Read our expert restaurant review of Patty & Bun’s Brighton branch, which has pioneered the chain’s first-ever vegan burger.
In a nutshell
Hip burger chain Patty & Bun has opened its first branch outside London, and with it launched the Whoopi Goldburger, possibly the best vegan burger we’ve ever tried (apart from our own, check out our vegan burger recipe here).
What’s the vibe like?
Low lighting, simple café-style wooden chairs and tables, loud-ish music and an open kitchen give this 40-cover Patty & Bun site in the heart of The Lanes a buzzy bar vibe.
There’s a pitstop-like feel to the place, where you’re not inclined to linger but to be in and out within an hour or so, and on to your next port of call.
Having said that, on the evening we were there the service, while welcoming, was a little slow.
How does the menu work?
There’s a choice of seven generously sized burgers delivered to your table paper-wrapped – from the ‘Smokey Robinson’ beef patty with caramelised onions, bacon and smoky mayo in a brioche bun, to the ‘Hot Chic’ with marinated buttermilk fried chicken with coleslaw, pickled cucumbers and smoked garlic aioli, and the vegetarian ‘Dig It’ Portobello mushroom burger with garlic parsley butter and tarragon mayo.
Sides include chips with roast chicken mayo and chicken skin salt, smoked confit chicken wings with BBQ sauce and spring onions, and beef brisket nuggets with kimchi mayo.
Which dishes should we order?
Patty & Bun’s Whoopi Goldburger is a winner, whether you’re vegan or not.
A tempeh and mushroom fritter was crisp and crunchy on the outside with a soft but satisfyingly textured centre, and the flavour had a subtle umami tang.
Double-smoked vegan gouda cheese was a dairy-free, coconut-oil-based revelation – oozy and stringy with some bite, just as you want burger cheese to be.
The bonsoy bun was equal to its brioche counterparts, and the bread and butter pickles, along with the onions, mustard and ketchup within made the Whoopi as gratifyingly filthy as anything else on the menu.
We asked for the vegan bacon addition, but sadly (according to our waitress) the chain hadn’t yet sourced a satisfactory supplier. (Try our awesome vegan shiitake ‘bacon’ recipe here in our vegan BLT (pictured below)
The Ari Gold cheeseburger, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and a smoky mayo, delivered a classic meaty patty with sweet and sharp garnishes to match its retro American diner look.
The accompanying well-seasoned chips with rosemary salt were on the button, neither too flimsy, nor too chunky.
Which dishes should we miss?
Don’t bother with the chipotle coleslaw – it packed a deep-down heat but was otherwise bland tasting.
What’s dessert like?
In keeping with the no-need-to-hang-around approach, there are no desserts on offer at Patty & Bun.
That’s not to say those with a sweet tooth can’t finish with a milkshake – the hazelnut milkshake we tried was like a joyful, creamy Ferrero Rocher whizzed into a glass, topped with a sprinkle of crunchy hazelnut nibs.
What are the drinks like?
There are six cocktails on the menu – including a well-proportioned, refreshing pink mojito with Appletons rum, mint, lime and cranberry juice, and a (too) potent old fashioned with Ezra Brooks bourbon, orange segments and bitters – plus a Wray & Nephew rum punch offered by the glass or in a carafe.
Beers include Budvar and an Island Records Session IPA , both on draught.
What else should we know?
Patty & Bun has a cocktail happy hour (two for £10) everyday from 5-7pm for those looking for cheap drinks/an early meal.
There’s a takeaway hatch too, if you need to scoff a quality burger en route to the beach (just a five-minute stroll away).
Patty & Bun Brighton address: 56 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF
Words by Dominic Martin