The unspoken idea behind the December 15th #4in1Saturday pop-up was overkill. And who better, I thought, to merge four of my daily obsessions – BurgerMonday, WichThursday, FryFriday, CoffeeSaturday – without a gram of compromise than Carl Clarke of Disco Bistro EC4?
For his BurgerMonday pop-up in April Clarke had created a French-dipped burger with so much juice and beef dripping the only safe place to hold it was over the sink. For 4-in-1Saturday he packed more impending danger into that burger, first by adding pulled 72-hour short rib and a homemade cheese made from beef fat, beer and two cheeses and then by “French-dipping” the extra bun slice in a viscous BBQ sauce made with chicken wing gravy, bacon grease, pig’s trotters and bone marrow.
To satiate the WichThursday and FryFriday components he ramped up the fried clam sandwich, a New England classic brought to Old England, with a spicy crab and battermilk sauce and a fried pigskin topping.
He closed the programme by revisiting FryFriday with Valrhona chocolate doughnuts, applying an arabica glaze as the CoffeeSaturday finish and chocolate sauce for dipping.
No one in London does overkill like Carl Clarke and maybe that’s a good thing: The work is as exhausting and it is exhilarating, for the diner as well the chef.