A hungry vegan, vegetarian and meat-eating trio walk into a restaurant directly after the school-rush… No I’m not about to tell a joke; this is a busy mothers reality of feeding a family healthy, delicious and nutritious meals when nobody eats the same food! Sound familiar?
Sometimes you just need to down your pots and pans, step away from the fridge/freezer and try something new. When we heard the BBC’s Million Pound Menu winners ‘Bubble&’ were officially taking residency at twice Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar’s Hawkyns, in Amersham, we didn’t hesitate to book a table.
Bubble and squeak is traditionally made from potato, cabbage and leek and is considered a dish made from leftover – something that I absolutely adore from my childhood. I love how particular flavours, textures and dishes can evoke such warm and wonderful memories from days gone by for which Bubble& have created something spectacularly nostalgic through modern cuisine.
Shaping bubble and squeak into pretty little cakes, pan-fry to perfection and ‘poshed-up’ with luxuriously delicious toppings, all dishes are lovingly handmade and gluten-free which is fantastic for us considering my daughter and I are gluten intolerant which has made eating out very difficult in the past.
Bubble& began their journey five years ago by priding their passion for good food in a high-end street food concept to inject foodie pizzazz into festivals and events. Taking part in the BBC’s Million Pound Menu, husband and wife team Rupert and Marita caught the eye of cuisine mogul Atul Kochhar at their pop-up restaurant in Manchester.
It’s clear to see why he fell in love with their modern take on English classics, which earned them his investment in their venture and this resultantly delightful residency just a short drive from our home. Lovingly created from fresh, locally sourced ingredients their fun and funky menu was a hit for our picky family post school-run.
Open from 11am to 10pm daily along with private free parking, we escaped the hustle and bustle of the rush hour traffic to nestle up in the cosy Bubble& restaurant, chat over cocktails, catch up on the days events and while away the afternoon free from the confines of slaving over a hot stove.
The Bubble& Lunch Menu is served until 6pm and offers a tempting selection of burgers, rump steak, pork belly, salads, salmon, sides, wraps, goats cheese, classics and curries to cater to meat eaters, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, nut allergies and dietary requirements alike. More often than not we find ourselves dining from limited and unenthusiastic menus a veggies, but here we were spoilt for choice.
Freddy had the Rump Steak which boasts pieces of marinated British aged rump steak seared pink with a béarnaise sauce and capers and I had the Halloumi Curry veganised by swapping the halloumi for broccoli which is a mild and aromatic dish served on a bed of bubble and squeak, topped with roast butternut squash, broccoli, coconut curry sauce, fried onions, spiced cashew nuts, lime pickle and fresh coriander.
Freddy says: “One of the best steaks I have had and it’s fair to say that I’ve eaten more steak than the average man! It’s been a first for me to have steak with béarnaise sauce, but nonetheless a combination I will certainly have again over that of a classic peppercorn.”
Somewhat traditional in my passion for curry teamed with fluffy white rice, I found it excitingly extraordinary to have it served over bubble and squeak instead. A creamy, nutty and nutritiously green curry balanced beautifully by a zing of lime and crisp, crunchy onions; a festival for my senses and tastebuds alike and an explosive concept that I would never have combined of my own accord. What a discovery!
Sharing a selection of sides between us we each enjoyed a taste of succulently juicy roast carrots with green chilli salsa verde, steamed greens lifted with lemon, fluffy fat hand cut chips and crispy sage polenta with a Harissa hollandaise sauce.
Millie tucked into her 10″ Halloumi tortilla wrap packed with sweet potato bubble and squeak, baby gem lettuce and Harissa yogurt for which a selection of bacon or salmon can also be added. Millie says: “The food was exquisite and unique with so many flavours and a little bit of spice which I really liked. I’ve never had Halloumi in a wrap before but I love it in sandwiches and this is a nicer, lighter way of having it. The hand cut chips are also very nice, just like when Mummy makes them at home when we’ve been good!”
Finishing our feast with an Americano and perusal of the dessert menu, we decided upon the highly-recommended Sticky Toffee Baked Alaska for Freddy and Millie, with my vegan sorbet selection of pineapple and ginger with a scoop of pomegranate too for good measure. And they went down a treat!
With a richly dense pudding base, a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and lashings of creamy torched baked Alaska in a puddle of toffee sauce and spiced citrus fruit, there was plenty of lip-licking going on at our table! My pineapple and ginger, coupled with pomegranate, sorbet was a wonderfully vibrant and freshening end to such a fantastic evening. Innovatively passionate cuisine, great atmosphere, friendly staff and stunning surroundings – Bubble& gets a big thumbs up from The Kisses!
A delightful dining experience at Bubble& was had by all, ticking the boxes for fussy eaters and challenging dietary requirements alike. The staff were wonderfully knowledgable, passionate about food and attentively pleasant combining great food with great company – the essence of every good establishment.
It’s not everyday that you come across such passion and enthusiasm for food, a dream and ethos true to this highly-motivated and dedicated family team mentored by a foodie mogul. We’re excited to see how this collaboration establishes, develops and grows across the coming months and need no further encouragement to return as we’re already planning our next visit.
The charming Bubble& restaurant holds 30 diners along with a quaint sun-trap courtyard and country garden space to while away lazy summer days; our new-found favourite local that’s well worth a visit!