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We experience a taste of NYC in London at Dirty Bones' new flagship restaurant
Kingly Court, Carnaby Street’s famous foodie courtyard with three storeys of restaurants and bars. From Cahoots, the 1940s London Underground-themed cocktail bar, to The Good Egg, which serves Jewish-inspired grub at all hours, diners at this central London spot are spoiled for choice.
Since opening the first restaurant in Kensington in 2014, Dirty Bones has made a name for itself serving New York City-style burgers and meat on the bone; there’s usually a lot of cheese involved too.
Dirty Bones has more flair than your typical American diner. For example, the Shoreditch location is housed in an impressive Grade II-listed heritage building, while at the Kensington site, you climb through a converted photobooth to get to the restaurant. Dirty Bones Carnaby is the new flagship restaurant with exclusive items on the menu.
Sit outdoors and you’re surrounded by the communal hustle and bustle of Kingly Court, but inside is the place to be. Dark walls, wooden ceilings and black and white tiled floors transport you to an effortlessly cool NYC basement. On Fridays and Saturdays, a live DJ provides the soundtrack to your evening, and we were treated to a mix of 90s R&B and pop by @julesthepro.
The cocktails are not your basic mojitos and mules. There are several Carnaby exclusives on the menu made with the unusual addition of Dirty Bones’ signature lager. We tried the Spritz Thyme, a twist on Aperol Spritz with fresh grapefruit and thyme, and while we couldn’t taste the splash of lager, the earthy thyme was delicious with the citrus.
To start, we ordered the cheeseburger dumplings. These beefy gyoza-style bites not only had melted cheese inside but were served with burger sauce, setting the tone for the rest of the meal: messy, gooey, ridiculous indulgence. The Buffalo chicken wings in hot sauce were a menu highlight, served with a cool blue cheese and dill dip.
For my main, I ordered another Carnaby exclusive: the Reverse Truffle Cheeseburger. This monster of a beef burger is flavoured with black garlic and truffle, served with a cheesy truffle sauce that you theatrically pour on top, followed by a sprinkle of crispy onions. The truffle sauce made the burger a tad too rich for me, so I’d recommend dipping your burger in the sauce instead.
For those who always have room for dessert, I applaud you – all I could muster after my burger was a glass of cold water, but the menu had some tempting options: a milk and cookies ice cream sandwich, coffee and donuts and a variety of shakes to name a few.
For meat lovers, this is an unmissable treat - you may need a nap afterwards, though. It’s reasonably priced too at between £9.50 and £12.50 for a main. Vegetarians: run away and don’t look back!
The way the hot truffle sauce cascaded onto my burger – a real Instagram moment!