Like the trendy hot dogs and burgers that riddle East London but dont want to eat them sitting on an old sofa in a disused yard or on a communal table rubbing shoulders with someone who uses a night bus?
Then Kensington has a brand new solution for you in the form of underground eatery Dirty Bones…
When i first heard about Dirty Bones I imagined it somewhere East. By day a hole in the wall serving hotdogs and by night a quirky basement of kitschy brick-a-brack, wood and neon lighting. Hidden down some back street in Dalston most likely? I was excited and figured this was a must visit place! But when i found out it was in Kensington my heart sank. I was filled with presumptions of a ruined concept so well executed by pop ups and restaurants in East London. Much like the posh burger offering Slabs, I expected a sanitised version of the popular trend.
To an extent, I was right.
The decor was still amazing; an ex-nightclub turned restaurant adorned with old wood, vintage wares and moody lighting mixed with brash and sexy neon. The rooms leading off of one another in a slightly confusing but exciting layout. It all built me up to expect an overzealous hotdog bursting out of a bun like it’d eat me before I eat it.
But no, the ‘dogs came on a silver platter bending their way out of the bun and slightly smaller than I expected for the price and hype. With Chef Ross Clarke behind the Kensington venture I would have liked more of a wow factor to the hotdogs. The fries were good but came in a white paper pack, again, alone on a silver plate. If they’re aiming for an ironically posh take on fries then they’ve only just reached Hyacinth Bucket.
The hot dog was good, maybe tougher than id expect and the bun was soft and not too filling. But i could of eaten another.
Where Ross Clarkes reputation does come through is in Dirty Bones special sauce, a sweet barbecue amalgamation of Dr Pepper, Cola, Bourbon and marshmallow (for the consistency and glaze).
The desserts hint at Ross Clarkes past at Hestons famous kitchen with a clever take on Milk and Cookies – the milk being ice cream served in a glass. To the unassuming t does look like a glass of milk and a cookie. Similarly there is a doughnut option but it was a very bland doughnut.
The staff were very helpful and recommended a great assortment of cocktails, slightly too much ice but delicious none the less.
Im not sure if they have live music every night but when we went an acoustic set was being performed in the bar and piped into the dining room louder than it needed to be. We struggled to hold a comfortable conversation whilst the music played – as nice as it was!
Overall i’d say definitely visit, if only for the decor – but when you do, go with a group and maybe before a night out. Just enough fun and food to start the evening – but not enough to fill out your disco pants.