Top 10 Champagne hangouts13th March, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Since opening last August, hour-long queues to get into this compact Champagne and hot dog restaurant regularly snake down Charlotte Street at weekends.
Run by food and wine power couple James Knappett and Sandia Chang, whose enviable CVs contain a constellation of Michelin stars, including Noma in Copenhagen, Per Se in New York, The Ledbury in Notting Hill and Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley in Mayfair, Bubbledogs sees the humble hot dog paired with a cherry-picked list of grower Champagnes.
Featuring an embossed ceiling, exposed brickwork and a 35-seater copper-topped bar, the idea was in part inspired by Crif Dogs, a hot dog restaurant and cocktail lounge in New York’s East Village, accessed via a secret door.
Keen to steer Londoners away from the grandes marques, Chang has come up with a 30-strong fizz list made up predominantly of grower Champagne from the likes of Gaston Chiquet, Larmandier-Bernier, Forget Chemin and Emmanuel Brochet, ranging from £6.50 to £11 a glass and £26 to £180 a bottle – with Jacques Selosse Substance Blanc de Blancs, which Chang encourages customers to decant, topping the list for price.
The restaurant is doing 200 covers a day, with punters unphased by Bubbledogs’ niche offering. “I’m having to de-list a few of the producers we sell as there’s not enough stock to satisfy the demand,” says Chang, who is currently on the look out for a demi-sec to add to her list.