A further outpost on the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols is surely sign enough that the Burger and Lobster revolution has reached its peak in London. This branch as part of the food hall is bound to attract all sorts of south London foodies.
Burger and Lobster is fairly concealed from the bright lights of the food hall up on floor five of Harvey Nics, occupying a comparatively moodily lit corner of the large room. It's cordoned off by wooden lobster cages and lobster props and the chain’s logo in a cool, scrawled font. One large island bar occupies the centre, and high stools and ledges are nearby for the more casual diner or for those waiting for a table to perch upon - after all, the restaurant chain has become somewhat known for its queues around the block. There are cosier booth seats further back for dining groups and the restaurant seems to best suit these larger parties with its setup. Having said that, the industrial chic decor - an abundance of dark wood, exposed beams and cords of naked filament bulbs strung across the ceiling - best lends itself to a moody, atmospheric and ever-so-trendy date night. Making a trip to the bathroom across the shiny food court will easily shatter the illusion, mind you.
There's bound to be a buzz about this place whenever you stop by. The Burger and Lobster chain has been such a success story that you can always expect queues outside their venues, especially given the no-reservation policy. Opening in the Harvey Nichols food court seals the deal, a sure sign of the foodie credentials they've racked up. As such, expect a discerning crowd as well as celebration parties, although stressed-out shoppers hoping to take a load off their feet won't be out of place here either.
Music is upbeat and staff are very keen to show you a fun time, handing you a playful plastic bib and a lobster claw-shaped cracker (it’s for aesthetics only – you’ll have no need to crack those claws yourself). There's no food snobbery in sight and if you are dumfounded when a whole lobster arrives at your table, service staff will happily grant you speedy access to that claw meat with their tricks of the trade. With the layout, larger parties will find the most comfort here. Couples may end up with an uncomfortable stool seat for the evening, a raw deal for those aching legs after trawling the Knightsbridge shops.
It’s all in the name at Burger and Lobster, and if word of the concept hasn’t reached you by now, it’s an innovative take on dining. There's no menu and you have just three main course options reeled off by restaurant staff; burger, lobster or lobster roll, all served with fries and a side salad. With all options costing £20, you’d be crazy not to plump for lobster in some shape or form. The limited options actually suit the Harvey Nics location, taking the stress out of ordering for those who have had enough decisions to make while browsing the shops.
You can choose between steamed or grilled lobster, served with a buttery, garlic sauce on the side. The lobster is perfectly cooked and split down the middle and it even includes that sweet and sought-after claw meat, and at £20, this is likely the cheapest whole lobster in town. If you come with a friend or date, you can go Dutch and share half a lobster and half a burger, to really experience the full Burger and Lobster treatment. Although the burger may not warrant a £20 price tag, it is truly delicious. The patty is cooked to order and so carefully sourced and seasoned. It melts in the mouth, and is made even more succulent by bacon, cheese, gherkins and tomatoes on top. The lobster roll is your final £20 option, with chunks of lobster served in a brioche bun with a Japanese kimchee mayonnaise.
In a similar fashion, two dessert options for £4.50 each are recited to you, and you’re limited to a passion fruit cheesecake or chocolate and Chantilly cream mousse. But boy, are they good options. The cheesecake is in reverse format, with a biscuit crumble on top and a sharp fruity jelly at the base, while the chocolate pudding is seriously good, made special by toasted almond flakes on top.
This is where Harvey Nichols and Burger and Lobster collide, with a menu of fifth floor classic cocktails sitting side by side with B&L concoctions. For example, the Fifth Floor Fizz or Harvey Nichols Spritz are touted as aperitif drinks, while lists of burger, lobster and soft shell cocktails make up the rest of the mixed drinks offering. From the burger cocktails, the Ruby Cooler is a refreshing and lightly tart tipple, made from Beefeater gin, Ceylon tea, blood orange and lemon. The B&L Gin Fizz sits on the lobster cocktails menu and is a foaming Beefeater-based drink with a sherbet flavour thanks to orange, rhubarb, cream, soda and egg white. If you really fancy the finer things in life, you can sip on Prosecco while you tuck into lobster. Or there’s a short list of two whites, two reds and a couple of beers, again making life easy when it comes to choosing.
The Last Word
While it may not be the most atmospheric location for Burger and Lobster to set up shop, taking a spot on the Harvey Nichols fifth floor is a sure sign that the restaurant chain has established a serious foodie following. And much is done to make this the same fun time experience that keeps fans coming back for more all across town.