In 1895, Guy Beringer definitely may have had a point when he urged the nation to scrap post-church heavy meals, for a lighter alternative meal served late in the morning –something we would come to love and know as ‘brunch’. Fast-forward 124 years later, and we have created an amazing combination – the bottomless brunch: unlimited booze and dishes to die for (in some cases not).
Last week I went to check out Dirty Bone’s brunch menu, an NYC-inspired comfort food spot in Shoreditch, which runs from 11 am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. It has been a while since I’ve eaten something that’s left me satisfied and wanting more, but Dirty Bones did not disappoint – the food was exceptional. So if beef short ribs and chicken & waffles is your thing, then do visit please do visit!
Price Tag: ££
Occasion: Friends, date, casual meeting
Location: 1 Club Row, Shoreditch, London E1 6JX (Shoreditch High Street Station) 11 am – 4pm for brunch (Branches also in Kensington, Carnaby, Soho and Oxford)
The food here is pretty affordable with brunch main dishes starting from £8. What made the brunch a tad bit more expensive was the bottomless option which cost £22 – so overall you’d spend a minimum of £35. I think the price is still a good offer for a brunch, especially with the variety of cocktails you get.
As mentioned, the bottomless cocktails cost £22 per person, and you can pick from three options which are: Dirty Mary (a twist on the Bloody Mary); Uptown Spritz (Gin-based, with Aperol, ginger ale and grapefruit bitters) and the Hip Monkey (Rum-based with hints of grapefruit).
The rules: It’s worth noting that the bottomless drinks are limited to 1 ½ hours, and you can only order another cocktail once you’ve finished the one in front of you. Additionally, everyone on the table must go bottomless and purchase an option of a main course to receive the offer.
Overall, my favourite cocktails were the Uptown Spritz and Hip Monkey, as both had the perfect bitter-sweet balance. The Uptown Spritz had a sharper bitter flavour due to the Aperol and was balanced out with the sweetness of the ginger ale.
Separately, the Hip Monkey is for you if you’re a rum-lover and like your drinks more fruiter. Though this cocktail also had grapefruit, it’s definitely a less bitter version to the Uptown Spritz, as it has grapefruit soda, instead of grapefruit bitters.
Is it worth it? The average cocktail costs £9 each, therefore if you really want to get your money’s worth from the bottomless brunch you’d want to have at least 3-4 cocktails – so it’s definitely worth your money in terms of quantity.
Now to the best bit, the food. We started with the crispy lamb fries (£6.50), which had pieces of crispy lamb, sweet miso and jalapenos. The lamb was beautiful – it was tender on the inside, and had a thin crispy layer on the outside – so after one bite it literally melts in your mouth. The only thing I’d adapt, is to make the sauce less tangy and a little sweeter.
We then ordered the cheesy truffle fries (£6), a generous portion of skinny fries with cheddar and parmesan cheese sauce and white truffle oil. Overall, the cheese sauce had a nice mild buttery and creamy taste, but you couldn’t really taste the truffles.
We then ordered the Beef short ribs (£18), which was braised for 12 hours with espresso-spiked BBQ sauce. An incredibly generous portion, the dish comes with two large ribs. The texture was perfect, as the beef literally fell off the bone, the sauce was slightly tangy and complemented the meat, and the crispy shallots and spring onions gave it a lovely crunchy finish.
Next on the menu was the chicken and waffles (£11). Similar to everything else on the menu, the chef got the texture right on the chicken – it was extra crispy on the outside, whilst the chicken was tender and moist, and well flavoured.
Texture. One word that comes to mind on this review. What made the food perfect was how well executed the texture was on each dish. These were very simple and classic dishes executed very well, and brought to life with an explosion of flavour. The irony is that I came for the bottomless option, but the food stole the show. Will I be coming back? Absolutely!