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Restaurant Review: Dirty Bones, Carnaby Street, Soho in London

Dirty Bones, Carnaby Street, Soho in London

Dirty Bones is great name isn’t it? I’m basically a fan of any name you can just about derive a sexual innuendo from. You know what else I’m a fan of? The notion of fried food in the morning; or any time of the day to be correct. I am not a morning person. So, when forced to arise before my body wants to, to attend a drunk brunch at Dirty Bones, I crave more salted, greasy, gluttonous food and in greater quantities to absorb my belly wobbles and brewing tears.

Located in a prime tourist spot just off Carnaby Street, it’s no real wonder that the restaurant is fully booked – bar one table – before I arrive on a Sunday. Sunday is a prime brunch day. And we need to talk about brunch, because that is why we’re here. I’m not a particularly big or noble drinker, but I a great believer in anything described as “bottomless”. This brunch comes with the option of bottomless Vueve Cliqout, providing you’re willing to fork over the £100 necessary, or bottomless house Prosecco for more of a budget brunch. There are also cocktails too, if they tickle your fancy.

Avocado Toast (with tomato chilli jam topped with olive candy)
Avocado Toast, with tomato chilli jam topped with olive candy

As I analyse the menu and wait for my notoriously late friend, I order some breakfast fries. French fries with smoked ketchup and two fried eggs. Dirty Bones’s smoked ketchup comes squeezed out like toothpaste, thick and gluggy. The eggs two identical Frisbees, which would give the window a good crack had I protested and whipped it across the restaurant. Although the hole in my stomach has been sauced, I’m now pining for something better.

My friend arrives and I’ve already decided what we’ll order, politely giving her the option to choose our third: a simple avocado on toast. The Mac Daddy is next to arrive, and he brings along a family for the outing: sweetly, young banana Toblerone waffles and a teen going through a trendy avocado phase.

Daddy looks exhausted, spilling out of his suit trousers after a long day at the office. Belt unbuckled, buttons loosened and a little sauce staining his shirt. He needs a shave and a hose down and his breath is jarred with the smell of caffeine. Although the mac daddy isn’t much of a looker, I’ve always tried not to judge a burger by its cover. As I sink in my knife, thick mac and cheese squelches out the middle. The mac and cheese is coated, not stringy, in an orangey cheese sauce. The beef a little bland and the bun dull. It’s the burger your fussy little brother would order and love, which I guess makes it a great option in itself.

Brunch Chicken & Waffles (Stacked)
Brunch Chicken and Waffles (Stacked)

The avocado on toast is firey, a welcome start for a spice-fiend like me. The chilli jam is sticky and sweet and shocking, contrasting with a creamy avocado but a chewy lump of sourdough. Now I know sourdough is doughy in quality, but when I read the word toast? I want a crunch. A sprinkling of olive candy gives an added quality to the plate. It looked like crumbs from the burnt bits of your toast, but perhaps a little less exciting. The plate was too soft; bar the spice.

Lay upon a waffle bed balanced two halves of a caramelised banana with a globe of peanut butter gelato coated in crushed nuts trophied on top. Blueberry jam decorates the plate adding extra sweetness to an already sweet as sweet plate. Think: Taylor Swift, holding three kittens in one arm and candy floss in the other; sweet enough to make your tongue furry and your eyes water. Sweet to make saliva puddle in the valley of your mouth. Sweet to make your teeth rot before you even taste it. But I like sweet, regardless of the teeth rot, which is exactly why I coupled this dish with a boozy, double chocolate and Oreo milkshake.

Bottomless Veuve Clicquout-1
The brunch comes with the option of bottomless Vueve Cliqout, providing you’re willing to fork over the £100 necessary

The only thing to do when you approach a food coma, is to take a breather and solider on. I should know, I’ve had plenty of them. We order for our final course chicken and waffles served with a shot of maple syrup and an egg. As the plate descends from the heavens, we recognise that we are now enjoying the presence of a holy being. Crispy, golden chicken balancing upon fluffy waffles. When I compare the chicken at Dirty Bones to KFC chicken that is not intended to be an insult. Those guys know how to fry chicken. If there’s one thing they know, it’s chicken frying, they’ve been doing it for nearing a century. Dirty Bones chicken was succulent and thankfully not dry in any place. The fried coating was wafer thin and salty, succulent and amazing.

The moral of the story? If you want to see the rainbow, you’ll have to put up with the rain. But luckily for you, you are now equipped with the knowledge that the chicken and waffles is the best dish at Dirty Bones, so you can leave your rain coat at home when you pay the place a visit.

Address: Top Floor, Carnaby St, Soho W1B 5PW / 020 7920 6434