If you have ever had a messy night out in Brixton, would you kindly raise your hand?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
In this day and age, you’d struggle to find a Londoner under the age of 35 who hasn’t had to scrape themselves off the floor of Dogstar at least once. But as SW9’s star has risen, so has its ability to have you waking up, full of regret and covered in god knows what - and it’s not just the clubs letting you get down and dirty.
Perched on a corner of Atlantic Road, Dip & Flip is a bar-cum-burger joint that wants to French Dip your life. Walking into the spacious and stylishly lit interiors, it’s difficult to ignore the rolls of kitchen paper on each table, the bowls of wet wipes and the murals of figures dancing under gravy waterfalls.
Before our own gravy deluge commences, we cool off with some cocktails. While burgers may be their primary business, Dip & Flip boasts some noteworthy drinks as well. The Reggae Espresso (£8.50) is all sweetness and light with banana liqueur proving a refreshing addition to their rum-based take on the cocktail. The Caiprinha (£7.50) eschews over-sweetening in favour of sharp lime and an invigorating hit of cachaça and offers a fine palate cleanser after the sticky Korean-style hot wings (£4.95 for 3) we’ve just torn apart.
My Dip & Flip Burger (£9.95) arrives - once a humble cheeseburger, it’s been bulked up to the heavyweight league with tender, gravy-dipped roast lamb, cabbage slaw, pickles, ketchup and mustard, and a side of extra gravy. Basic Bistos need not apply at Dip & Flip because this signature sauce is anything but instant. A deeply-flavoured and meaty broth, it takes over 15-hours to brew in their local gravy-making facility; you’ll want to roll your burger in it, dip your Squeezy Cheesy Fries (£3.95) in it, pour it over your poor life choices and chuck it on your chicken wings, and then gulp down the remnants like cereal milk. A guy on the next table gives me a scant look of disgust as I shovel pieces of swiftly disintegrating bun into my mouth - but he’s eating his sandwich with a knife and fork, so who's the real loser?
Kitchen roll and wet wipes considered, there is no way to protect yourself from the oncoming gravy storm, but strategic clothing choices can safeguard you from going full Jackson Pollock. The dark fabric of a skirt will let you smudge away a rogue fleck with ease; the removal of decorative fingerwear will save you from crusty rings later on; a long, black sleeve will hide the fact that a warm puddle of burger juices is slowly pooling in your elbow crease.
So we’ve established that Dip & Flip can hit the mark on both burgers and boozy cocktails, but they’ve got a couple more tricks up their sleeve. No sooner have our gravy bowls been cleared than four shot glasses are slammed down on the table. Two contain bourbon, the other two straight pickle juice - to the uninitiated, this is called the Pickleback (from £3). A unique offering no matter what part of the world you’re slurping your gravy in, the aim of the game is to take your shot of bourbon with a pickle juice chaser. While it sounds like a gag-inducing way to end the evening, they go down a darn sight smoother than any tequila shot, with the tasty addition of a little pickle stick to munch on after.
With insides suitably pickled, and our time aboard this gravy train drawing to a close, we grab a couple more cocktails and settle in for some live blues from Dip & Flip’s evening entertainment.
The DesignMyNight Digest
With some of the juiciest and most indulgent burgers in town, Dip & Flip is more than your average patty shop. If you’re looking to get a little messy, inside and out, don’t hesitate to cram some of this gravy-soaked goodness in your face.