If Peak Burger was three years ago, are we at Peak Fancy Burger Chain Expansion now? There's a Byron Burger on every third street in Zone 1, and Honest Burger has transposed from Brixton to every gentrified high street in London, MeatLiquor Inc no longer attracts such massive the queues because it has seven branches - one in SINGAPORE - and one more to open soon in edgy Islington. Patty & Bun, opening at a similar time just off Oxford Street, has expanded more slowly: first to Liverpool Street and now to London Fields.
I'm willing to travel for a good meal, but happier when it travels to me. The new Patty & Bun under the arches on Mentmore Terrace, London Fields, is next to the esteemed E5 Bakehouse, and so my weekly trip for a large loaf of Hackney Wild will now involve some serious burger temptation. Patty & Bun is a cut above the other excellent burgers I listed above, and I'm going to say it's up there with Hackney's other best burger joint, Lucky Chip, about to open their first permanent restaurant on Ridley Road in Dalston.
Patty &Bun is open all from 11.30am to 10pm Tuesday to Friday and from 9.30am on both Saturday and Sundays. That's right. It's now possible to have a burger for breakfast every weekend.
The core menu has a concise selection of their classic burgers, which have all the classic components of a good burger, but prepared with a brush of creativity. The Ari Gold (think Big Mac equiv) comes with all the usual trimmings but delicate, fragrant mexican style pink pickled onions and their own smoky mayonnaise. The Smokey Robinson burger smoky barbecue sauce and sweet caramelised onions are so heavily packed in that it's basically like lava. And so very good.
Chips come as they are in rosemary salt (very good), or with a chicken salt and roast chicken mayonnaise. It's like a mini roast dinner. Inspired.
Alongside sides of coleslaw, wings and salad, there are also regular specials. We enjoyed moist duck nuggets with a sweet, smoky Mexican chilli sauce. A smoked tomato salad features robust, sweet and lightly smoked San Marzano tomatoes, thins of raw courgette and crunch baby gem. My salad dodging other half savoured every bite.
But wait...there's more. Patty & Bun's London Fields outpost does brunch burgers. They swap the demi-brioche for a sourdough bun, and fill it with eggs and other goodness. I order a smoked ox cheek bun, which comes with cheesy scrambled eggs and sweet pickled chilli. The ox cheek is rich in flavour and spice from slow and low cooking. It's a bit intense for 9.30, but by 11.30 it hit the spot.
Other options include harissa fried egg with avocado, lime relish and bacon mayo, and cheesy scrambled egg with smoked guacamole, slow roast tomatoes and wild garlic creme fraiche. You get the picture.
They're still waiting for an alcohol license, so it's just soft drinks for now (including unlimited refill Allpress filter coffee for £1.50). Expect a short selection of wines, beers and mixed drinks when they get it. The service is quick, and it's communal tables - so it's walk-ins and relatively fast turnover, but you won't feel hurried by the professional, friendly staff. Prices are very reasonable too - you can go wild with the sides and still come in around £20. Burgers are all £7.50 - £8.50.
It's easy enough to get a perch now, it's early days and they deliberately launched under the radar. But once the word gets out, Patty & Bun London Fields will be just as rammed as the others.