Burger and Lobster has fueled the queuing for cheap (but good) grub phenomenon, becoming a household name in just a few months. And it’s little wonder when you can enjoy a whole lobster for £20. Yes, lobster is no longer a dinner option reserved only for the recession-proof among us.
The Burger and Lobsters in Mayfair and Soho are regularly rammed to bursting point, so it’s good news that the Farringdon branch has been opened within a large building. They have kept to their brand’s style: dimmed lighting, a bar area with high stools where hungry people unwilling to wait can eat and lots of booths with a few smaller tables sandwiched in where they can. It’s all about packing ‘em in and getting ‘em out as efficiently as possible but without the discomfort factor of pioneers of this type of dining – we mean you, Tayyabs. The open grill in the middle of the room is a nice touch for customers who like to see their grub prepared.
Burger and Lobster Mayfair and Soho are frantic, heaving beasts but Farringdon thus far is a whole different animal. Although it’s still busy, as of yet the hour long (and often longer) queues haven’t had a chance to build and if you get here early enough you may just walk straight to a table – almost unheard of at the Soho branch, which is almost perpetually busy. It is only a matter of time, however, before Burger and Lobster fans cotton onto this fact, so get in here quickly.
Burger, whole lobster (grilled or steamed), lobster roll. That is your lot, all priced at £20 each and served with chips and salad. This is incredible value for money although the tip is not to order the burger – you can get a better burger for less money at MEATmarket. Lobster is where you get real bang for your buck.
If you aren’t comfortable facing an entire lobster in its shell then the lobster roll is the beginner’s entry point to this cuisine with fresh pieces of lobster served neatly in a brioche roll. However, for those who dare, the whole lobster represents the best experience. Perfectly cooked, sweet and meaty, order it grilled for a charred edge to the dish or steamed to just allow the shellfish to do the talking (probably the best option, to be honest). It’s served with a rich butter sauce which comes on the side so you can add a creamy depth of flavour as you want, and it makes for a decadent, calorific dipping sauce for the crisp skinny fries. What many don’t know is you can pay a premium of £10-£20 for a larger lobster if you’re feeling really hungry or order a super-huge lobster to share, which is a great option for a tactile date.
The drink is really an afterthought to the lobster at Burger and Lobster, though they do offer a few cocktails. Beer is decent with Asahi on tap offering a cheap accompaniment, and there’s a good wine list with a mix of old and new world bottles. Champagne goes particularly well with lobster so if you have the cash to splash then go for it.
The Last Word
Burger and Lobster is one of a handful of new restaurant chains to emerge in London this year offering great food for fewer pounds, and it’s no wonder that we are all clambering over ourselves to visit. With plans to open a fourth restaurant this year it’s sure to go from strength to strength.