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Chang: “Krug and Dom don’t need my help”

The co-owner of a new London restaurant focusing on hot dogs and grower Champagne has spoken out in defence of small independent growers.

Sandia Chang and James Knappett

‘I’m keen to champion Champagne’s underdogs to Londoners – Krug and Dom Pérignon are great, but they don’t need my help,” Sandia Chang told the drinks business.

Chang, whose CV includes sommelier stints at Noma, Per Se and Roganic, opened Bubbledogs on Charlotte Street this week with her chef husband James Knappett, ex-head chef of Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley.

The restaurant 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.

“I’ve long nurtured the idea of a grower Champagne and hot dog restaurant. It was just a pipe dream at first, but when I found the Charlotte street venue I realised it could work,” Chang told db.

“I’ve worked with a lot of the producers on the wine list and I’m keen to get their names out there; I really want Londoners to pay attention to grower Champagne,” she added.

In order to tempt customers to try the lesser-known labels, Chang has only added a small mark up to the fizz.

Champagnes from the likes of Gaston Chiquet, Guy Charlemange and Olivier Horiot range from £6-£11 a glass and £26-£180 a bottle, with Jacques Selosse Substance Blanc de Blancs topping the list.

Hush Heath Balfour Brut Rosé from Kent holds up the English end, while LA-raised Chang has added a taste of home with Gruet from New Mexico, which boasts some of the highest vineyards in the US.

“Salty, fatty food always pairs well with sparkling wine, as the fizz helps to cut through the fat,” said Chang of the decision to focus on grower Champagne.

A changing list of cocktails served at a six-seater spirits bar features updated versions of classics, such as an Old-Fashioned with bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup, and a gin and homemade tonic.

A selection of American and British craft beers is also available by the bottle. A full profile of Bubbledogs appears in the September issue of the drinks business.

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