Brighton Burger Bureau The Bok Shop Brightons Best Burgers

THE BOK SHOP

THE BOK SHOP

So is The Bok Shop home to Brightons best burger? Agents Hasburglar and Big ‘Mac’ Dave are on the case. 

AGENT HASBURGLAR

Despite not being a massive chicken burger lover (that was until last months trip to Humble Kitchen), I had been looking forward to visiting The Bok Shop for quite some time. I have walked past on many occasions and thought the interior looked pretty cool, if not as edgy as say Meat Liquor.

I must admit I had heard mixed reviews about the food and service there but thought the place had been put together well and nicely branded etc so it really does look the part. 

ORDERING

We were pretty much the first people to arrive in there on a Friday lunchtime and were pleasantly surprised to find they were running a lunchtime meal deal. Great value of £10 for a burger and side. Trying a variety of things when reviewing places is always beneficial, so we opted for 6 chicken wings to start with, I went for the ‘Get Rich Or Thai Tryin’ (great burger names by the way) and Big ‘Mac’ Dave went for the Satay Burger and we opted for a side each of potato skins and a portion of frickles. Also ordered were a couple of dips, BBQ and their take on a burger sauce. 

Unfortunately the chap came back a few mins later to apologise and say that they had run our of skins so we just opted for fries instead. 

INCOMING

We were waiting eagerly for our starter of wings to arrive as fancied something to nibble on, only for everything to arrive together about 20 mins later. Bit annoying as would have rather had the wings out first but hey ho.

At first glance the wings didn’t look that great, a bit overcooked looking on a massive plate with a bit of spring onion sprinkled on top. Despite appearances though I found them really tasty. Crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. They could have done with a dip being included in my mind but seeing as we had ordered dips it was ok. Special mention by the way to the Burger Sauce which was really really good. 

GET RICH OR THAI TRYIN

I had ordered the Thai burger so attacked my half of that first. I actually really quite enjoyed this one. The bun was a bit of a non event (not unpleasant, just not wow) but the chicken was juicy. It did lack a bit of seasoning though. 

One thing that really did lack seasoning were the fries. Really bland, I think they managed to dodge the salt shaker. Really disappointing fries. It was at this point I noticed Big ‘Mac’ Daves unimpressed looking peanut butter covered face….

SATAY BURGER?

He had started with the satay burger. A burger that should be renamed the peanut butter burger. Now I love satay, but this wasn’t any satay I have ever tasted. It was literally like a massive dollop of peanut butter had been slopped onto the top of the burger. It was so claggy to eat it literally stuck to the roof of your mouth. Just look at the photos. It really didn’t look particularly great and tasted even less so. Such a shame as compared to the Thai burger it was like night and day. 

FRICK ME!

After the disappointment of the Satay Burger and the Fries I think its time to finish on a high as the frickles deserve a special mention. So So good. Crispy Outside and soft inside with so much flavour! I don’t understand how these can be so good yet the fries so poor. Without doubt the best fried pickles in town. 

There was a slight cock up on the bill when it came to paying, which they happily rectified. Alas my first visit to The Bok Shop will always be tainted by the look of Big ‘Mac’ Dave’s sad unimpressed face as he tried to peel the peanut butter that had gotten stuck to the roof of his mouth.

AGENT BIG ‘MAC’ DAVE

Fried Chicken Delight – Full of East Street Promise, or at least it should have been..

Special Agent Ben Hasburgular has been hasbothering me for ages to go to Bok, & while the thought of a fried chicken specialist was appealing, heading into the parking dead-zone of town was enough to force a consistent decline… but you can only take so much hasbothering before it becomes simpler to throw better judgement to the wind.

The Bok Shop has that ‘new’ feel, the décor is clean & tidy… brick tiling & reclaimed timber. This appears to be the ‘new-classic’ style for burger restaurants.

NICE SIMPLE MENU

The menu is simple, 5 key chicken burgers with extras as options + options to make veggie or vegan.   I like that, there’s nothing more worrying in a restaurant than a 5 page menu covering every dish known to man (& woman #metoo)… keep it simple, keep it fresh & do it well.

I ordered The Satay Night Fever (thigh fillet, crunchy satay sauce, lettuce, chilli jam, cucumber).. a combination I’ve not seen before… but who doesn’t love satay chicken!!  They’d run out of their skin-on fries (Put The Peelers Out), so opted for normal fries & a side of frickles (panko crumbed pickled cucumber).  Special Agent Ben Hasburgular ordered The Get Rich Or Thai Tryin & Bok Wings.

Slight mix up with what arrived from the kitchen, soon resolved..

SHARING IS CARING

We decided to do burger share, cutting The Satay Night Fever in half, I was surprised at the volume of thick sauce pushing out of the sides of the bun.. . upon my first bite, I discovered it was all smooth peanut butter!

It would be hard to describe the sauce as satay, there was no flavor except masses of unseasoned smooth peanut butter, which overwhelmed the entire burger..

On the other hand, The Get Rich Or Thai Tryin had a fresh taste from the masses of slaw & onions… other than this though, quite bland, chicken overwhelmed with slaw – underseasoned again.

Very hard to critique the other burger elements from here, neither burger worked for me, clutching at straws to find the positives.

The fries were basic thin cut.  Floppy & no seasoning, generous portion though.

Frickles are worth a mention, in fairness to a less than positive review, the best frickles I’ve had.  Crunch, soft, sour – perfect.

The price of the meal scored high on the chart, this is reasonably priced, especially in this part of town.. Value scores low, the quality of food just wasn’t up to scratch.

Never judge an establishment by 1 visit or 1 review, this could have just been an off day.  I would understand the issues if the chef was working off the ingredients list on the menu without knowing what quantities to use of any elements.. The Bok Shop could so easily be so much better.  But until I visit again, my lasting impression of The Bok Shop will be underwhelmed, underseasoned & unimpressed.

SUMMARY

So it sounds like the rumours were true about The Bok Shop. A real mixed bag overall, most of which to be fair could be fixed with a bit of simple better seasoning. The Peanut Butter Burger Satay Burger really needs to be looked at again though. It could be something so great. It probably didn’t help that the last chicken burger we had was the masterpiece from Humble Kitchen so expectations were really high. But like Big D says, you have to try a place a few times to get a true feel for its wares. 

It is also probably worth mentioning that many of our veggie and vegan friends rave about their meat free options here. Might have to dig out the Mystery Vegan for our next trip!

The Bok Shop Score Card Ben Brightons Best Burgers
The Bok Shop Score Card Dave Brightons Best Burgers
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