A tragic case of style over substance. I have no objection to queueing, but at places such as Lobster Burger you can leave your name and number rather than standing in the cold, and at Meat Liquor they provide a reasonable indication of time, bring onion rings while you wait and have outdoor heaters. At Bubbledogs we were told it could be up to 1 hour. Over 2 and a half hours later we got in, either the staff have no understanding of the turnover of tables or they deliberately understated so that we would not go away when faced with the truth (not an accusation, merely stating the two possible options - both bad). Once we were in then all could have been forgiven except the service was poor and unsmiling and food was very average. The hotdogs are small and taste no better than any standard frankfurter, all three of us (including two ladies who are not big eaters) needed 2 hotdogs plus sides and at around £7 per dog then I would expect better quality. The sides were great, crunchy tots and fresh coleslaw. But nowhere near worth the price. We may have just gone on a bad night, but I will never go back. The concept is great, but it has to decide whether to charge high prices and deliver on quality and service, or be cheaper and get away with cutting corners. If you want to queue for that long just for a glass of bubbly then you are welcome to do so, but there are much better bars and concept eateries. Other may disagree, but in my opinion this falls way below the standard of places available in London and is neither worth the time or money.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Sep 7 2012
As concepts go, Bubbledogs is right on the money. This newcomer teams hot dogs with bubbly, tapping straight into the vein of the current trend for poshed-up junk food. And boy, have they gone to town, cladding the space in rustic reclaimed woods (even the air-con unit has been sympathetically disguised), exposing bricks, wallpapering the ceiling. They then installed stunning lighting, hired an attractive and amiable workforce, and sourced a laudable collection of lesser-known champagnes. There’s only one problem: they forgot to make the ‘gourmet’ hot dogs any good.
Choose your ‘dog’ – there’s pork, beef or veggie – then pick one of a dozen styles, from ‘naked’ (just a dog in a bun) to the more adventurous ‘Trishna’ (topped with mango chutney, mint and coriander). But the two we sampled were underwhelming.
Our Korean-inspired ‘K-Dawg’ came lined with a fiery but flavourless gochujang ( red bean paste ), a few pieces of baby gem lettuce and a scattering of kimchi (the Korean condiment of pickled cabbage). But this kimchi wasn’t particularly well fermented, and lacked depth. Our ‘Sloppy Joe’ fared no better, being topped with a too-sweet house chilli and a sprinkling of grated (but not melted) cheese. But most disappointing were the main ingredients. The soft finger buns were fine, but our pork hot dogs were soft and fatty – similar in style to the kind you get in mass catering outlets when all eyes are on the profit margin. Not what you’d expect for more than £7 each.
By comparison, the side dishes were excellent. Our ‘tots’ were short, crunchy cylinders of starchy potato (somewhere between miniature potato croquettes and hash browns) while a small dish of fresh coleslaw was crisp, light and sweet – a refreshing and much-needed foil to all that had gone before.
But in some ways, dissing the dogs misses the point, because Bubbledogs is still ‘hot’, and has plenty going for it. It’s a beautiful space, where a huge amount of thought has gone into the detail. Look in the nook under your table and you’ll find a wooden wine bottle box: open the clasp and you’ll find your serviettes (no cutlery is provided with your dogs). Head to the downstairs loos (which are unisex, by the way) and you can spend a penny surrounded by old menus from illustrious restaurants, from the Fat Duck to Le Gavroche, then pull a piece of loo roll from an ornate vintage dispenser; this is not bog-standard.
Bubbledogs works brilliantly as a champagne bar, champions smaller producers, and kicks off at an accessible £6/£6.50 a glass (cava, champagne).
On our lunchtime visit, the room was heaving with beautiful people quaffing with gay abandon. No one seemed to care that you can’t book in advance, that there may be a time limit (55 minutes, in our case) or that you might have to share a table – if anything, it added to the buzz. By the time we left, more pretty things were queuing to get in. ‘Go for the bubbles,’ I wanted to say, ‘but steer clear of them dogs.’
Bubbledogs teams four-star drinking with two-star dining. We hope that when Kitchen Table (a tiny Modern European restaurant on the same site) opens later this month, it will be a little more consistent.
Kitchen Table will open on September 18.
Bubbledogs 70 Charlotte St
- Venue phone:
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 11.30am-11pm Tue-Wed; 11.30-midnight Thur-Sat. Kitchen Table noon-2pm, 6pm (first dinner sitting), 9pm (second dinner sitting) Tue-Sat.
Tube: Goodge St tube
- 70 Charlotte St
- 020 76377770
- 70 Charlotte St
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:5
- 1 star:5
We went to this restaurant, and boy were we disappointed. The staff barely spoke to us, didn't smile once, didn't even ask how our food was. The food was bland, poorly seasoned, poorly balanced in flavour, and utterly unexciting. The 'manager' (not the one pictured on their site) was rude to the half of our party that arrived first, telling them that they must wait outside and could not enter the hallway to get out of the cold rain. Even though there was no queue and the restaurant was half empty when we arrived, we were told to share a table. When we left there was space inside the restaurant, yet still many people were queuing outside. Although there was a wide range of champagne to choose from, there were only about half a dozen that could be ordered by the glass. Only one of those by the glass didn't contain chardonnay grapes. The decor and presentation of the food was spot on for the fashion in eateries at the moment. However, this isn't enough to make up for the unsatisfying food, both in quantity and quality. If you're in the area of Bubbledogs, you're better off going to Bone Daddies, which is nearby and in the same price bracket.
Couldn't agree more. Great concept. lovely decor and staff, but I wonder at the longevity when the hotdogs and roll are really basic (reminiscent of tinned ones I had as a child) with a few fancy sauces/extras on top. It doesn't really feel like you're having a great meal for your money and I think it could put people off going back. Champagne is champagne and always great, it would be nice if focused on great meat and menu to compliment it. The sweet potatoes were great though.
Not worth the 2 and a half hours queuing time on a Friday night at all. I was really intrigued to check it out as this was a seemingly 'must visit' venue, but even getting there early (6pm-ish) the queue was vast and slow (the restaurant is tiny), so expectations grow with each extra minute queuing in the cold, but ultimately it's just hot dogs, you know? And the champagne is fine, but the really nice ones are really expensive and the affordable ones are nothing special at all. Check it out if you must/ you're curiosity is too much to bear, but go at lunchtime/ when there isn't a queue.
I had a really fun and pleasant experience here. Here's what to expect: - Really friendly and attentive service. The staff I met were lovely. - You'll be perched on a stool at a high bar / table, possibly with other people - it's not a settle-in-and-get-comfy for the night place. Service is fast and turnaround is quick. -Champagne is well priced and delicious - you don't feel pressured to order more or spend lots. - Cute and kitsch atmosphere - love the diner-style serving of the food, with tater tots in a little plastic basket. - Finally, the food! The hot dogs are not gourmet sausages, they're those slightly fake-looking American-style weiners / frankfurters. I had chilli on mine and it was GOOD. I would definitely go back with friends. We managed to get a seat straight away even though there was a queue - there were only the two of us and everyone else was waiting for the rest of their parties to arrive. If you go there early you should be fine!
Yes you have to queue to get in....It's a champagne bar that sells hotdogs. It's interior is stunning. The concept is mainly it is a bar...it's a champagne bar. I wouldn't solely come here if you want hotdogs but if you're looking for some drinks with friends and you'd like some quick food...then this is perfect. Sometimes you don't want a long sit down meal, because it ruins the drinking! I am rating this place as a champagne bar because that's what it is and it is great because it has food if you're peckish. Yes I admit the food is good not amazing, but most bars you go to for drinking, and if they have 'good food' well it's a great bonus!!!
Hyped to a pedestal it should never have been placed upon. The food is worse than mediocre. The service is fine and if you're content paying inflated prices for poor quality champagne then that's ok. The cocktails were awful considering they were £10 a pop. Never wasting money there again.
Overated and expensive. I think there is a severe case of people getting on the band-wagon with this restaurant. The hot dogs are good, but not worth the queue (which was over 90mins for us) or the price. Any good hot dog stand can compete with the taste for a fraction of the cost. The extensive champagne choice is very good.
Can't help but be a little underwhelmed after all the hype. Not sure where the food R&D went - the room design perhaps, but kimichi on top of a hot dog didn't work for me. Did they run out of ideas of what to put on top? And how they thought champers (nice as they may be) matched hot dogs better than an ice cold beer I will never know. Higher hopes for Kitchen Table!
Novelty venue, but surprisingly good sweet potato fries and hot dogs alongside decent champagne. Good fun!
Awesome concept. Delicious hotdogs and incredibly well informed waiting team. Hotdogs, we had the BLT and one with truffle mayo. Both absolutely delicious. Shame about the queues but I will certainly be rejoining them!
As long as you visit with the view that you are going to spend a lot of cash on bland hotdog snacks (a hotdog from a street seller is much tastier) and the main draw is the fact that it is a champagne bar then you'll be ok. The venue is nice and the staff are very atentive and look after you which makes a change in central London. For me the letdown was the hotdog element, particularly when paying £11 for a hotdog and a few potato croquets which would be a fraction of the cost anywhere else. Nice for the novelty of visiting a new concept bar but I won't be making a habit of frequenting the joint.
Timeout, in a city with so much good food now, you are being too nice to this restaurant. How can you give 3 stars to a place where you clearly believe has inferior food where their star dish - the hot dog is "similar in style to the kind you get in mass catering outlets when all eyes are on the profit margin" and charged at gourmet prices.
Went to Bubble dogs around 6:45pm straight from work, at the door I was told by the unfriendly/uninterested staff that they were full for the rest of the night. They are open until 12pm. How ridiculous.. They did not even give a waiting time they just said I should leave. I am really unimpressed.