Burger and Lobster

Update: wow, that escalated quickly. Burger and Lobster are everywhere now. See also Beast, Goodman and Zelman Meats.

Burger and Lobster. A new restaurant just round the corner from Green Park tube. You’ve very probably heard of it. If not, the basic premise is that it cooks burgers and lobsters for customers who eat them, pay and leave. Does exactly what it says on the tin, really. Simples.

What more do you need to know?

Well, there are three options: a 10oz burger; a tasty brioche roll stuffed with lobster meat; and a whole steamed lobster, grilled briefly too, if you wish. All are served with chips and side salad. All three options are £20 – we’ll come back to that.

Que mas? It doesn’t take bookings. Don’t let this put you off. Simply turn up, put your name down and have a drink at the bar as you wait for your friends and a table. Or pass them your phone number and have that drink at a nearby pub. It’s perfectly civilized and exactly the right way to run a busy burger joint with a no reservations policy.

That bar’s a good one: some decent beers – Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams Boston lager, Harveys’ bitter; some beers that seem to be nice but tend to disappoint – Meantime; and some that don’t taste nearly as good as they did when you had a backpack and all the time in the world – Quilmes. Champagne, prosecco and wine options are strong and there are cocktails too, if that’s your banter.

It’s a good looking and feeling room, striking the right balance between smart (we are in Mayfair, after all) and casual / informal. Exposed brick, comfy red leather seats, expensive looking hardwood tables – that sort of thing. The crowd (last night at least) was an attractive one. A good mix of young and not so young, suited and otherwise attired. There was a healthy balance between the sexes too.

And so back to those three ways of spending £20.

The lobster is good. Really good. No complaints at all. It was a nice size. The meat was sweet and juicy and was excellent dipped into a melted butter and lemon sauce pot. Use your fingers, get mucky and make the most of the fact that you’re wearing a plastic bib. It’s really, genuinely, fantastic value for a whole lobster with just the right amount of chips and well-dressed salad on the side (loved the gherkins in that). I heartily commend this.

My friend thoroughly enjoyed his lobster roll. The brioche bun looked excellent and the meat was relatively plentiful. Our waitress said there was a whole lobster in that too, just one of the smaller ones. I’m not so sure about that and I have to say I’ve seen pictures from the first couple of weeks in which the buns looked fuller. Maybe that’s a trick of the lens. Maybe the smaller lobster was just smaller than usual. No real matter – it’s a tasty little meal and an attractive option for those who prefer not to fight for their food [yes, pal, I know you’ve killed and gutted a chicken with your bare hands; you told us four times over the course of the meal]. A Hawksmoor roll is £25 but doesn’t come with chips or a salad. It’s possible the Hawksmoor one is fuller, but I’m not sure I’m bothered; this is still an attractive option.

The burger? Didn’t have it. The three of us only wanted lobster. I saw one burger go past, I think. Looked perfectly good. But £20 is an awful lot of money for a burger. Even if it’s 10oz of great meat and made and cooked really well (which I imagine it probably is). A burger and chips in Goodman (which is a parent or sister restaurant/linked to the same Russkies) is £13 and is just about as good as they come. Perhaps Burger and Lobster’s is bigger (nobody seemed to know), but I can’t see how it makes sense to have cow over claw. If you want red meat, that’s fine. By all means fill your boots. Please accept my thanks for subsidising the rest of our meals.

I enjoyed my first trip to Burger and Lobster and will definitely go back. Service was lively, the room was enjoyable and my lobster was perfect. It was a well-proportioned super tasty meal; though we each finished with one of their light lime or mocha mousses (moussi?), I didn’t need it and could take or leave dessert in the future. To be able to go to Mayfair, eat a lobster (whether from its shell or in a roll) and have a glass of champagne, or a couple of beers for £25-30 is brilliant.

Worth a visit: go, probably choose the lobster, eat, drink, pay, leave. Simples.

Burger and Lobster in 3 words

Great value lobster

The Bill

It’s £20 for food. But as you’re likely to have a drink or too, and maybe a £4 mousse pot, think £30-35. You could spend more.

burgerandlobster.com – 29 Clarges Street, W1J 7EF – 02074091699 (no reservations)

If you’re interested, ask to see the tanks downstairs which contain the little critters. They’re going through almost 1 tonne a week.