I am a big fan of the Dirty Bones franchise. My first visit to DB was to their Kensington branch in 2016 (you can read my blog here). Since then, we have been back on several occasions. We tend to hang out a lot in their Shoreditch venue these days. This post is a little homage to all our favourite things at Dirty Bones Shoreditch and what makes them so awesome!
Situated in the middle of trendy East London, Dirty Bones Shoreditch occupies an impressive, cavernous Grade II listed corner building.
Unlike the old Kensington branch (currently under renovation) which was in the basement and dimly lit, this one is light, bright and airy with lofty ceilings, huge windows, bright neons and quirky artwork.
The cocktails at Dirty Bones are something of a cult favourite with Kris and I. Whenever we go, Kris orders the Mutt’s Nuts – Woodford Reserve bourbon, cinnamon and vanilla-infused maple syrup, angostura bitters, lemon and apple. You can’t make him order anything else! But I can see why that is – it is sharp, powerful and sophisticated. A heady concoction.
I normally go for the Top Dog (got to love the names here!) – Ketel One Vodka, fresh strawberry, Chambord, lemon and Vaporetto Proseccco. It is fruity and fizzy; perfect for light summer drinking.
Another one of my other favourites is the Uptown Spritz – Tanqueray gin, Aperol, Campari, pink grapefruit and ginger ale. A vibrant, zesty and refreshing cocktail – again, perfect for balmy evenings.
The Shoreditch branch have their happy hours between 3pm – 7pm (varies for different locations), so it is a good opportunity to order a selection of cocktails for a fiver each. You really don’t need a greater motivation for that 4 pm finish!
But Dirty Bones is not just about flamboyant cocktails. Their sexed up comfort food is positively droolworthy. Dirty Bones is where you leave all your well-intentioned diet plans outside the door. Once inside, you submit and succumb to this gastronomic wonderland of meaty, calorific and cheese-smothered dishes. Try not to think of the hours you will need in the gym the next day to burn those calories off.
In the past, we have really liked their Salt and Pepper Squid. Deep-fried, spicy, scattered with slivers of scallion and fresh chilli; the squid are the perfect fried accompaniment to the smashing cocktails. They come dipped in a chilli and chipotle aioli which is simultaneously tangy and punchy. Unfortunately, the last time we visited, we did not spot them on the menu so you will have to content yourself with the photo below.
I absolutely adore their Crispy Fried Chicken. The half pile is probably enough for one person, but I feel greedy and order the full works every time (makes for a delicious lunch the next day). The crispy, free-range chicken is 24 hour brined for extra tenderness, then coated in their signature blend of buttermilk and spices. Whatever is in that blend, it sure is spicy and addictive. Deliciously crunchy on the outside, moist and utterly juicy chicken inside – this is one of the best examples of fried chicken in London (there, I said it!).
Kris’s go-to is The Mac Daddy – brisket and dry aged steak burger, topped with pulled beef short rib, mac & cheese, cayenne and coffee-spiked BBQ sauce. As far as burgers go, they are absolutely banging! Intensely juicy meat, full-flavoured pulled beef, the smoky sauce and the indecently creamy mac & cheese all burst in your gob in one mouthwatering explosion!
On a previous occasion, we also loved their Signature Shoreditch Lamb Cutlets – succulent lamb, herb-flecked and artfully splayed over a gleaming pool of tingling jalapeño sauce. It is a shame they have removed it from the menu as it was so finger licking good! Maybe we should start a petition to bring them back!
It would be blasphemous to leave Dirty Bones without trying their Signature Mac & Cheese. Lashings of Taleggio and smoked cheddar macaroni with parmesan breadcrumbs results in a piping hot, perfectly gooey hot mess that you want to dive straight into. This is a proper hangover-curing, super-comforting plate of food.
You think that nothing can top the above, but there is one more thing that is even more indulgent – their Crispy Lamb Fries. Part of the ‘sides’ menu, this dish could very well kick the mains in their butts. Skinny fries lavishly embellished with crispy lamb, sweet miso, fiery red chilli and tangy jalapeño. This is seriously game changing! You haven’t lived your foodie life until you have inhaled one of these.
The Dirty Bones experience would not be complete without a mention of the people who work here! Staff are friendly, chatty, fun and clued up. The atmosphere is of cool glamour with lively, upbeat tracks playing in the background.
If the food photos have got you salivating, head over to their website here to make a booking. You might just spot us at the next table!
N.B. This post is written to cover multiple visits. On one occasion, our mains were complimentary. As always, all photos and opinions are mine.