Burger& Lobster's Mayfair opening in January 2012 was one of the hottest tickets in town and three more branches quickly followed; Soho, Farringdon and the City. The City branch just happens to be within spitting distance of my office, so when we arranged to meet friends earlier this week, it was this outpost we decided to try.
Like Ronseal, it does exactly as it says on the tin. For £20 you can choose half a lobster, or a burger or a lobster roll and they all come with a side salad and a portion of chips. There is also a choice of larger lobsters (for an extra charge) chalked up on a specials board. I chose a grilled lobster with lemon butter sauce. You could also have your lobster steamed and served with a garlic sauce.
Before our food came out, those of us having lobster, were brought plastic bibs and lobster forks. It added to the fun atmosphere and I thought that this was going to get really messy. The food was brought out not long after that on big metal trays lined with grease-proof paper and it all looked great. The half lobster was a decent size and it came with both claws. I thought this was really good value! It was cooked very well and I really enjoyed the slight charr from the grill. The lemon garlic butter sauce I had was creamy and rich and not overpowered by garlic.
Others in the party chose the lobster roll and the burger. I thought that for £20 the lobster roll was a pretty measly portion. I also think that you can get far better burgers for less than £20 at any one of the burger joints that have popped up in recent months. The chips were a generous serving though and the salad, dressed with Parmesan cheese, was a refreshing side dish.
The waitress taking our dinner order was friendly without being over-familiar, although cleared some plates before others had finished. A pet peeve of mine! We also had a bit of a shock when we received the bill and saw the price of the bottle of wine we ordered at the bar before sitting down. We probably should've been specific, but when ordering "a bottle of rosé", we assumed we were getting the house wine, so imagine the shock when the bill came for £48! I think we should've been made aware, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
The total bill for 3 grilled lobsters, a lobster roll, a burger, 5 beers, 2 glasses of red wine and 1 bottle of rosé came to £210.09, including service.
All in all, I found the whole experience pretty underwhelming. Parts of it were good, but for all the hype, I really think there is better food to be had out there.
Until we eat again!
Burger & Lobster
1 Bread Street, EC4M 8SH