There was no printed menu at Burger and Lobster. Just a blackboard at the front that signaled “Lobster or Burger or Lobster Roll”. Each of this shared a price tag of £20 including fries, side salad and respectable relishes. Walking in, I had disappointment slap on my right and left (facial) cheeks; there was no massive tank of lobster that could hold a ton of lobsters in sight. It was, basically, a pub-like eatery with well-lacquered, glowing wood walls to contrast with bare cemented ones. The waitress addressed me the options, which though you knew what they were, you couldn’t help pause and pose for some thoughts…
Burger.. or lobster?
Lobster.. or burger?
Lobster, that was! Canadian in its origin and arrived on an astoundingly large, gleamingly metalic tray. Basic. Very basic. I am picky with basic things but this presentation stunned me. It deserved the spotlight. Fresh. Very fresh. Expertly steamed. (There is also a grill option). The shell was beautifully and practically cracked. Seductively white meat fell off very easily. Sweet, naturally but not overtly. There was an inedible garnish of a plastic bib, which I didn’t use but take away as a souvenir to tempt The Other Bib who had not been. The edible garnish of chive-infused lemon butter bordered on being too subtle for my liking. More lemon aroma or zest would make it gorgeous. Very light, grease-free and crispy fries. The mixed leaf salad (predominantly rocket leaves) with minimal balsamic dressing and strips of pickled gherkins was crunchy. Overall, I enjoyed it. £20 for such a lobster was a bargain, especially in Mayfair.
I always have an inclination for a pimped burger. This one was basic. Very basic. Macho patty. Coarsely ground. Well aged and well hung. It came with a kinky beefy smell, which I loved. Took me back to the first time I had a Goodman’s burger, but as I recollected, there was more robustness to this B&L one. Also likeable was the aerated brioche bun with black sesame seeds, which was made in house. The only way you can do up this burger was to add cheese and bacon. Adequate (though I could die for a fried egg). The accompanying pickle was good and had the right crunch. Not tangy but creatively scented with coriander seeds. I moped it all up (apart from one side of buns and chips. I was going low carb).
The lobster roll
It landed, also, in a tray with a wedge of lemon and a choice of lemon butter or plain butter. Not as long as the Hawksmoor lobster roll and it was packed just short of a whole lobster (I could only find a claw but a massive one!). The dressing – Japanese mayo I was told – was not stuffy and enhanced the meaty lobster well; the brioche bun sweet and cloud-like, similar to the burger but worked better here. In short, it was quite exceptional. “Quite” as I had some issue with the butter sauce that looked too unclarified.
Lobster or burger or lobster roll?
Burger & Lobster feels a spin-off restaurant and is the sort of place you rush for casualness and comfort. Straightforward. No extravagance. 40 min max kinda meal for me. I liked it for that. £20 is a good bargain for a very fresh and well cooked lobster and so it is for a lobster roll. The same amount, however, might not strike a great deal for a burger, but I make an exception for this one. An option not to have the sides (with a reduced price) would be nice, too.
So.. “lobster or burger or lobster roll?”
LOBSTER! My word.
GO FOR: Burger. Lobster. Lobster Roll. Basic comfort!
BURGER AND LOBSTER
29 Clarges Street
Tel. 020 7409 1699