I couldn't help it. I am completely obsessed with the burgers from Lucky Chip and I'm not the only one. My friends now get burger cravings, and we wind each other up with just a mention of their Daryl Hannah (a fillet-o'-fish version) and the chilli cheese fries. As soon as Slider Bar, Lucky Chip's new Soho outpost, was mentioned, we had to go. To me, sliders are mini burgers so that means I get to eat lots of different flavoured burgers right? Good. So I apologise, this is based all on Slider Bar's opening night, something I'm still debating about whether it's a fair thing to do or not as surely they're still settling in? But hey, if they're taking my money...
Just like at The Sebright Arms, they've collaborated with an existing space to serve the food there, and in this instance it's The Player Bar. A nondescript door just off Wardour Street, the main vein of Soho, blink and you'll miss the little sign proclaiming its presence. Downstairs, the room is big and blue-lit - it was a cocktail bar after all.
The menu is split off into starters, sliders with chips and desserts. We zoned straight in to the chicken bucket for two (£9). Fried chicken, cheese croquettes, creamed corn and chicken gravy. It was too much for me to move on from. A tray arrived with a small tub of well fried, juicy chicken. The coating was nicely crunchy, the chicken beneath juicy and flavoursome. We squirted the chicken gravy over pieces and scoffed them quick smart. The cheese croquettes were vehicles for the creamed sweetcorn - and oh, that creamed sweetcorn. It was smooth, sweet, corny glory in a pot. I frantically flagged down a waitress for a fork, a spoon - anything, now that I was out of cheese vehicles.
That chicken starter made me only hungrier for my sliders. The menu format offers two sliders with chips for £12.50, but our waiter conspiratorially told us we could add an extra slider for £4 or so, so we got 3 sliders to share between us. Our favourite, the fillet o' fish (top background slider) was a perfect mini version of the Daryl Hannah. The double cheeseburger had two patties fused with melted cheese; cooked perfectly to medium - impressive given it's diminutive size - and these were messily good. Our last, the Club was also a two pattied beast with lettuce, onion and tomato; much like a mini Big Mac I suppose. I was in a slider heaven. A moment of confusion occured when I dipped a chip into a little pot of white stuff, thinking it was mayonnaise. I was slightly startled to find that it was some sort of fizzy lemon sherbet foam. Okay, perhaps it's that McDonald's fries dipped in vanilla ice cream kind of thing? (Come on - we've all done it.) I carried on dipping confidently until when asked, one of the servers told us it was a palate cleanser. That would explain the popping candy. I felt quite silly.
Having shared our sliders though, we figured that meant we could fit one last dish in, and we went back to the starters and ordered the fish n' chips (£7.50). It was the lure of the 'fish skin crisps' in the description. The dish was made up of a log of hake, enclosed in a delicate greaseless batter arrived, perfectly fried and crispy. A seared scallop was perched atop crushed peas, flavoured well with a mint oil. The fish skin crisps looked alarmingly salted, but a dab of that salt revealed it was in fact powdered malt vinegar. We gazed at each other in wonderment, pleased as punch that we'd decided to order it. It was excellent, and so refined and clever that it actually seemed incongruous for the burger place I thought it was. Still, there is a very smart person in the kitchen - and someone incredibly good at deep-frying too.
We skipped dessert (ice cream burgers), something I won't be doing next time. A small part of me wished the menu format wasn't so rigid - for example it would be nice if you could go and order 5 sliders and skip the (admittedly good) chips or something, but there doesn't seem to be that option. Still, I can't wait to go back already.
The Slider Bar at The Player
8 Broadwick Street
London W1F 8HN