But by then the lobster had arrived, and all of a sudden everything was OK again.
We like our burgers, this much is true.
Our expectations were pretty sky high for Burger & Lobster, the specialist joint from the Goodman guys. We were treated to the off-menu In-n-Out Double Double tribute in the West End last year, and it was memorable to say the very least. We were hoping something similar might represent the burger half of the Burger & Lobster equation since it was delivered with such technical aplomb.
Much fuss has also been made of the almost-sacrosanct Goodman burger, so we were prepared to have our minds duly blown, and chow down on some choice crustacean at the same time.
We like our lobster.
As is befitting of the geography, we were hemmed in by a few locals drinking bubbly and presumably talking about Bearer Bonds or Quantitative Easing or something, in a tastefully minimalist setting. It felt like a gussied-up, well lit MEATliquor, even down to the Soulshakers residency at the bar.
The burgers came out first. They were presented open, usually a misfire in our book, but we’ll let this one off slightly because the presentation is spot on for their target clientele. This didn’t stop Rob from muttering like a disgruntled old man in a Post Office queue as he latticed his own ketchup and mustard. The presentation is good. They provided dill pickles up the hoo-ha too, which gets the double thumbs up from us.
The bun was slightly overbearing in size compared to the patty, and was cumbersomely bready, a result of it being, dare we even say it, a bit stale. The quality of the meat cannot be faulted here, it’s soft, moist and tender, but was undersold by the criminal lack of seasoning the patty had been given and the slight burning on of the patties.
The slice of cheese was anorexically thin and had melted apologetically over the meat. Lamentably, it didn’t really add anything much to the flavour and texture of the burger; a far cry from the Goodman standard.
We were disappointed. Like, really disappointed. This is a £20 sandwich, after all.
But by then the lobster had arrived, and all of a sudden everything was OK again. Massive chunks of sweet and juicy lobster filled it, with a perfectly shelled claw perched on top, as if to say ‘how fucking pimp is this roll’.
The roll itself? Well, a it’s a slice of buttery brioche grilled in the same way a good grilled cheese should be grilled. With a dunk in the accompanying butter, it was a fresh and delightful experience.
The simplicity of the menu is a nice touch, but charging the same, 20 quid, for a burger and a lobster seems a bit ludicrous - far too expensive for a standard steakhouse burger, and almost not expensive enough for the lobster. Maybe given time to settle in, the burgers will reach the dizzying standards of Goodman, but why you’d go for anything other than the competitively priced, and bloody lovely, lobster is beyond us.
B&L is unique. It’s laughably affordable high quality lobster served how you want it for £20. Given our bias though, we just wish the burger had been given a bit more attention, or perhaps been omitted completely.
- Simon and Rob.