One of my favourite things about being in London is discovering new places to stuff my face. Being a tourist can be pretty hungry work, so knowing a place where you'll get good grub that'll fill you up and add to your list of places to return / recommend to others is a blessing.
When you're hungry and looking for something to eat in London before going home or heading to the theater, the time constraints and rumbling tummy can lead you to diving into the first place you see and paying ridiculous money for pretty crappy food, so when I find somewhere worth writing home about, well, I do.
I've known about The Diner for quite some time, in fact I think I may have eaten at the one in Camden a few years back, but couldn't remember a thing about it. Last weekend, me and the boyfriend were looking for somewhere to eat before going on the Blood & Tears London Walking Tour (all about infamous serial killers from London. Macabre, I know). After running through a list of different cuisines, we decided we wanted something dense and greasy to fuel us for the two hours of walking we had ahead of us. An American diner is THE place to find that kind of food.
There are a few of these specific diners scattered across London, with restaurants in Camden, Covent Garden, Islington, Shoreditch and Soho. With Soho closest to us, just off Carnaby Street, we popped in, got seated straight away and focused intensely on the menu.
One thing I'll recommend if you're not planning on having a big meal is their milkshakes. Specifically, their hard shakes. They're a dangerous concoction of naughty treats and alcohol that goes down a little too easily. I had the Creamy Nut (hazelnut and pistachio ice cream with Baileys) a while back, and I need it on tap.
This time round, we were planning on filling up to the max, so I tried The Diner Blend Ice Tea (perfect combo of bitter and sweet, and very refreshing) and Kurtis had a Coke Float.
To eat, I had the Diner Chicken Burger (buttermilk fried chicken breast, bacon, blue cheese, coleslaw and pickles) whilst Kurtis had the Corned Beef Hash (salt beef, onions, potatoes and two fried eggs) from the All Day Breakfast menu. We also shared a side of Hanger Fries (cheese, smokey onions and burger sauce).
If you're ordering a burger or hot dog, prepare for things to get messy. You just have to embed your face in the greasy goodness and chow down. Not great first date food. I was really pleased with my burger. The chicken was incredibly tender and juicy, and the coleslaw was crispy and surprisingly full of flavour (I feel you can always tell a good restaurant by its homemade coleslaw). The chips were amazing too. I do get worried about diner chips like this with so many wet toppings that the chips will turn to mush, but these ones maintained their crisp. The burger sauce, dare I say it, may have been better than McDonalds. It was so zesty and flavoursome.
A main, drink and side came to £15, which is brilliant when you consider the size of the portions and where you are. For London that's excellent.
So if your looking for comfort food with a stylish retro American feel,The Diner should be on your list of places to visit. Oh and they also play amazing music!