Doughbo: Raising the stakes in the ‘pub snack’ arena
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. The ones that when you hear them have you saying, “why didn’t I think of that?” Doughbo is one such idea.
Now in residence at the Hobgoblin Pub on York Place in Brighton, after a brief period in a small food van, the concept is simple. Neapolitan dough balls stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Taking up-to two full days to make from scratch, Doughbo forms its ‘dough balls’ from sourdough using the traditional Neapolitan method to ensure each is light, crisp and chewy in texture. Then, they are stuffed full of locally sourced ingredients, which are made fresh every day.
The dough balls can either be ordered individually or by picking one of the three pre-set selections; ‘Classic’, ‘Gourmet’ or ‘Veggie’, each of which comes in pairs of three different flavours and according to the guys behind the idea; is the equivalent of a 10-inch pizza.
Now perhaps it’s just my appetite but after eating six, I could have easily eaten half a dozen all over again; a sure sign they were tasty but also that for the £9-£10 price tag they aren’t the most filling of dishes. A couple of the fillings work really well while others didn’t really hit the spot for me, but the team are constantly trying new flavours and taking customer feedback into the new ideas they try.
My eyes lit up when I spotted the ‘Jerk Off’ (traditionally marinated chicken with a spicy pea purée) and ‘Bangkok Brisket’ (tender beef brisket in a fresh fragment Thai sauce) on the menu – flavours from two of my favourite cuisines. However, to my surprise it was the actually the simple ‘Italian’ (stuffed with Portobello mushroom, sweet tomato marinara sauce and fresh basil), followed by the ‘Absolute Porker’ (filled with 12-hour slow-cooked pork and a bourbon BBQ sauce) – both from the Classic plate – that won me over.
Just a little side note whilst I’m talking about ingredients – all dough balls contain mozzarella cheese but there is a vegan cheese alternative if you prefer – just be sure to let the staff know when placing your order.
The brick-built pizza ovens used to cook the dough balls reaches a temperature of 400 degrees, meaning you don’t have to wait long to eat (providing there isn’t a long queue of hungry customers).
A choice of three extra sauces are also available for an additional £1 too but I wasn’t all that enamoured with the garlic miso I sampled and it went untouched after one dunk. A simple garlic butter or Spanish-style garlic aioli would have been more to my taste.
With this in mind, I’d say this is where Doughbo should focus its attention next to really stand out. I’d love to see something along the lines of what BeFries does with sauces here – perhaps some sort of collaboration?
Finally, there’s also a selection of sweet dough balls on the menu too. I didn’t get a chance to try these but if you , let me know what they were like and whether I need to go back and try for myself.
These dough balls make a much more riveting pub snack than your typical KPs nuts and McCoys crisps but I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to head down there for a meal. If I was passing I’d definitely pop in – so based on that I rate it “worth a try” – especially if you haven’t been yet.
PRICE: £19 for 2 people (no drinks)
RATING: Must Go | Worth a Try | Give it a Miss
Doughbo at the Hobgoblin
31, York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU
*Disclosure: I received a discount for one order of dough balls and paid in full for the remainder of our order
Have you tried Doughbo and what did you think? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @foodieeshe and let me know. Also, please hit the heart button below if you found this review at all useful.