There are very few better remedies to a nose-numbingly cold winter’s evening than settling into the welcoming and cosy Dirty Bones to indulge in enough comfort food to fill you for the next week.
Located on the rooftop of the Westgate centre, Dirty Bones is an NYC-inspired food and cocktail venue originally established in London back in 2013. The interior has a trendy and laid back atmosphere, styled around the classic New York loft complete with stacks of vinyls and G-plan furniture.
Upon arrival we were greeted straight away by friendly and smiley staff who took us over to our table – there were a few to choose from it being a weeknight, but despite the calm, the venue maintained a busy and energetic vibe aided by the Brooklyn inspired background music and contented guests.
Having already browsed the menu online before our arrival (of course) it didn’t take us long to get our order in, and our waiter was quick to come over and help. Naturally, we started with drinks – I went for a Christmas special, ‘the Foxy’. A crème brûlée crossed with an espresso martini sounded so good it was worth saying the cringeworthy name for. I’ve always wanted to go out to eat and start with dessert, and this sweet and silky cocktail was as close as I’ve ever come to doing so.
To start, I had the ‘Snowballs’ (truffled mac and cheese balls dusted with parmesan and adorned with a little cranberry), and my partner opted for the Habanero sweet and sour chicken wings. The snowballs were recommended to me by a friend, and for that, I am eternally grateful – they were incredible. Crispy and cheesy batter with an oozing steamy mac and cheese centre, the dish was perfectly balanced, and I could’ve eaten 10 more. The glossy, looking chicken wings across the table were still envy-worthy though. I’m told they were the perfect level of spice, tangy but maintaining their sweetness – off to a great start with both dishes.
For mains, I went for the only vegetarian option on the menu, which was a plant-based burger with vegan cheese, sesame slaw, vegan mayo, and house relish – you also could add a bit of spice to make it a little more interesting. I suppose it takes the difficult decision-making out of the equation, and if you’re going to a restaurant with bones in the title, I don’t think vegetarian is really what you’re there for – it was a good burger and certainly filled a hole but my side really carried the meal. I always usually go for chips with my burger, and while the cheesy truffle fries were tempting – as is anything with truffle in the title – the crunchy sesame slaw was definitely the right choice. It was fresh, warmingly spicy and the perfect contrasting addition.
My guest went for The Mac Daddy, a Double dry-aged steak burger topped with pulled beef short rib, mac and cheese and espresso-spiked BBQ sauce on seeded brioche. Even the description is enough to make your mouth water, it’s the kind of meal that makes you question whether vegetarianism is even worth it. It was packed with flavour and unapologetically glutinous, with the pulled beef almost melting apart as you ate it – so good that you have to wait at least a week before eating anything like it again.
We only just had room for dessert, the portion sizes were good but thankfully not quite in keeping with the American tradition. We shared the salted caramel pudding cup which was their plant-based and gluten-free option, it was nice to see this not skimped on in the slightest. Consisting of chunks of salted caramel brownie with salted caramel ice cream, it’s difficult to make a dessert this filthily indulgent look pretty on camera, but I tried.
We had a completely relaxed and enjoyable evening, thanks to our server who was really attentive without making us feel like we were being watched, which I often find on a quieter evening. This Christmas menu – which most of our orders came from – is only available until the end of December, so make sure you get in quick to have a try, Dirty Bones certainly know how to Christmas.
Looking for the real thing? Dirty Bones are offering one lucky winner a trip to New York! Anyone who’s ordering from the group holiday menu for their Christmas party can request their own The Notorious BIG’s gold crown. Upload a pic of yourself wearing it to Instagram and tag @dirtybones to enter.