The Gravy Social by Luke Findlay

Having worked in some of the UK’s most exciting kitchens,  including Nopi, The Square, The Hand & Flowers, (and more recently) Head of Development for Patty & Bun, Luke Findlay has just taken the plunge to launch his first solo supper club, The Gravy Social.

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Friends of Luke and hungry foodies gathered at The Gun pub in east London. We got to know the other diners on our table while enjoying a fruity aperitif. Dainty little Kobez flatbreads arrived, topped with a variety of unusual toppings like the comforting charred corn, aioli, gremolata, tahini and soft egg.

Starter was an ideal Autumn warmer, Braised mussels with fennel and garlic sausage, clamato juice and prickly oil. The sausages were a highlight, coarse meat flavoured with lovely fennel and garlic. I found the prickly oil slightly overpowering, and after a few bites my mouth began to feel numb. But other guests seemed to love this unique sensation, and managed to finish an astounding quantity of spicy mussels.

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As soon as the sides were placed down on the table, my comrades rushed to get the best mouthful. Indulgent hash browns with a crunchy outer layer and lashings of mayo. Super sweet onions in a rich and intense herby juices, and Fried spicy brussel sprouts which had me looking forward to the festive season. The main course showcased the very under-appreciated goat meat, it was full of flavour and beautifully tender, perfectly seasoned with tamarind and bitter melon.

The Gravy Social

Dessert was rough and ready, served in childlike plastic yellow bowls. The crunchie ice-cream was delicious, but I found the grape molasses a little too sweet paired with the other components.

It was a fun and raucous night at The Gravy Social, meeting interesting like-minded people and sharing overflowing plates of bold and brilliant food.

For more information on the next Gravy Social supperclub follow Luke on Twitter here.

Patty and Bun, James Street

Somewhere between Meat Liquor and Honest comes Patty and Bun. The burgers are messy and the queues are long… it’s another hit joint following the now familiar steps to success: sloppy tasty burger, grubby-chic venue, no reservations, cheap… and hey presto there are hordes outside begging for burgers. Will our cravings for dirty burgers ever end? Mine certainly don’t show signs of slowing down as new tempting eateries pop up all over town.

I have queued for enough burgers, I’ve done my time, and after hearing rumours of Patty and Bun’s fans’ patience, I didn’t take any chances with my visit. 3pm on a Thursday afternoon seemed like the ideal time for an  available table… I wasn’t very hungry, but never mind, it seemed like my only opportunity. My planning paid off, two tables available and one was mine. There is only enough space for about 30 in a makeshift type room with hanging red wire lights, wooden tables and stools and very plain walls. A blackboard outside is marked with witty burger puns.

Joe, the founder of Patty and Bun, developed his juicy burgers through various pop-up projects, all of which were staggeringly popular… so many were delighted to see the arrival of this permanent fixture in central London, moments away from Selfridges.

The burger was great, though difficult to eat with any decorum, I must have got through at least eight paper napkins as I mopped up the cheesy mess running down my hands and chin. There are six varieties on offer, I chose the simple ‘Ari Gold’ Cheeseburger – beef patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions, smokey P&B mayo, brioche and optional bacon. A lovely combination of sweet onions and meat with the salty bacon and creamy American style cheese, it was a delicious creation. The meat is soft and juicy with a rich flavour complemented by the bacon and slapped together in a super soft brioche bun.

The chips (tossed in rosemary), though the perfect consistency and texture, were blindingly over-salted. I couldn’t even finish them, which is extremely rare for me. I later found out that food can be eaten in or taken out, so even if seats aren’t available you can try these magnificent burgers.

Choc Ices, for those who can manage one after a rich burger, are made bespoke by Ice Cream Union in the sophisticated flavours: Peanut Butter, White Chocolate and Coffee or Hazelnut.

£12 bought me a burger, fries and diet coke, next time I’m trying pudding too. A little less salt and this place would be perfection.

More information here.