for a few weeks because (apart from the fact we decided it turned me into a diva) you can hardly go into your local pub and order a glass of champagne, let alone spend the whole evening drinking it, or at least I can’t without feeling like a total wally!
The prices are reasonable. From as little as £6 a glass and £32 a bottle, you can have bubbles in your life. There are 14 different varieties to choose from and the quality is fantastic. All grower champagnes, this means that they are produced by families rather than factories. Families who own the vines, tend to them throughout the year and then produce only a few thousand bottles. Therefore, as well as having a thoroughly good time drinking champagne, you are also supporting independent growers!
So, if anyone wants to join me for some unadulterated, guilt free champagne drinking, just let me know. If we can get a group of six together we wont even have to queue AND we can easily justify ordering it by the bottle rather than the glass. Hic!
For the food bubbledogs gets 8/10 from me but for the service and the concept I’d give them an 11!