Weekends in Shoreditch are quite often spent either creating hangovers or overcoming them. But as the number of bars and brunch spots in the area reaches saturation point, some of the more entrepreneurial venues have entered into the business of helping their hipster charges achieve both. Enter Dirty Bones; the casual, boozy eatery championing New York-style comfort food and sharp cocktails in a Grade II-listed heritage building on Club Row.
The Shoreditch branch is the third venture for the Londonbased restaurant group, which started out with posh hot dogs and fried chicken in Kensington in 2014, and expanded to late licensing and boozy brunches in Carnaby Street soon afterwards. Suffice it to say that when the time came to put down roots in East London this September, Dirty Bones had well and truly honed its craft.
That much is clear at midday on a Sunday with slick service, tunes set an octave below offensive for all the sore heads in the room, and food that will help atone for sins from the night before (or create new ones if calorie counting is your thing).
The extensive weekend brunch menu is divided up into Eggs & Toasts, Buns & Bones, Sweets and Sides. In a slight departure from the distinctly American-style dining, there’s also a dedicated section for the humble crumpet as a vessel for three variations on eggs benedict. Take your pick of a 14-hour short rib, smoked haddock or avocado and goats cheese, all served up with a poached egg and classic hollandaise sauce that is all kinds of creamy.
For those that like to maintain some semblance of moderation, there’s beetroot-cured salmon, mushrooms and omelettes on sourdough, but that’s not really what most of the artfully dishevelled clientele are here for.
The famed Mac Daddy burger has pride of place for those times only a burger topped with pulled beef short rib and mac and cheese will do, while the crispy fried chicken and waffle combo seems to make an appearance on almost every table in the room. Sweet tooths are catered for in a sickly fashion, with melt-inyour-mouth matcha custard french toast, waffles topped with caramelised banana, peanut butter gelato, and a chocolate drizzle dubbed Toblerone-tella.
Hair of the dog is delivered in the form of brunch cocktails with a twist. Top of the table is the brilliantly spicy ‘Dirty Mary’ dished up with a healthy dash of pickle juice and a crumbed rim of sour cream Pringles.
Somewhat less palatable is the ‘Fab’ – a coma-inducing testament to the Fab ice-lolly, though the baby pink colouring and a hundreds-and-thousands rim suggests it will likely be a star on social media. For those settling in for the long haul, a Boozy Brunch Flight at £19 nets you four cocktails and a healthy buzz that will be instrumental in getting you over the hangover, or back under it.
Dirty Bones, 1 Club Row EC1 6JX