Burger & Lobster (http://burgerandlobster.com/) has been getting a lot of press since it opened. And all of its been good. As it was my birthday last week, I couldn't think of any better excuse to check it out, despite chowing on lobsters and burgers on my trip to the US the week before. I mean, can one eat too much lobster? Rhetorical question that one.
The concept at B&L is so simple. It's a no reservations joint and there are only three choices on the 'menu' and they all cost 20 pounds. There's the 10oz burger made famous at sister restaurant Goodman, a lobster roll, or finally, a whole lobster. Actually, with the whole lobster we encounter a couple of other options. Do we want the lobster steamed, or do we want it grilled? Oh and the final choice is melted butter. Straight up or laced with lemon and garlic.
The burger looked good (confirmed by the guy at the table next to us) but at 20 pounds it doesn't really offer much value for money next to a juicy lobster now does it? So two grilled lobsters it is. And two lemon and garlic melted butters for dipping please. I toyed with ordering the roll, but I'd had one in Boston the week before, and I felt like more of a cracking challenge this time.
In two clicks of a lobsters claw, our order appeared. And these bad boys were on steroids. Or had been doing backstroke in the tanks downstairs (there's three stacked tanks by the way - a triple decker worth of crustacea flown in from Nova Scotia twice a week...ask nicely and you might get to see them too). The lobster tails were full of juicy meat with a gentle smokey grill flavour. The claws were big and meaty too. Simple, yet effective. We spent a good 45 minutes working the meat from the nooks and crannies
of the claws and legs. Well, our friendly waitress had told us the
lobsters were weighing in at up to about 1.7kg at the moment. They're also selling something like 200 a day too.
The lobster, like the burger, comes with chips, which were crispy, crunchy and amazing, but not heart attack-inducing like the beef dripping ones at Hawksmoor. On the side, is a cute tart little salad too.
Oh, can I mention the cocktails? I knocked back a 10cc and a Gin Fizz (all at 9 pounds), plus a glass of Mumm. Well, it was my birthday. They also whipped up a decent Cotton Club, which is a classic at Spuntino.
In my books, B&L represents an absolute bargain, so get on down there, but do it early. We were in by about 5.45pm (the pensioner hour!) and had no trouble getting a table but it was pretty packed by 6pm. When we left, slightly inebriated and pleasantly plumper at close to 8pm, the wait for a table was 2 hours. On a Thursday.
All this lobster talk reminds me that I should tell you about the delightful rolls in Maine. There's something that can't be beaten about being that close to the ocean and eating some succulent steamed lobster. Maybe B&L can ditch the party music and pipe in some waves. On second thought, leave Maine to the tourists, I like B&L just the way it is.