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Burger & Lobster

by Ross Bruniges on July 29th, 2012

At a glance

Burger & Lobster

Chef: Robbin Holmgren

Reservations: 020 7409 1699

Rating: 7 out of 10

Cost : £25-£50

Location

29 Clarges Street

London

W1J 7EF

Map

Location map

Don't just take my word for it

Burger & Lobster on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

In photos

Burger & Lobster

An eaten lobster

More pictures

Having had what to me was the best lobster ever while at The Kitchen less than 2 weeks ago I hadn’t pictured myself making a special journey into town with the intention of eating one so soon afterward; but seeing the constant buzz, positivity and having non food obsessed people asking if I had been my curiosity kicked in and an empty Saturday schedule gave me the perfect chance to drop in. A big, and fairly snobbish part of me wanted to not enjoy the meal but turns out it was a very fun meal.

Their original venue in Mayfair is yet another no reservations place (you can reserve places in the newly opened and double sized Soho restaurant) where you put your name down on a list and they’ll either call you back or you can find space at the bar. I chose the later and ordered a pint, paid for it in cash, received far less change than I had expected as it turns out a automatic service charge had been added. Space at the bar is limited and in stark contrast to my days lunch venue of the awesome yet empty Ducksoup the place was rammed at 5.30pm and as more and more people levered their way into the bar the more I needed to continually move out of the way of people my desire to think poorly of the meal increased. I then was seated and everything changed.

Even though you can see below the distance between the tables and the people in the bar is touching distance the loud din seemed to magically drop, not having to focus on moving myself out of the way and not treading on people allowed me to see what was really going on in the restaurant – people sitting down, eating lobsters and burgers and really enjoying themselves. You get the option of wearing a bib, and I challenge anyone not to smile as they tie a bib around the neck of a fully grown human and see them eating with it as the last defence against butter meeting shirt; I was dining on my own but pretty much everyone was there in a group and sharing the 3 options of food (burger, lobster, lobster roll) between them – they had come here to eat and I personally find that an enjoyable thing to see.

2lb lobster, chips, dipping sauce and salad

I went for lobster, steamed and grilled and with garlic butter sauce. Not sure how recent this option has been around but for an extra £10 (so £30 instead of £20) you can ‘go large’ and get a 2lb’er – which seemed like the thing for me to do. The food is delivered fairly quick on a big platter type plate with your chips, salad and enough implements to scoop all required bits of meat out of the shell. Seeing that the claws remained encased I was a bit worried about the lack of crackers but all the required cracking had been done in the kitchen meaning you can do the manly thing and crack them open with your bare hands and have a fun old time doing so. The chips were a little bit old and not as crisp as I would have liked and looked as if they had been dumped into the cone rather than placed but they were good, even more so when dipped in the dipping sauce. The lobster while not as sweet and delicate as the one from Edinburgh, and I always knew that it wasn’t going to be, was by no means a bad lobster and good value for money. They are turned around quickly and could have been cleaned a bit better but nothing I couldn’t do myself thankfully.

The remains of the day

You get a choice of puddings and from what I can see they all come in cardboard pots – I had the choices of a chocolate mousse and honeycomb or lemon cheesecake with strawberry. After an entire lobster pudding seemed a bit excessive but it was a nice thing and not overly filling, it was creamy and smooth and made you feel less rich and lobstery after your main meal.

So yeah, I can see why Burger & Lobster is a popular dining choice in London at the moment, and why they seem to be opening up new versions as quick as they possibly can do (new Farringdon opening is coming soon I believe). It’s fun dining, pretty decently priced and more importantly due to their fixed price structure you know what to expect before you go and can plan it into your expenditure. While there is a huge demand for tables at busy periods you don’t see anyone being rushed into eating quickly and that’s appreciated and a good touch from the chatty front of house staff. I’m sure you can find better lobster in London but you’ll likely pay a lot more, and likey eat it in a rather less fun location.

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