Already a firm burger destination in the East, Lucky Chip have made the move into Soho, taking over the kitchen at The Player, a basement bar I was previously unfamiliar with on Broadwick St. Rather than the full sized burgers they are known for, sliders are the focus here. Naturally, the sliders are brilliant, but they’ve expanded their repertoire to include a few surprises. Such is my devotion to all things Lucky Chip, I went along on the opening night for what began as a pre-dinner snack and then turned into an all-out gluttony feast. I honestly just could not stop eating.
So why am I showing dessert first? Because that is what I ate first. This is what happens when I eat on my own and there is no one to gently suggest that perhaps ordering dessert to start isn’t the most sensible of ideas. A large bowl of soft serve ice cream arrived and on the side? All things amazing and sweet to make your own sundae! Top marks for presentation; it was so cute. The spoon (not pictured unfortunately) was a ceramic version of the little paddles handed out at your usual ice creameries. There was a blueberry sauce; I couldn’t quite pick the bright red one – strawberry maybe? Honeycomb chips, fresh blueberries, a mixture of rice bubbles and pop rocks(!) and a mixture of chocolate pebbles and freeze-dried berries. I loved the novelty of it, but the quick-melting nature of the soft serve, meant it had to be eaten as quickly as possible – the paddle doesn’t hold much liquid and it quickly turned to soup.
I love the idea of customizing my own sundae, but let’s face it – it turned into a free-for-all of dumping it all into bowl and fishing out randomn sweets. I have accepted the fact that one day my teeth will rot away due to all the sugar I eat, but for normal people, with regular tolerance to sugar, this is probably one dish to share.
I decided to exercise conventionalism, if not self-control and order something savoury. Opting for the LFC bucket, I have never been so glad to be on my own and not have to share this with anyone. The chicken pieces were juicy and the outer coating crunchy. The creamed corn was smooth and lovely and sweet and reminded me how much I love eating buttery corn. The cheese croquettes were epic balls of gooey molten cheese. The coleslaw had a slight crunch. It wasn’t a vinegary as some you find, but still helped cut through the richness. And that bottle in the corner? Chicken gravy. I wasn’t sure how best to utilise it, and simply opted to coat everything in it. Epic.
At this point, I was getting full, but I rationalised in my mind that it would be utter madness to eat at SliderBar and NOT try a slider. Sliders have to be ordered in pairs and come with a small portion of fries. The miniaturised tray that turned up was utterly adorable. Itreminded me of the retro 50′s diner style burgers. The pulled pork was juicy and the bun was nicely shiny. The Club burger is SliderBar’s version of a Big Mac. And by ‘version’ I mean it eclipsed the real thing. It was the ultimate version of a Big Mac. In even it’s miniaturised version, they still managed to cook the patties to medium rare, and despite their size, neither were lacking in flavour. Yet another reason why I have such faith in the Lucky Chip boys’ burger abilities.
I had no idea what the white foam was on the side, and absentmindedly began dunking fries in there only to become confused when it tasted like lime. I overheard someone explain to the person next to me it was lemonade. I felt like a right nob head. A little shot of homemade lemonade to wash down your mini burger and mini chips. The shot on the side was given by bar staff as a result of such a long wait for the food.
No opening night is without a few difficulties. I was seated at the bar, and as a result was privy to overhearing the difficulties staff were having. An hour and a half into service and the kitchen was completely swamped, and there were few organizational mixups regarding tickets and orders. Staff handled it brilliantly. They managed to re-group, sections were divided up and free drinks were offered to tables left waiting longest. Staff even offered to charge my phone for me when my battery died. Just before I left, I would estimate the wait for food was maybe 40 minutes. First day of service is always tough but I think a 50%-off for a soft opening might have might have made the waiting easier to bear, but there wasn’t and I think might have been the only low point of the night. These are minor quibbles however, I’m sure as they continue to trade, wait times will reduce, and staff proved they could handle the stress.
SliderBar is a great addition to Soho. The food is slightly more refined, but presentation is very fun. Off the top of my head, the only other place I can think of that does sliders is Spuntino. While I love Spuntino, I have to admit SliderBar’s sliders totally eclipsed Spuntino. Inevitable comparisons to existing burger places will pop up. SliderBar is less hectic and less overwhelming than MeatLiquor and I think it will attract a different crowd. If anything I’d compare the vibe to Spuntino or maybe Pittcue. Either way, I really liked what I did eat, and definitely want to go back to try the rest of the menu. I’ve never been so happy that I recently changed jobs and can now walk there after walk. Bring on obesity!