We’d spent a tiring Sunday morning at the Grand Designs show at the Excel, and fancied some lunch. Suggestions included Canary Wharf, or further west to Covent Garden or the Hard Rock Café, when I remembered that a friend in my local had recommended FatBoy’s; indeed he’s almost a regular.
Trinity Wharf is literally a four minute drive from the Excel Centre, but make sure you put the full address (Orchard Place) into your Satnav, rather than just the postcode, as my Satnav proudly announced that we’d arrived, as we sailed over the place on a flyover. That said, the journey from the Leamouth Road roundabout takes you through some mean streets that are reminiscent of episodes of ‘Minder’ and (for older readers) ‘The Sweeney’.
Having mentioned Leamouth Road, it’s probably worth mentioning that the diner backs on to the mouth of Bow Creek. It’s a traditional American style diner, with a few tables outside for sunnier days and lightship moored, somewhat incongruously, behind.
It was empty as we arrived, shortly before One on a Sunday lunchtime, indeed we checked whether they were open.
We were assured that they were and we took our seats, past the ‘Cabinet of Kitsch’ to traditional diner banquettes with Formica tables and juke box satellite selectors.
The condiments are presented in pots made from old vinyl albums, while the menus are brief, printed on brown paper, majoring on various burgers, with fries, and soft drinks. So, burgers it was to be.
There were four of us, so a couple of us had the ‘Cheese & Bacon’ burger, one had a ‘Skinny’ (one patty) burger, while I had the ‘Original Fat Boy’ – two beef patties, cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, gherkin and ‘house sauce’. We all had side orders of fries, and a side of Mac & Cheese.
The burgers were all meaty and freshly cooked, slightly over-cooked for my taste, but that’s the way it is these days, and tasty. The shoestring fries were piping hot, and the Mac and Cheese hot and tasty. The burgers and fries were presented in those plastic trays – a bit like mini laundry baskets – that I’d first encountered in Manchester’s Almost Famous.
By the time we left there were only a couple of empty seats, and the chef was being kept busy at the griddle.
So, burgers and fries, with a side of Mac & Cheese, one freshly made strawberry milk-shake, one hot chocolate and two ‘bottomless’ filter coffees, all served with a smile, and a total bill a tad over forty quid, less than eleven quid a head.
For a diner so close to both the Excel and Canary Wharf, that’s a bargain, and the drive down the mean streets to Fatboy’s is a journey I’ll be making again.