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Which sounds better, Berkshire or kurobuta? Yeah, it isn’t a hard one. Berkshire is a staid, boring county west of London (thrill-ville county town: Reading) while kurobuta sounds Japanese and must mean something cool.
In fact, Berkshire and kurobuta are the same thing. The Berkshire is the oldest recorded pedigree porker in Britain, and now recognised as one of the best breeds for yielding tasty, juicy meat. Among those who hold that view are the Japanese, who know Berkshire as kurobuta.
What does all this have to do with a hot dog stand? Simple: J-Dog uses Berkshire/kurobuta to make some of its hot dogs. It has regular pork and beef versions too, but kurobuta gets top billing. And this is the reason to come here. If you taste a piece of sauce-free kurobuta J-dog on its own, you will see that you are in the presence of a five-star, gold-plated, ass-kicking dog.
That’s not to say that the embellishments have no value. The kimchi on a Kimchi Dog (the most expensive one there at £6) was the real thing, zingy with chilli and perfectly al dente. Fries, though salted a little too exuberantly, were piping hot and thrillingly crunchy. Oh, and the size is right too: good length, good girth, good value.
There’s been no shortage of canine cavorting among London’s catering classes: new hot dogs seem to rush out of the kennel every week, and their owners usually believe that, as the song says, you gotta get a gimmick if you want to get ahead. Japanese hot dogs? Yes, you can call that a gimmick. But kurobuta? The only thing you can call that is awesome. Though you could also call it Berkshire, if you insist.
168 Shoreditch High St
|Transport:||Shoreditch High Street rail.|
|Opening hours:||Daily 11am-8pm|
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