Bobo Social, Fitzrovia
With a name like ‘Bobo Social’ you would be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled upon a review of a Tinder-style app for single parents with toddlers looking for the perfect play-date but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Situated on the ‘unofficial business lunch’ capital of London, Charlotte Street, this new high-end burger restaurant has a very modest front door and entrance hallway leading into a minimalist dining room which makes you feel like you are entering a supper club run by Kate Moss.
We arrived at 7pm on a cold Thursday evening and even at this time it had a great buzz and liveliness about it. The name ‘Bobo Social’ is an amalgamation of the words ‘Bourgeois’ and ‘Bohemian’ and the décor is certainly playing for Team Bohemian. Crockery plucked from Alice in Wonderland, aged wooden tables and chairs and low-hanging Edison bulbs give an intimacy to each space with the white walls preventing the feeling of dining in a haunted house invaded by an axe-murderer (I’m talking to you Meat Liquor).
If the décor is Bohemian then the food is definitely Bourgeois. We got things under way with a deliciously smooth chicken and British chorizo pate. To accompany this my date insisted that we had the sea bass ceviche and I could kiss her for this decision (I did later). After the light starters we headed into burger country. Bobo Social differs from traditional burger bars in that they use different British beef and wood on a weekly basis so, in theory, no two trips should be the same (unless you go in the same week, and we probably would). I opted for the Bobo which is a 6oz Rare-Breed beef served in a buttermilk bun with lettuce, charcoal roasted red onions and BOBO Sauce.
In case you were wondering the vital statistics were meat: Galloway and wood: English plum. Cutting to the chase: it’s the best burger I’ve ever eaten. I managed to share a fragment with my date and she hi-fived me and agreed – the flavour is incredible with no burger juice, greasy brioches or overcooked patties in sight. My date went for the Lobster and Crab burger which was bloody lovely too. A cavalcade of sides are on offer; whilst we got stuck into the beef dripping chips, served in a large tea cup and the apple slaw with pumpkin seeds which were both very good, we couldn’t help but notice the table next to us had ordered the chilli chocolate latticed bacon which we will definitely be trying on our return visit.
Top tip: order the dark & milk chocolate mousse with salted caramel with two spoons and share it. If you want to keep the booze flowing then the dessert cocktails are very enticing. My date went for the ‘Apple Crumble in a Glass’ which is apple and cinnamon infused Bourbon with vanilla and cinnamon cream.
I met my date at the nearby Fitzroy Tavern prior to the burger action. Drinking a pint for under £3.50 was the aim of the game and Sam Smith’s chain of delightful boozers meant that we were rolling double sixes from the word go. The Fitzroy Tavern and Sam Smith’s pubs in general are reliable watering holes, which have refused to succumb to the hipster’s favourite – cans of craft pale ale that have been expertly brewed six inches from your face but cost more than a barrel of oil shipped from Libya. Fortunately for me my date proved no stranger to downing 2 pints of Taddy in 60 minutes, so after discussing the demise of Dapper Laughs (RIP, gone too soon, misogyny lolz) and wetting our whistles, we were on our way.
The conversation wasn’t the only thing flowing as we ordered cocktails; choose from the Classics, the British and for those celebrating a new job, birthday or Tuesday, the Champagne section. My date opted for the Lavender Bomb (Bombay Sapphire gin, lemon juice, sugar, served with plenty of lavender-y goodness) whereas I went for my old favourite, an Old Fashioned. It’s a tricky craft making a good cocktail but these went down swimmingly. The best burgers in London had my date audibly wooed – I think I heard a little food-gasm. Bobo Social provided the amazing food and atmosphere but surprisingly one of the winning factors for my date were the toilets. She visited them twice and came back with a big smile on her face both times (not for that, filthy bugger). Often overlooked, the toilets at Bobo were a hit. Resembling mini-Cath Kidston stores, these little spaces of paradise, with the music of her favourite band Interpol playing proudly, really were a hidden delight. On the right side of tipsy, we strolled down Charlotte Street for a quick ‘Mexican Bullet’ at The Red Bar before slipping off into the night feeling all good’n’stuff. Needless to say we’re booked in for another date.
5. Food that produces long audible moans of delight, an atmosphere that makes you feel like you are eating round your cool, famous mates house who has access to your Spotify account, and toilets that make her grin like she’s done something sordid. With winter dating in full swing, top marks for taking reservations and not making us wait in the rain and with a new brunch menu for Saturdays perhaps we should all try and be a bit more Bobo Social.