Oowee Diner, North Street: Review

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“Good things come to those who wait”, claims a popular advertising slogan. But can a wait of almost an hour for a burger and some fries be justified, no matter how tasty the end result?

That was our recent experience at the North Street branch of Oowee Diner, which opened in the former Bagel Boy premises in late 2017. On a Saturday night, we knew it was likely to be busy, and so with four adults, a teenager and a baby in tow, we turned up before 7pm in an attempt to increase our chances of getting a table.

And we were in luck. Underneath the “Deliciously Dirty” neon sign at the front of the restaurant, Oowee’s open plan kitchen was clearly in full swing, while Deliveroo drivers and takeaway customers studied their phones, and diners in the seated area at the rear of the restaurant chatted and laughed while they waited. There was a great atmosphere to the place, the lively buzz underpinned by nineties and noughties tunes blaring from the speakers (possibly a little loudly, as one customer complained and asked them to turn the volume down while we were there), and the neon lights at the back of the restaurant emitting a warm red glow.

 

Oowee Diner North Street - Interior

(pic taken at the end of the evening when the restaurant had emptied out)

 

Despite how busy the place was, we managed to grab one of the last tables right at the very back of the restaurant, next to the back door – which was left ajar in an attempt to combat the restaurant’s stifling heat (it didn’t really work) – and which proved to be one of our major issues of the night…

There are no menus on the tables – instead, you order at the counter while perusing the huge menu on the left-hand wall at the front of the restaurant. Or, in our case, you bring up the Deliveroo website on your phone and browse the Oowee menu on there before choosing.

Off trekked the men to the counter to order and pay, leaving us women with the kids – we’re not fussed about gender stereotypes here. Our friends ordered first, with just one person in the queue between their order and ours – another fact whose relevance will still become clear.

For both orders, we were told there would be a half hour wait, and were given a buzzer that would go off when our food was ready to collect.

Our friends’ buzzer went off almost bang on half an hour after ordering. We weren’t so lucky, though: they’d almost finished their food by the time I’d decided enough was enough, and headed to the counter to find out what was going on.

After almost five minutes of queueing to talk to someone, my buzzer went off, and my food was handed over – almost an hour after we’d ordered. I voiced my discontent there and then, and was offered a couple of free Cokes – I said I’d think about it, as we’d only just paid for more drinks…

While we waited, an overpoweringly strong smell of weed started to take over the restaurant, wafting through the back door – not ideal when we’re sitting there with a young teenager and a 4-month old baby. I mentioned it to the team after our meal and was told that a member of Oowee staff had gone out there to get rid of a customer who was smoking it outside, but with no customer in sight, who knows. Either way, it took a while for the smell to subside.

We had no complaints whatsoever about the food itself, though: dirty is an understatement, but this was dirty food with decent quality ingredients. My husband’s double peanut butter bacon burger (£7.95) was pure filth: two tender, melt-in-the-mouth patties erring towards the pink side, with crunchy peanut butter, super crisp bacon and soft caramelised onions, and a huge amount of melted American cheese oozing out the sides.

(forgive the quality of the food pics – the neon sign we sat next to put paid to decent photo ops!)

 

Oowee Diner North Street - Double Peanut Butter Bacon Burger

 

My single patty blue cheese bacon burger (£6.75) was equally good: surrounding the patty was a generous stack of bacon (nice and crisp, just the way it should be), a gooey mass of melted American cheese and the tang of both pickles and a rich blue cheese sauce – the whole thing felt deliciously decadent.

 

Oowee Diner North Street - Blue Cheese Bacon Burger

 

And if that wasn’t decadent enough, we ordered a portion of kiev fries (£7.95) to share – best decision ever. The thin cut fries had plenty of flavour in themselves, but when doused in pungent garlic butter (which pooled nicely at the bottom for dipping), melted mozzarella and tender slices of fried chicken, it took them to the next level.

 

Oowee Diner North Street - Kiev Fries

 

Food finished, we decided to call it a night – four of us ordering a milkshake to go, as we’d heard amazing things. Our friends ordered first, getting their Nutella shakes pretty quickly (“it’s like drinking pure Nutella!” exclaimed the 13-year old – a definite positive in her book.)

Ours, though, took 10 minutes to make – we’d originally asked for the banoffee special listed on the menu, only to be told that they’d run out of bananas (it’s not as if there’s a Co-Op right next door…), so instead it was one Nutella, and one white chocolate strawberry (both £4.95, I believe). While they were being made, the guy who I’d complained to earlier exclaimed “Oh, you didn’t have your free Cokes!”, then proceeded me to offer one that had been sitting out on the counter, telling me, “Here, have this one – I opened it by mistake”. I politely declined – to me, Oowee, that’s not an apology…

Anyway, after being overcharged for our shakes and having to wait again to have the overpayment returned, we headed on out to enjoy the rest of our evening. While the Nutella shake was fantastic, the white chocolate strawberry was more of a disappointment – most of the white chocolate was in huge chunks at the bottom which were impossible to suck up through the straw, while the strawberry was from a huge syrup dispenser with a pump – I’m not sure it warranted the £4.95 price tag, especially given the size.

(obligatory baby photo for this one)

 

Oowee Diner North Street - Milkshake

 

All in all, a mixed bag. Had the service and general experience been better, I’m sure I’d have been raving about our meal. I totally get the obsession with the food at Oowee Diner – it really did live up to the “deliciously dirty” slogan. But with the heat, the wait, the weed, the overcharging, the “apology” and the price (around £40 for two burgers, the kiev fries, two milkshakes, a Diet Coke and a Budvar), I’m not sure that quality is enough.

 

 

3 Responses to Oowee Diner, North Street: Review

  1. I love your post! I haven’t tried the blue cheese burger yet but it sounds right up my street. Such a shame you had to wait so long for your burger, the smell in there must have killed you! I can’t remember waiting too long for mine but then again I’d had a few G&T’s since then…

    Your post has made me very hungry! I wrote a review of Oowee Diner too if you’re interested 🙂

    xx Beth

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