Bunsen: Dublin

Since Ireland was hit hard during the 2008 recession, a new kind of dining revolution has taken place in Belfast and Dublin. The boom in pop-up dining has resulted in niche eateries, populated with the young and hip, with reduced menus focusing on simple, local ingredients. Bunsen did not begin as a pop-up, so convinced was Tom Gleeson that it would be an instant success. But the simple burger and fries menu, that comes on the back of business cards strewn across the tables, is good and honest.

What's more is the vibe of Bunsen has been carefully cultivated, with the raw space being carefully emphasised and polished to cool perfection. Imagine a diner crossed with a hip European bar, and you can get the gist.

We arrived one week night around seven and it was heaving. We have to wait to get a table, and the waitresses did seem distracted. You don't come for the service though, it's not that kind of place. The little details, like Bunsen's own water jugs and those kitsch little business cards, make it seem homely enough and the food is the main man in this new kind of dining environment.

We opted for two cheeseburgers, some shoestring fries and sweet potato chips. I thought the burger fillings were incredible, the stuff of dreams, but I did think the burger was a bit soggy. It's certainly a personal preference, I recall Gizzi Erskine recently saying a burger should be 'squidgy', but I would have preferred something to soak up the fattiness of the filling. The fries were good but, at risk of sounding the fool, the sweet potato chips were too sweet for me.

That being said, I respect the ethos of these young restauranteurs, and I think the final product is pretty brilliant in terms of what it offers the casual diner. If I lived in Dublin, Bunsen would be my go-to burger joint over a fast-food place any day. Now to take it overseas please!

Bunsen Burgers on Urbanspoon


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