The concept of a single-dish restaurant has been on a stratospheric rise over the past few years, especially in London, with countless niche establishments opening. One of the latest arrivals in the heart of London’s Soho is TOP DOG, which as the same suggests specialists in hot dogs in a variety of glorious forms.
I was lucky enough to be invited to Top Dog for an exclusive pre-launch menu tasting where I, as well as a host of other journos and influencers were given the chance to sample THE ENTIRE menu (in mini form!) and give our feedback on everything from presentation to price, names and everything in between. It was genuinely one of the coolest things I’ve had the opportunity to do; to have a new business welcome, and even encourage, our honest feedback to help them grow and to get it right.
Top Dog is the brainchild of mega-super-businesswoman Marissa Hermer (you may recognise her from Bravo’s Ladies of London) and her husband, leisure entrepreneur Matt. Marissa, a food and beverage brand management consultant, also own restaurants, bars and clubs in London and internationally, so the restaurant world is nothing new. Overseeing the new franchise is Fortnum & Mason CEO (and GQ Innovator of the Year 2014), Ewen Venters. I was lucky enough to work with Ewen during my time at Selfridges, so I was excited for this partnership. the venture is a self-funded dream, mainly started thanks to Marissa’s desire to find a quality, American-style hot dog in Britain.
Top Dog serves a range of taste bud-tingling hot dogs, all made from organic meat, in a range of classic and specialty ways. All of the meat is cured, smoked and hung in London, add a British element to the American theme, and ensuring quality of produce. There’s even tofu dogs for veggies!
There’s also a selection of mouth-watering side options, from fries (and amazing sweet potato fries) to pulled pork, cabbage, slaw and chili; all which are available on your dog too! Then there’s the shakes, including salted caramel, chocolate and vanilla as well as a Jack Daniels float. The Jack Daniels float was probably the greatest ways I have ever ingested alcohol. Period.
I also need to take a moment to talk about the brownies. These aren’t just any brownies, they are just about the best brownies I have ever eaten. We are talking so seriously soft that you can hear the moisture as you tear it apart. As for the taste? I ate three in a row so that should answer that one.
Top Dog is a really exciting addition to the Soho line up. I love that they have worked really hard to integrate into the psyche of the neighborhood; it seamlessly blends in. Where as other eateries, that shall remain nameless, have exploded onto the street uncaring for the aesthetics of Soho and now cause a jarring view for Soho lovers. Continuing the idea of becoming part of the neighborhood, a nod also needs to be paid to the Top Dog’s awareness of it’s local clientele – during London Pride, Top Dog renamed it’s signature Soho Dog to the Pride Dog, with one pound from each sale going to a LGBT charity. Good food and good for the soul. WINNING.
Find out more about Top Dog here
48 Frith Street, W1D 4SF
Takeaway: 020 3019 2380