Three Is The Magic Number? | Burger & Lobster, 30 Old Bailey, Ludgate London EC4M 7HS
We have never been to Burger & Lobster before. The reasons? We love our burgers but we’d heard the ones at B&L weren’t outstanding, which didn’t make sense to us as Goodman are responsible for this restaurant chain. And at £20, you need them to be outstanding. We’re not big on the whole lobster thing either, we don’t want to work so hard digging around in an exoskeleton for such little reward. So why would we bother with somewhere like this? Especially at £20 a meal, it’s not like there’s a shortage of places to go to instead.
As we’re honest bloggers (despite what the haters might say), we’ll reveal that we lost our Burger & Lobster virginity because we received an email asking us if we’d like to check out the new Old Bailey site. Seemed like a good time to see what all the fuss was about. They’ve even opened up in New York so surely they must be doing something right.
First impressions were good, we were welcomed in out of the rain by a friendly guy who held the door open for us. Once inside all staff members were even friendlier and chatty, I don’t think I’ve seen such happy staff anywhere for a long time, weird but nice. Even one of the live lobsters in the tank eyeballed Ade as we walked by, he wished him a happy Christmas on the way out, now that he’ll probably make it that long (the lobster, that is.)
Their website says ‘who needs a menu when you have a team with bags of personality just waiting to have a real conversation with you?’ I don’t know how you can compare a menu with talkative waiting staff, why not have both? We go out to have a ‘real’ conversation with each other or our friends and family, not with the staff in a restaurant. Of course it’s brilliant to have a natter but that should be a standard thing.
Decor-wise we weren’t enthralled, it felt quite safe, basic and lacking in personality, the bleak Furniture Village-esque tables and chairs especially depressed me. We A restaurant with no menu is my dad’s DREAM though, a burger every time for him, he’d be in his absolute element. There is a menu for the drinks, quite a few choices for somewhere that doesn’t seem to believe in options.
There’s aperitifs, digestifs, cocktails for burgers and cocktails for lobster. We stuck to the ‘rules’ and ordered appropriately. An 8 Steps To The West (£9.50) for me – Buffalo Trace whiskey, pear, elderflower, rosemary and ginger ale. As often happens, Ade’s cocktail turned out to be effeminate, the Ab Fab (£9.50) with Absolut peach, rose wine, lemon verbena and festive looking redcurrant.
Ade drew the short straw and went for the Lobster roll, I thought he was going to hate me for the rest of the night for sitting in front of him eating a burger but he didn’t even ask for a bite. Instead he relished every last bit of his brioche roll stuffed with cooled lobster meat, saving as much of the buttery lemon sauce as he could for chip dunking.
The Burger was actually really, really good. Very fat (10oz), juicy and surprisingly light with that satisfying yet messy drip. I couldn’t eat my salad as it had parmesan flakes running through it, I did mention that I can’t eat cheese when I ordered my burger without it. There is no charge for the addition of bacon (or cheese), thank God.
We noticed a lot of kids in the restaurant on our visit, I couldn’t see what they were eating from where we were and there was no subtle way of finding out, so we asked. There are no kids portions, they’re expected to share their parents food. Really? This bothers us, kids should be entitled to the same as grown ups get rather than being chucked a few scraps.
Desserts aren’t really a thing here, we asked to try them as a meal isn’t a meal without a sweet ending, a digestif helps too, the El Presidente (£9.50) was sophisticated and manly, just how I like my drinks. For dessert there was a choice of Tirimisu or Christmas pudding cheesecake (both £4.50). They arrived in paper cups, not very special indeed, I almost wish we hadn’t bothered.
I am glad we bothered going to Burger & Lobster though, apparently you’re not a proper foodie if you haven’t been. But then we only just got round to trying Duck & Waffle this year too. Would we go back? If the burgers were £5 cheaper, kids-sized portions were available and they got rid of those horrid chairs, then yes.
30 Old Bailey Ludgate, London EC4M 7HS
Telephone: 020 3637 4034
Opening hours: Monday – Wednesday: 12pm-10.30pm
Thursday – Saturday: 12pm-11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
Nearest station: City Thameslink (2 mins walk) Blackfriars (6 mins walk)
We ate as guests of Burger & Lobster, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.