As part of my gastronomic education, I have vowed to try more of those foods that have always somehow missed my radar. So when a colleague mentioned wanting to try Burger and Lobster I jumped at the chance. For those of you who don’t know, the clue is in the title. They serve only 3 dishes, lobster, lobster roll or burger – all with chips (well fries in my book) for £20.
We chose the new City branch near St Paul's and arrived on a damp Monday evening and took up a table by the window, sadly overlooking a massive car park. I faced in towards the restaurant and have to admit to feeling a little queasy staring at the tanks of lobsters by the kitchen. Of course I am only too aware (having watched Julie and Julia a hundred times) how they are killed and cooked but I can’t say I’d want to tuck into a Sunday roast facing a pen of sheep. Also, as Friends taught us, lobsters mate for life and walk down the beach holding claws (hmmm), argh I'm a massive killer!
The menu arrived and it was two sides of drink choices. There were some lovely looking cocktails but I stayed relatively abstemious given it was Monday and ordered a glass of somewhat overpriced wine. I have to admit to feeling a bit sorry for the waitstaff (of which there were seemingly hundreds, all teeming around in stripy aprons) who had to ask everyone “have you ever been to a Burger and Lobster before?” – in much the manner of a 90s Harvester advert, before explaining the options. Would it be that hard to print it on the menu and save them the torture? Anyhow, fair play they were all friendly and didn't appear to be too jaded by the whole production.
We both chose lobster with garlic and lemon butter and I, somewhat nervously, awaited my meal. In the meantime our bibs and eating weapons arrived, which was an interesting interlude. I quite liked the bib, I think more restaurants should bring them in, perhaps I’d feel able to order Spaghetti Bolognese on a date again, which would be amazing! The lobster came and my immediate thought was that my dinner smelt like Brighton. I've never done that well with seafood, especially that which reminds me of the place from whence it came.
|Playing with the food|
A friend asked later whether I enjoyed it, and that she preferred not to fight with her dinner and I think I know where she was coming from. I looked on longingly at the man next door’s lobster roll in soft brioche, with Japanese mayonnaise and wondered if I had made the right choice. My friend was through the body and on to the claws when I was still poking around with the tail, but overall it was pretty tasty. I’d definitely eat lobster again, but next time someone else can do the hard work for me.
The bill came and confusion ensued until I realised I’d be charged for an entire bottle of wine, quite what sort of school night drinking lush they thought I was I'm not sure (ha!) but we eventually got it sorted. On the way out we went to say bye to the lobsters and a passing waiter directed us to look at the big fella in the bottom tank – before creeping up on us and yelling boo right in our ears. Hilarious!
Overall it was good fun and a bargain at £20 for the lobster, I just wish the place had a bit more soul. I could have made a really good fish joke there couldn't I?
Kat's score out of 10: 6 fishes!