First Impressions ~ Dirty Bones Shoreditch

Last Friday our restaurant choice for dinner was Dirty Bones, which is a restaurant serving American inspired cuisine. There are three Dirty Bones restaurants across London, but on Friday we went to the Shoreditch restaurant, which is a couple minutes away from Shoreditch High Street Station. It initially wasn’t our intention to go to the Shoreditch restaurant; I was looking to book the Carnaby Street restaurant as we have been there once before, but when I went on the website I saw the Shoreditch option and was thrilled as we love East London. I booked online, which was easy but you can also book by calling the restaurant.

The décor of the restaurant reminded us of a fancy pub, which was a huge surprise as I was expecting the same décor as Carnaby Street, which is a lot more chilled, and has more of the American vibe going on. I was that surprised that I had to double check I booked Dirty Bones as it does have an elegant vibe, with purple sofas along one side, tables in the middle, and a bar on the other side.

Once you open the door to the restaurant, you first go through a thick purple curtain before you are faced with the maître d – the thick curtain is a really good touch when it gets cold. There were three maître ds (maybe not maître d per say as the restaurant is quite chilled, maybe hosts) at the time, all friendly and smiley for a Friday evening. One of them takes my name and checks us in; our table was ready so we were led to our seats, which was on the purple sofa and right in the centre of the restaurant with the perfect view.

I usually don’t like these tables, as it’s the most prominent table in the restaurant, but I never request to change lol. There were a few couples in the restaurant, a young group of friends and a group of middle-aged men (who kept staring and smiling at me really hard despite Amen being there, strange fellas).

Our waiter arrives to take our drink orders and lets us know the choice of cocktails available on their “happy hour” (more like 4 hours, 3-7pm). I ask if they can make them non-alcoholic and he says he will ask but he’s sure they can. I went for the “Top Dog” (virgin) which tasted really good but sweet and Amen had a Virgin mojito.

Review of the food


For food we shared our starters; Hot wings, deep fried mac balls and cheeseburger dumplings. My favourite was the deep fried mac balls – LOVE THEM! It looked the best thing on the menu and certainly was the best thing I ordered; I could’ve definitely eaten a lot more. The hot wings had a bit of a tangy taste and were not all that ‘hot’ but was okay. The cheeseburger dumplings were my least favourite and I only ate them because Amen was giving me evils to have some lol. Amen didn’t really enjoy the starters but thought the Mac Balls were the best.


For mains I was stuck between the chicken & waffles or the spicy chicken burger – our waiter suggested the spicy chicken burger so that’s what I went for. The chicken burger was okay, not the best, and I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I might’ve because of the sauce used. Beyond the sauce though, the chicken and the bun were nice. I had the spicy slaw and skinny fries as sides.

Amen had the crispy fried chicken (1/2 pile) and the baby back ribs (pork). Again, Amen didn’t really enjoy his mains; he thought the pork was good but the fried chicken was not his favourite thing, maybe because we had just been to BIRD that week and he loved it. But I tried his fried chicken and I enjoyed it.


After all that, we still had some room for dessert! We shared the Milk & Cookies and Amen added the peanut butter gelato – which itself was a dessert, and came with crushed nuts and a small brownie at the bottom. The milk and cookies was a chocolate cookie and milk ice cream, which came in a cup with a straw; the dessert was good, but would’ve preferred the cookie to be warm.


All in, it was a good experience that could’ve been better, and we’ll certainly be going back because there are still dishes on the menu we’d love to try, especially the hot dogs, as the sausages can be either beef, pork, or veggie – nice! I’d recommend Dirty Bones Shoreditch for a date, it’s less “active” (music and environment) than the Carnaby street restaurant, which is more ideal for large groups and, weirdly enough, the Shoreditch-type crowd. The price was modest, in the region of £80 for both of us, and bear in mind we had a healthy 3-course meal.

Dress Code: Casual
Cuisine: American
Shiima & Amen’s Star Dish: Deep Fried Mac Balls
Price: £30 each
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Dirty Bones
1 Club Row
E1 6JX
020 7920 6434
Call to book or visit their website.

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