Burger & Lobster Soho - where I was shellfishly satisfied

I like restaurants with simple menus because it’s easier to order. It would usually take me 15-20 minutes to decide what I want, another 5 minutes contemplating whether it’s really what I want and another 5 minutes wondering if I should change my order (even when I’ve already checked the menu online). So when Burger and Lobster opened in Soho I was pretty ecstatic because I already knew what I wanted long before I’ve even set a date to go. They don’t have an actual menu (save for drinks) because they only have three choices: Burger. Lobster. Lobster Roll. Served with fries and salad, they all come at £20 each.

I went with my friend A, who was just as enthusiastic. We decided to dine early as queues usually go wild in their Mayfair branch. Surprisingly, the Soho restaurant is remarkably bigger so despite the place filling up with Friday post-work punters we were able to get a decent table. It’s nice inside - cozy and bang on trend with the new pop up, New York-esque restaurants around Soho. Save for a few interesting paintings on the wall, it has a pretty straightforward diner/bar vibe. It’s one of those restaurants who definitely say, ‘let the food speak for itself‘.

I’ve psyched myself the whole day for dinner. I was excited to see A and I heard the lobster roll was pretty special. I came to the restaurant with a decision to check how it compares to Hawksmoor‘s but then I saw a chap wolfing this ginormous, medium rare burger by the bar. He seemed so content and so happy with his choice which made me doubt mine. Shit.

Our very friendly server gave us a few minutes to skim the drinks menu. They had ‘B’ or ‘L’ cocktails which I presumed complemented the dishes. They all sounded amazing, but I didn’t know which one to get as my head played a tug-of-war between the burger and the lobster roll. When the server came around our table I was still undecided. A said she wanted the lobster roll and an elderflower-based cocktail. Pressure’s on me. Burger? No, lobster roll. Which cocktail to get? B? L? What to get?! Lobster roll? No, burger. Yes, I want the burger.

I ended up saying ‘Gin and tonic, and uh.. the lobster. Finished off the grill please.

Don’t ask me where that came from because that was way off the plan and at that point I felt like there was no turning back. Except I did - literally - turn around and saw a lady making O-faces with her burger. I wondered if I should change my order. Should I, shouldn’t I? I should, right? But before all 5 minutes of decision-making was even through, our orders came. Well that was really quick, I thought. So lobster it is.

A’s plate looked like a ménage à trois of diner goodies but quite rightly, the roll stood out. The brioche bun looked golden and buttery soft and the lobster-wasabi-mayo filling looked delicious in its abundance. Mine, on the other hand, was Destiny’s Child on a plate. The crustacean took all left, right and centrestage, outshining everything else; you couldn’t care less about the other two things on the side. That said, the simple salad had a nice balsamic glaze and the fries added a nice crunchy texture (they do get soggy after a while though. Should’ve been triple-cooked, maybe?).

Let’s get down to business. I usually prefer steamed lobsters but the charred spots on my grilled order made it so visually appetizing. Ignoring the bib, I attacked my plate and it was love(ster… har har) at first bite. The lobster, imported from Canada, was delicious from head to claw and was a mini smorgasbord of flavour and textures. The meat was creamy and nutty, the head rich and silky; the meat from the claw bursting with premium seafood flavour, the tail with a bit of smokiness from the grill. It came with a boat of delicious lemon-garlic butter sauce too, but I didn’t use it much because the lobster was flavourful enough and I really wanted to just taste the seafood.

We were really really stuffed after our mains so we skipped dessert (some sort of chocolate mousse and raspberry cheesecake, £4 each). That’s a first.

Burger and Lobster was a really awesome experience and despite it being a testament to my indecisiveness (when it comes to food), I was shellfishly satisfied with my grub. The simplicity of the menu seemed to have done the restaurant well. If you judge how awesome the food is by looking at punters around and hearing satisfied belly rumbles, then you know you’ve got a winner. Instantly my favourite new London restaurant this year.

Burger & Lobster Soho
36 Dean Street  London W1D | Tel: +44(0)20 7432 4800 | Bookings available from tables of 6
Ave spend pp: £40 (including drinks, dessert and service)

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