I didn’t want to love Burger + Lobster. I really didn’t. When it first opened in November, I loved the all the blog reviews. The concept was so simple. Burger? Or Lobster? For only £20! Admittedly yes, the lobster is more of a bargain than the burger, but still – yay! The main turn offs on this restaurant were 2 fold. One: no bookings. Yet again, another seemingly great restaurant opens that does not take bookings. Two: it’s located in Green Park. Somewhere I never go. At least for places like Spuntino or Pittcue Co, if the wait is too long, they are situated in areas where I have alternative choices.
Over the last 2 months, I tried twice to go. Both times the wait was too long. A good tip I realised is giving them a call to get a feel for what the wait is. You won’t be able to secure a table over the phone, but at least you can weigh up your decision before heading there and being stuck eating at Pret.
But yesterday something got into me. I was determined to eat there no matter what. It was happening. I was going to lose my Burger+Lobster virginity and I didn’t care how long it would take. You see, lately I haven’t been too inspired to blog. I moved house recently and there is a lack of fast internet. Checking emails is about the extent of what can be managed. Along with weekly episodes of Community because it’s the one thing I must watch. Anyway, no internet, plus that fact that so many restaurants don’t take bookings, plus I’ve been so unorganised to book for restaurants that actually let you reserve a table has meant I am forced to stick to a regular rota of restaurants I have already blogged about or aren’t worth the write up. A massive shame considering I am fortunate enough to live in E2. But yesterday I was sick of this food funk I’ve been in. It was lobster time! OR Burger. You get it.
So at exactly 5.30pm yesterday I ran out of the office and hopped on the Bakerloo line, switched at Oxford Circus to the Victoria Line and got off at Green Park. I gave them a quick call at the station to see what the wait was. ’30 min to an hour’. Good enough for me! I walked round the corner to Clarges St and put my name down. In that 5 minutes, the wait had gone up to 45 min to an hour. Yikes! Gotsta be quick round here. Name down, I waited for Duncan to meet me and we headed to a crappy bar for cocktails. Not worth naming them. At 7pm I started to get paranoid. My phone hadn’t rung. What if I gave them the wrong number? Or my phone didn’t work? I called them and they said that my name was far enough up on the list to come on in and wait at the bar.
On arrival, we were let in. Dare I say it? Burger+Lobster is harder to get into than Berghain. The bar was crowded. There was no way we’d be eating at 7pm. My interpretation of their waiting times is that times quoted are to get in – seated at a table is another time frame altogether. I’m not complaining, it’s just something to be aware of if you go! 2 cocktails in hand, we waited, listening in to a particularly horrible couple arguing. These were clearly SW Zone 1 people. The guy had had a few and felt the need to tell us how he had bee here 7 times, and always gave up waiting and would go to Automat on Dover Street as they have great burgers and there’s no waiting time. Pft! Any London food creep worth the salt on their fries and the ketchup on their burgers knows that any burger place worth eating at has a ridiculous line for. I dismissed his claims immediately. I then had to listen to him argue with his girfriend. To be honest, he sound like a jerk and she sound high-maintenance. Horrible.
I started to panic about how they would know we were waiting for a table. I worked out who was in charge of the tables and enquired how long it would be, giving my name and thus allowing him to know who I was. Panic over. This whole scenario is another reason I didn’t want to love B+L. Stressful dining! Even when you are on the list, how to know that they will find you in the crowdedness of the bar? Say what you will about Meat Liquor’s strict queuing policy, at least you know when you’re in the line, that it’s organised and you go straight to your table.
Anyway, after about 20 minutes waiting at the bar, we were taken to our table. YAY! It has to be said – for all the craziness of securing a table, the service here is so lovely and friendly! All keen for a chat, they all looked so genuinely happy to work there and talk to people.
For the uninitiated, Burger+Lobster works on the simple concept that there are no menus. Your choices are a beef burger (and considering it’s run by the same people who own Goodman, known for some of the best steaks in London, you know that burger is going to be good) or lobster. The lobster can either be whole (grilled or steamed) or you can opt for a lobster roll. All options are served with fries and a side salad on large silver platters. Even dessert is limited to 2 options (both mousse).
Ideally you want to go with someone, and split the burger and the lobster. Unfortunately both Duncan and I wanted the lobster and freely admitted to each other that we would NOT be giving up half a lobster for the others burger. 2 lobsters it is then. Mine grilled, his steamed. And finally the money shot. What you’ve been waiting for. Look how beautiful it is.
The grilled lobster came out slightly blackened in places, imparting a smokiness to the meat. It also meant the texture was a little firmer. The steamed on the other hand was a lot softer and the meat kept most if its sweetness. Stick to steamed for sure. The fries were golden and crunchy and salty. I opted for the garlic butter sauce. I can’t remember what the other option was – I pretty much stopped listening when I heard the words ‘garlic’ and ‘butter’. It was so delicious. Everything got dunked in that butter. Lobster, chips, salad, my fingers – they all got given a bath in the golden rich garlicky butter. There wasn’t enough. I was reduced to scraping the bottom of the bowl.
I loved digging out the meat with that.. hook thing they give you. I love any opportunity to eat using my hands where it isn’t frowned upon by society. I kept going back to discarded bits of shell; sure that there was some meat that I had overlooked. And the satisfaction when you successfully pulled out a big ol’ chunk o’ lobster. Oh, it was so good. It’s why I love eating animals.
Dessert was also an option. The 2 mousse flavours that night were cheesecake or passionfruit. I went for the latter. It came pre-made in a paper cup. Light and airy mousse, and not overly sweet, the passionfruit sauce on top was bright and tart and provided all the sweetness. The final bill came to £90. Which is a lot. But to be fair that included 4 cocktails which made up half the bill.
So…that was a lot of words for only 2 pictures. Sorry. But eating here has really revived my love of food and reminded me how great it is to go to a restaurant you’ve never been before and walk away completely besotted. The good news is there is plenty on my food horizon. A trip back to Sydney for a wedding (mine) so expect Sydney based posts eventually and a booking I have for Dabbous, of which I keep showing Duncan photos from other blog reviews and he is now getting bored of me. Bah, he will love it when we finally get to go.
If you made right to end, thanks! If you couldn’t be bothered and just scrolled to end:
TL;DR Burger+Lobster is amazing. The food is totally worth the wait. I will definitely go back to try the lobster roll, but only at 4pm on a Saturday or a Tuesday night. I love eating lobster.