Lucy Self sank her teeth into the new Bunsmiths Burgers at Sebright Arms
Before great burgers became ubiquitous and pop-ups were ten a penny, a little known player on the patty scene joined forces with an East London boozer. The result was a long-standing collab, which saw both parties gain cult status and every food writer/blogger/social media user stampede to try the ‘Tom Selleck’ with a side of Urban Orchards cider. I am, of course, talking of Lucky Chip at The Sebright Arms.
Now, over three years later, the team at Sebright is going it alone with Bunsmiths. Launched at the end of March, the culinary creation from owner Charles Ross focuses on BBQ meat wedged between (you guessed it) buns.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a twinge of apprehension about the idea (and that’s not even addressing the tears I cried, before they assured me that Lucky Chip burgers will still exist). My main concerns centering on London hardly lacking in BBQ joints or pub pop-ups, and genuine worry that a pub I love would do something badly. But I can honestly say, having sampled a huge chunk of the menu, that my fears were unfounded.
Cleverly (always applaud people who know not to run before they can ‘q’) the Bunsmiths menu is kept short – offering five buns and one burger, plus a few salads and sides. We opted for the 10-hour hickory smoked beef brisket and veggie fritter buns. The beef had great flavour and came with a cracking homemade BBQ sauce but it was the non-meat patty, made with spiced sweet potato and candied beetroot, that won the bun fight. And do not leave without a side of their onion rings (thanks to the manager for pointing this out). Cradled by a thick panko breadcrumb crust and the circumference of a small planet, they are magnificent.
Without pretending we have a groundbreaking concept on our hands, Bunsmith delivers a very decent version of its ilk. It also happens to be serving it in one of those genuine London pubs that, with our minds fogged by farrow and ball painted walls and gastro menus, many of us have forgotten about. We don’t care if you go for the stained-glassed-wood-pannelled interior, craft beer from local breweries including Hackney, Redemption and The Kernel or those unforgettable onion rings. Just go.
Bunsmiths at The Sebright Arms, 31-35 Coate Street, London E2 9AG