The BOBO Social is a new burger place (Relatively, as of this writing in March, 2015) in the heart of London, at the north end of Charlotte street. Charlotte street is packed with food offerings – both cheap and pricey – lined with everything from expensive Roka sushi and Gaucho steaks to Icco pizza for under a fiver. It’s got everything, which makes it hard to stand out from the crowd.
BOBO Social is tucked into a small terrace house conversion on the north end of the restaurant row. Inside, they go for a rustic country dining feel with four-legged solid wood tables and unfinished wood floors. Padded country chairs match the light colours of the interior. Food is served on old-timey china and during the lunch rush, you’d be lucky to get a table, so make a booking or get there early!
BOBO bills itself as an innovative small-plate dining experience anchored by succulent burgers. Their burgers are made with rare-breed beef from farms in Yorkshire, Essex and Kent; varying from Dexter, Longhorn and Red Lincoln. BOBO is supplied by Flock & Herd, one of London’s top premium butchers – think Ginger Pig for Honest/Hawksmoor.
Their burgers are cooked in a Kopa Charcoal Oven which would run you around £13,000 if you fancy one for your home! The meat is seared quickly at temperatures of 300°C, locking in all that juicy goodness. Every Monday, BOBO’s head chef hosts an experimental burger night using exotic meats such as Kangaroo, Alligator, Venison, Ostrich and of course COW. But it’s the regular beef that I tried and I was impressed.
They range from the starter Bobo at £8.95 on up to the Debauchery for a cool £20. The bare bones Bobo gets you a 6 oz. patty Lettuce, Tomatoes, Charcoal-Roasted Red Onions, BOBO Sauce on a brioche bun with a ‘B’ branded into the top. The Debauchery is 6 ounces of Wagyu Beef & Rare-Breed Beef, Ogleshield Cheese, Confit Shitaki Mushrooms & Onions, Bacon Mayo, Shaved Truffles; so it’s basically the Ferarri of burgers.
The inbetweeners include the “Peanut Butter” for £11.95 with a 6oz patty, Peanut Butter, Monterey Jack, Maple Cured Bacon as well as the “Capsicum” with British Chorizo, Manchego Cheese, Tomato & Chilli Salsa, Fresh Chillies, and Jalapeño Mayo for £12.95.
The burger you see above is the “BBQ and Bubbly”: Prosecco & Maple Syrup BBQ sauce, Westcombe Cheddar, Deep Fried Sliced Gherkin, and Sauteed Onions. My colleague went for the Peanut Butter with a fried egg on top which made my jealous rage rise significantly. The grass it always greener!
On the side, you can get skin-on, beef-dripping ships, sweet potato chips with truffle salt, apple slaw, fried pickles, of this beauty: chilli chocolate latticed bacon. And yes, it’s maple bacon. And yes, it’s amazing. Other small plate selections include their calamari, honey-glazed goats cheese medallions, smoked haddock fishcakes, and prawn ceviche – that ceviche, it’s so hot right now…
Overall, my impressions of BOBO Social were good. Friendly waitstaff, nice juicy burgers, tasty sides (though on the small side) all served up in a bright environment. Yet, for some reason I’m not scrambling to go back. Maybe it’s that I prefer a more down and dirty approach to the burger. Something about that posh grime has rubbed off on me and eating a burger in such a sparkling country-rustic setting seems foreign to me. A burger doesn’t really belong on floral china service… it should be in foil or wax paper with cheesy goodness oozing out into the nooks.
I guess I’m nitpicking, but it’s what’s in my heart! The burgers are delicious and it’s nice enough to take your girlfriend or that special man in your life that you like to share burger experiences with; bro to bro. Bromantic.
BOBO Social – 40/50
Beef (8): Peppery, smokey and pink.
Bun (7): Soft and eggy – a great burger bun.
Toppings (9): Definitely not the stars of the show, but excellent nonetheless.
Value (8): Right where you want to pay.
Ambiance (8): Kitsch and funny signs make up for the queue times.
You can visit their website here. Remember, whatever you do, get the chocolate bacon, because, mmmmmmbaconmmmmmm.