As I waded my way through the heaving streets of Oxford Circus, side-stepping snail-paced shoppers (can you tell I’m a Londoner?), my pal and I decided we needed to take refuge from the hustle and bustle. A bite to eat and some cocktails? Yes, please. We headed to Kingly Court on Carnaby Street, a three-storey foodie haven, which features nearly every type of cuisine you could want. But what my heart desired was a good ol’ burger, so I made a beeline for the ever-popular Dirty Bones. They’d just opened up a new flagship restaurant there and I couldn’t wait to get my hungry chops around their NYC-style comfort food.
As we rested our weary feet (shopping is such exhausting work, isn’t it?) at a cute window-side table, I took in the interiors; with a sultry dark colour scheme, velvet seats, dimmed low-hanging lights and a playlist of funky jams in the background, this place was pretty damn slick. It was also absolutely buzzing, with every table occupied by chatty after-workers and ravenous post-shoppers chomping merrily away. There was an eye-catching bar stood behind a huge table surrounded by stools that looked primed for casual sipping.
To quench our thirst, we started with a couple of lil’ basil (£8) cocktails from the ‘session’ list (which are all made with low percentage alcohol). This paired the fragrant herb with Tanqueray gin, apple, lemon, agave and ginger CBD sparkling water in a pretty tumbler. As for starters, we were immediately intrigued by the cheeseburger dumplings (£8.5), plus I can never say no to buffalo wings (£8), so we ordered a portion of each. The former was a US spin on Japanese street food, made with minced beef and melted cheese nestled in a gyoza-style wrap, served with a side of burger sauce. The latter came tossed in hot sauce and resting on a bed of cooling blue cheese dip.
Ready for another drink, we went for two call me clementines (£10.5) - here, gin was married with Fair Kumquat Liqueur, passion fruit, orange, rosemary syrup, lime and egg white. It was luxuriously smooth, sweet and just what we were after. After a bit of a wait, our mains arrived. We chose to share the flat iron steak (£15) topped with smoked paprika and jalapeno butter - it was juicy, tender and packed full of flavour. We also split the reverse truffle cheeseburger (£12.5), which was a Carnaby exclusive and incredibly indulgent, oozing with black garlic aioli, truffle-cheese sauce, crispy onions and chives.
Alongside these, we had the cheesy truffle fries (£6.5), which came drizzled with gooey sauce, as well as the crispy lamb fries (£8). These came laden with Chinese-style pieces of meat, sweet miso, red chilli and jalapeño. As it turns out, if you're getting one of the loaded fries, you only need one between two. We learnt this the hard way, stuffing ourselves to the brim.
While we couldn't bear eating anything else at this point, we decided we could fit in one last cocktail. This time around, we went for one of the 'legends', namely the fab (£9). This Instagram-worthy concoction, which is an adorable spin on the retro lolly, mixed gin, Cointreau, Martini Rosso, lemon and egg white, and came served in a short glass with a hundreds and thousands rim. This number was a seriously sinkable pink drink, although I don't think you could have more than one unless you have one helluva sweet tooth.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Considering I fancied a hefty load of comfort food, Dirty Bones really hit the spot. It was an added extra that the place was stylish, had super chipper service and a tasty menu of signature sips. If you're after NYC-inspired eats or casual cocktails in a great West End location, then you'll probably want to check this one out.
💰 The damage: £89 between two (with three cocktails each), plus service charge.
📍 The location: 13, 8 Kingly Court, Carnaby, W1B 5PP.
👌 Perfect for: Meat lovers.
⭐ Need to know: Ask for extra napkins. It gets real messy.