Without a doubt one of the most hyped up restaurants in London, to the point of even exciting the little foodies way over here in the East, is Burger & Lobster. I have been desperate to go since the first one opened (there are now five), but only just got round to trying it over Christmas.
Burger & Lobster does exactly what it says on the tin. There is no menu; the choice is burger, lobster or lobster roll, all served with chips and salad and all priced at £20 (HKD250).
Apart from thinking £20 was overwhelmingly good value for lobster (though perhaps rather extortionate for a burger), I was mostly keen to find out whether this endlessly popular chain of restaurants was indeed worth shouting about.
The branch we visited was the Soho one, which does in fact take reservations for six or more people. We were only four and, having heard rumours of the hour-long queues that form during peak hours, we decided to be one of the first through the doors when they opened at midday.
The space is big and airy, with bright red leather seats and wooden floors, giving it a fun, casual atmosphere to match the cuisine.
The 10oz burger, cooked however you like it, comes as standard with lettuce and tomato, but you can also add cheese and/or bacon for the same fixed price. Granted, £20 is more than you would normally pay for a burger, but it is a pretty damn good burger! The meat is flavoursome and juicy, the bun perfectly fluffy and 10oz of meat will certainly not leave you hungry.
The lobster, meanwhile, either steamed or grilled, served with lemon and herb or garlic sauce, is fantastic value! I have experienced restaurants that charge more for half the size of this lobster, where you spend time and effort dissecting the creature, only to find barely any meat whatsoever. The portions at B&L are very generous, however.
Fearing, as ever, my old foe Food Envy, I insisted on having half lobster, half burger (which they very kindly cut for us). Even just my half of the lobster had more than enough deliciously tasty flesh to keep me happy.
I know it is very out of character for me, but we called it a day without any dessert, perfectly content with our burger and lobster-filled tummies.
Although of course London does offer more exciting restaurants than Burger & Lobster, I can definitely understand the hype. For cheap yet delicious lobster in a comfortable, unpretentious setting, I can’t think of a better place to go. Word on the street is that the chain has proved so popular in London that it’s now set to open later this year in New York! Maybe one day it will come to Hong Kong… I live in hope.
Burger & Lobster
36 Dean Street
Tel: +44 (0)20 7432 4800
Other locations in Mayfair, Farringdon, City and Knightsbridge (each location has a different reservation policy. Visit the website for more details.)