My love of burgers is well documented; to me they’re the perfect marriage of meat and bread. So it feels a bit remiss of me that I’ve not yet made it to Bun & Bowl, however that was remedied when I was invited down to a blogger dinner to preview their Valentine’s Day menu.
Ironically I’d spent the day writing about Valentine’s Day as a guest post for somewhere else, so I knew a lot about what was happening in the city. The article has a mix of traditional candle lit dinners and quirky devil-may-care events; Bun & Bowl have created a menu which fits more towards the traditional but with some interesting quirks.
As we sat down, we were treated to a glass of red fruit champagne, a mix of strawberry puree and champagne (similar to a Bellini) which was a much more interesting twist on a glass of bubbly, but in keeping with the celebration. I also had what was named a Bramble but was made with citron vodka rather than gin. Personally I found there to be a little too much citrus flavour because of this, but I’ve drunk a lot of Brambles over the years, and I expect most people wouldn’t notice the difference.
To start we tried Surprises of a Passionate Heart; a mushroom ‘cappuccino’ made with hot soy milk it was, as you’d expect, was like a foamy mushroom soup. It was accompanied with a smoked salmon, avocado and cream ballotine on a crostini which tasted fresh and light, the bread was toasted yet still chewy. We were also given a sample of the Pearl for My Love; fresh oysters. To be honest I’m not a big fan of oysters, but this one was tasty, although I found the bisque a little too lemony for my liking.
For main course we were treated to a sample of their classic beef burger which was recreated for the evening with truffle dressing, port glazed onion and cheese, served with fresh potato fries. The burger was well cooked and I enjoyed the collection of flavours but the sweet onions dominated, which I enjoyed, but made the other accompaniments a little redundant. The fries were fine and the sauces used a garnish were great; a BBQ sauce which was sweet and smoky; and a mustard mayo with truffle dressing which cut through the zing of mustard which I’m not keen on, so conversely enjoyed this sauce. Frankly, I’d have enjoyed more of the sauces with my fries, or even the BBQ sauce with the burger.
To end we had strawberries with mint gratin, marshmallow, cacao and raspberries. This was an unusual dessert and I was pleased to see something on a Valentine’s menu that wasn’t just a predictable chocolate fondant. Together this was a lovely combination of flavours and as a vegan, gluten-free dish is a winner all round.
Bun & Bowl’s Valentine’s Day menu is trying to do something different; they’re still keeping their original concept, but bringing in elements of fine dining and aphrodisiacs for the season. The menu costs £30 a head for three courses and a glass of red champagne, plus music from violinist Rebecca Kohler Baratto. For those who don’t think burgers are an ideal Valentine’s meal there are other more typical options on offer too. There’s still a few tables left, but they’re booking up quickly.
Disclosure: I was invited down to preview Bun & Bowl’s Valentine’s Day menu free of charge in exchange for an honest review of the food, with a bunch of other bloggers. I wasn’t required to say anything nice, even if it is the season of love, and hopefully you’ve spotted that – and you’ve probably spotted my love of gin too.