So..our first review. You know that feeling you get on the eve of going on holiday? Well that’s exactly how we felt the whole night (in separate beds and houses of course) before going to Burger & Lobster.. We even got a little bit nervous (odd I know), but the nerves subsided as soon as we took our first steps inside..
With a tip of the hat to Ronseal, this place does exactly what it says on the tin. You can only order Burger or Lobster, and what a fantastic proposition, as half of London seemed to agree having seen how busy this place was at 6.30 on a Monday!
You can’t reserve a table here, and we were told there was a twenty minute wait (not bad), so we just took a pew at their bar. The beer, wine and cocktail menu is fantastically varied and vast. We decided upon a few Sierra Nevadas. Absolutely lovely. Thirty minutes later and we had our table. We knew what we wanted…Bacon cheeseburger it was. £20 is pretty steep, but our feelings are that value will come into our scoring throughout.
Read the meaty details below..
For me the patty is the burger’s ‘engine room,’ and must be the ‘pièce de résistance.’ I’m relieved and glad to tell you that this patty was on the money and from the word go a flurry of juices, tender medium rare goodness, well balanced seasoning and a beautifully subtle hint of nam pla (fish sauce) danced around my mouth. God it was lovely. Never before have I had a patty that was so tender.
I really liked the fact they ask you how you want your burger cooked (we were in Mayfair I suppose). In the past I have asked for medium as this gives lower quality meat a bit of bite, crunch and charcoally flavour. However I was confident in this place as its part of the same chain as Goodmans Steak House, so I went for rare. As decisions go, that was a pretty awesome one. The meat was fantastic, and whilst trying not to cliché myself, it literally melted in my mouth. It was perfectly seasoned too, with various spices added beyond the standard salt and pepper to give it that extra kick.
This patty sets the benchmark. Score: 9
For the first time I attempted the Rip Test®. Arguably this should sit in our structural review and it is one of the ‘make or breaks’ for me (think of the Burger King dross where the bun disintegrates as soon as you pick it up). I was happy. It was tough to tear (so so important) but this did not mean it was chewy; quite the opposite. The few sesame and poppy seeds added a nutty flavour that I desired, and inside the bun it looked as though it was ‘aerated’ somehow, which meant I did not spend my whole evening chewing through dense stodge.
More focus is being put on buns at the moment, and rightly so. A suitable accompaniment to wonderful, wonderful beef burgers is a must and brioche is the key. This bun was tasty with a decent “shell”. Sweet, light, fluffy, and delicately slurping up those beef juices is crucial so you don’t miss an ounce of flavour and this bun did not disappoint in that department. It stayed with me until the end, supporting me, egging me on to eat eat eat!
More like this please. Score: 8
Cheese, bacon, lettuce, pickles and a buffalo tomato sat nicely on the patty. The smokey bacon was a cracker, but more importantly it was thick and crispy enough to add texture to the burger (most of the time I find bacon on burgers sloppy, and the saltiness can totally overpower them). Yeah, I was generally happy with this although the tomato could have been cut thinner and been a bit juicier (I’m a big fan of vine tomatoes on burgers- maybe they could try those next time?).
The mature cheddar complimented that kick in the burger I referred to earlier. However, they let themselves down as there was not enough! Admittedly I’m a bit of a cheese fiend but one thin scraping seemed a bit stingy. I’m usually a bit of a salad dodger, but the tomato and gherkins were great at offsetting that delicious salty seasoning in the burger. Yet slightly disappointingly, the thick tomato slice did lead to a little ‘carnage’ at the end.
Slice that tomato down. Score: 8
Whilst the bun was tough in isolation, the tomato acted like a bit of a pest here, ruining the early sturdy structure. It infected the bun by making it soggy and some parts of the bun began to fall off towards the end of my burger feast. Not upset but not fully content either.
The structure was pretty good overall, but a little tip is to place lettuce above the tomato on top of the burger to ensure the integrity of the bun remains. I only suggest this as I did have a tomato incident, the classic half tomato falling on to the plate (totes embarrassing). I did love the fact that despite the burger juices coating the entire inner core (and trickling down my arms…this isn’t a good date guys!), it didn’t really fall apart as much as expected.
Structurally sound. Score: 8
All in all we were pretty happy, but for £20 you will question the value. The atmosphere in the restaurant is buzzing, the bar staff are incredibly friendly, and, apart from at the bar, you never really feel crammed in. Despite a waiting list, it works well as they take your number and call you when your table is ready if you don’t want to drink at their bar. But be warned, waiting times do vary considerably.
One final thing. The chips were immense. We’re glad they don’t do thick here, it must be thin all the way. Crispy too. You’ll love them.
Check out all of our photos in our gallery