Since I first wrote about Burger & Lobster over a year ago, the huge demand for their surf and turf combo lead them to open three new restaurants around London. A little while ago, my boyfriend and I found ourselves in Soho and (unsurprisingly) hungry, so thought we'd check out the queue over at one of the newer Burger & Lobster's.
We couldn't believe our luck when, at prime dinner time, we were walked straight to a table without so much as a glimpse at a waiting list. Were we in the right place?! Then again, the Soho branch is about three times the size of the original Mayfair squeeze. Also, as there are now four Burger & Lobsters the days of hour long minimum waits are reserved for the weekend bustle.
Our order was taken pretty sharpish... with only three items on offer it doesn't require much deliberation. By comparison, the cocktail list is an encyclopedia! The 'Dean St. Breeze' (Beefeater, mango, cucumber, lemon, soda) was nice and refreshing but slightly tame. For me, it could have done with a little more vavavoom, but the aptly named 'Winter In The City' (Absolut Citron, pomegranate, elderflower, redcurrants, rose) was really delicious and I would happily have slurped down several more!
The best thing about ordering as a pair is that you can have your cake and it eat it... burger AND lobster? yes please!
As I tied on my plastic bib I knew we'd made the right choice. Why have one thing when you can split both?! No food envy, just two (dare I say it) equally, yummy meals... Or at least thats how I remembered it.
After my first two visits to their original Mayfair branch I wrote that "the burger was unmistakably better than any that I have ever eaten before or since", so it's fair to say that this time around my expectations were high... but it just wasn't the same!
The burger lacked that punch of flavour that was so impressive on previous visits. The lobster, wasn't as juicy, it was bordering on over-cooked. The presentation was sloppy (I know it's a 'burger joint' but theres no need to have chips sprawled all over the place), and while were at it, I felt that the new restaurant lacked atmosphere. Obviously there are benefits to having a larger restaurant - ie. not waiting on the street corner for over an hour - but the bigger interior really felt like a 'chain' restaurant. It was like sitting in Pizza Express but with better decor. For me, the whole experience had just lost it's charm.
It may have just been a case of third time un-lucky, but I would rather take my chances on queuing in Mayfair than having a fairly standard meal in Soho.
Burger & Lobster
Now open in Mayfair, Soho, Farringdon and City