Review: Biff’s Jack Shack at BrewDog Dalston
Vegan food has taken London by storm. The popularity of vegan junk food in particular has skyrocketed, with many restaurants dedicating sections of their menus to indulgent-but-meat-free fare. Helen Salter travels to Dalston for the latest.
BrewDog, a nationwide brewery known for its craft beers and eyebrow-raising PR stunts, has revealed an all-vegan menu at its Dalston pub. London-based Biff’s Jack Shack, a macho-hipster brand specialising in jackfruit, is taking care of the menu; a partnership that seems like the perfect match for BrewDog’s rebellious and punky image.
Biff’s signature menu is divided into chips, wings and burgers, with words such as ‘Cheeze’ and ‘Bacun’ peppered throughout. It was agreed that an order of dirty chips was a must: the Bang Bang is a hefty portion of chips loaded with cinnamon sweet chilli, miso mayonnaise, toasted nuts, crispy shallots and coriander (£6). It worked well thanks to the many harmonising textures and flavours, but the big portion too much to finish.
Equally impressive were our jackfruit Wingz (starting at £6), slathered in ranch sauce, maple chipotle, Bacun bits and parsley (but beware of the sugar cane acting as a bone).
The Biff’s Jack Shack towering crispy jackfruit burgers are the stars of the show. We went for The Samuel Hell Jackson (£9) labelled the ‘badass burger for badass folk’: crispy-fried jackfruit patty with chipotle coleslaw, classic burger Cheeze, maple chipotle Shack sauce and jalapeños. If you usually like your burgers overflowing and juices dripping down your shirt, this is the one for you. But if Biff’s aim is to replicate a classic meaty burger then this sadly isn’t the equivalent – although it does come close.
An equally indulgent feat was The Jack Bauer Tower of Power (£10.50), a double-decker stack of deep-fried Cheeze, jackfruit patty, hash brown, Bacun, garlic mayonnaise, ketchup and iceberg lettuce. With so much going on, I got a different meld of flavours with each bite, miles away from sad bean burgers of the past.
Washed down with beers picked from the new vegan-friendly line up of BrewDog beers, this is a feast that leaves you in need of a fast – we had no choice but to decline the sweet jackfruit pie for dessert (£5.50).
Overall, I was glad to find that Biff’s delivers the big flavours it promises. This is jackfruit – bordering on overload – but not as you know it. While it may not convince meat eaters to stray for good, it’s a fun and adventurous take on junk food with lots of choice.
Times and prices correct at time of publishing
After some more craft beer? Read our review of Fugitive Motel, Bethnal Green here