Occupying a dining room above The Rising Sun pub on Carter Lane, only a matter of yards away from the West façade of St Paul's Cathedral, Carl Clarke's Disco Bistro is a rather lovely, unfussy place to dine that I'll be returning to ASAP...
Despite the fact that I went there to sample the burger, the "snacks" on the menu sounded so great I wanted to try them all. Me and my dining buddies opted to share some chicken wings and when it became clear we couldn't decide whether we wanted the sticky or hot variety, our waiter kindly said he'd ask the kitchen to prepare a half and half bowl showcasing both. Sold!
The wings were pretty bloody good - they were crispy but smothered in just the right amount of super tasty sauce. We didn't speak until they were all gone. Then we started getting excited about the burger, but the truth is, we were far from prepared for just how beefy our Disco Burgers would be.
In fact, the DB Burger could just be the beefiest burger in London. The patty itself consists of marbled rib, brisket, chuck, and bone marrow - all from a Devon Ruby cow. But wait, there's yet more beefiness: the patty is served in a rich bun with a liquid cheese made on the premises using beef dripping, along with a dollop of barbequed short rib that's been mixed with a sticky, sweet and salty super-reduced beef gravy – gravy so densely rich it's like a kind of gastronomical black hole. There's no escape from it's beefy denseness. Oh, and it comes in a basket with a stack of perfectly realised beef fat chips!
So, this is a way-beefier-than-average taste sensation, although I have to admit I was baffled by the inclusion of no small amount of tomato ketchup and mustard in the ensemble. It was completely unnecessary and at odds with the rest of what was going on. The bacon too, though perfectly cooked so the fat was crisp and melt-in-the-mouth, was lost among the beefiness.
Having said all that, this is DEFINITELY a burger you need to check out, even if, for me, the overload of superfluous condiment and the fact that the bun collapsed half way through eating the burger stops me from awarding it a full five stars. Regardless, this is still a Very Special Burger indeed.
Something else you should check out when you visit Disco Bistro - but probably not, as we did, at the same time as tackling a Disco Burger - is the super-rich, cheesy chips (cooked in beef fat) which come with the same beefy cheese that features in the burger, same salty-sweet'n'beefy short rib and some crispy dehydrated onion. They're really bloody good.
Also worthy of your attention on the Disco Bistro menu is a reportedly delicious fried chicken roll (fellow blogger Rosie The Londoner was also at DB when I was there and was extolling it's awesomeness in no uncertain terms) and the "crackled day boat brill, spicy crab and buttermilk with fennel slaw" in a bun sounds pretty damn awesome.
There is every chance that after tackling a Disco Burger (which is, in all honesty, one of the richest, beefiest dishes you're ever likely to encounter) you might not have room for dessert. But if you do, I can heartily recommend the basket of hot mini gingerbread doughnuts served with a lemon curd dip, which you can share (if you're that way inclined) with whoever you're dining with. I'm already planning my next visit!
Disco Bistro EC4
The Rising Sun
61 Carter Lane
London EC4V 5DY
Tel: 07850 630129