Big buns, pigs in bed and a filthy cow. We get the lowdown on the food from industry veteran John Gladwell
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The idea came from finally getting the balls to do something for myself,Ã¢â‚¬Â says head honcho John Gladwell. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Streetfood and residencies felt right: they’ve got personality and a buzz that we want to reflect with what we serve.Ã¢â‚¬Â
John’s been in the hospitality industry for over two decades and has a wealth of experience. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I started in gastropubs in the home counties, and then moved to London to take on head and executive chef posts,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says.
And John’s partner in both life and business Debs Croshaw comes from a marketing background. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Most recently I worked for Tabasco,Ã¢â‚¬Â she says.
And how did the duo team up? Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, a lucky swipe on a dating app last year brought us together,Ã¢â‚¬Â says John. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We hit it off immediately, and soon discovered we had a shared passion for discovering new restaurants, dishes, and of course burgers!Ã¢â‚¬Â
The menu they’ve devised for their stint at the Dalston boozer is around 30% vegan, with the likes of’Fun-Guy’ (low and slow pulled mushrooms,’mockzarella’, bourbon bbq, and sour chillies) and miso’Tofu Fighting’ featuring. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We like to think we have something for everyone,Ã¢â‚¬Â says John.
Another inventive creation is their roast with all of the trimmings encased between a seedy brioche bun.
We sample one on our visit, and are impressed by a mound of moist chicken alongside bread sauce and’slaw’ Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a buttery mix of cabbage, sprouts and carrots.
Accompanied by a pile of cubed potatoes Ã¢â‚¬â€œ crispy on the outside, yet splendidly fluffy within Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and a pot of intense thyme-laden gravy, this is a worthy alternative to the traditional Sunday dinner.
Oh, and do kick your meal off with’Pigs in Bed’ Ã¢â‚¬â€œ think mini sausages wrapped in bacon sitting pretty in dinky yet plump yorkshires. A two-bite delight.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s been a roller-coaster,Ã¢â‚¬Â says John. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Back in February we hit up the waistlines of a few friends to check if we really had a product or not. Thankfully they agreed we did, and we started selling at markets in June.Ã¢â‚¬Â
After spotting them on Instagram, The Three Compasses visited for a taster. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They offered us the pub residency there and then, and the rest is history,Ã¢â‚¬Â says John.
And where did the name spring from? Ã¢â‚¬Å“It came about when a good pal objected to the word’filthy’ being used to describe food,Ã¢â‚¬Â says John. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Never being one to shy away from a challenge, our bun-cept was born. For the record, he’s completely changed his mind now!Ã¢â‚¬Â
They view the bread as the’delivery driver’ Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a vehicle for their masterful array of ingredient combos. One of John’s fave items is his signature’Cheesy House’. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s a tricky one, but if I had to choose it would be that,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It hits the mark every time.Ã¢â‚¬Â
We would have to agree, after we greedily annihilate a flavourful 45-day dry-aged patty comprised of prime cuts from rare and native British breeds.
Topped with a duo of Red Leicester and Swiss, and drizzled with beefy ketchup and smoked mayo, there’s also a layer of homemade pickles to cut through the richness and provide balance.
Those after a smidge more decadence should go for the’Filthy Cow’, which also includes a dollop of eight hour braised ox cheek ragu.
Or why not add some peri peri wings or poutine-style fries to your order Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the latter arrives brimming with all manner of toppings, ranging from’nduja and curds to crispy onions.
John’s also a big fan of his animal-free butternut and bean’I can’t believe there’s no butter’. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It comes with what I’m calling’vernaise’ Ã¢â‚¬â€œ my take on bearnaise,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s pretty damn tasty. Considering I’ve always been about the meat, coming up with fresh vegan ideas is proving to be a helluva lot of fun.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The symmetrically-shaped watering hole sits at one end of Ridley Road Market, and is the ideal spot for the pair’s venture.
Casual, welcoming, with a varied selection on tap, and sizeable TVs screening sport, where better to hunker down for the afternoon with a pint and a standout burger.
The Filthy Buns menu is available at The Three Compasses, 99 Dalston Lane, E8 1NH, seven days a week, Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat 12-10pm and Sun 12-8pm.
Check out www.instagram.com/filthy_buns/ for further news and events.