Ever since this was a one of a kind Mayfair eatery in Mayfair I have been eager to try one of the name sake dishes of this restaurant. I became even more keen when they opened their doors in Soho, but their no booking policy for tables under 6 meant that every time I attempted to dine there was at least an hour wait… and I don’t deal with hunger well, so i’ve always passed on the opportunity.
But this weekend, the wait for lunch on Saturday was just half an hour long, and as we were in the market for a few drinks anyway, we decided to wait at the bar with one of their cocktails. I went for the East Village Shake which comprised of bourbon whiskey, cereal milk, blueberries and maple syrup, which was priced at £9.50 and came with a belgian waffle decoration on the top. It tasted like a grown-up milkshake; sweet but with a kick! Josh ordered himself a Lucky 8 Cooler (also £9.50) as it was the only cocktail that contained a semi-decent gin (Beefeater 24) despite the back of the bar holding many great premium gins. This cocktail was sweet and tart, containing apricot and vanilla, but not much to Josh’s taste. While I liked it, I believe mine was the far better choice.
It wasn’t half an hour that we had to wait for our table… it was probably 15 minutes max, so it might be worth taking their waiting times with a pinch of salt, but of course there is a chance we got lucky with some fast eaters before us. The menu is simple. So simple in fact that is consists of just three dishes and can be recalled by with waitress, with no need for a paper menu – how environmentally friendly! Your three choices are a Whole Lobster (grilled or steamed) with garlic butter, a Lobster Roll with garlic butter, or a Burger with cheese and bacon – all come with a side of fries and a green leaf, red onion and balsamic salad, and all cost £20 each. Simple.
On asking all the staff what they recommended, they all said we should try the Lobster Roll, but as burger lovers we couldn’t resist trying that as well, and so our waitress organised for our Roll & Burger each to be cut in half ready to share – a nice touch to avoid making an even bigger mess that we actually did. The Lobster Roll was worthy of the recommendation – big chunks of sweet lobster meat wedged within toasted bread which was complemented brilliantly with a drizzle of the garlic butter. The garlic butter was so tasty that it got to the point where my roll was being fully submerged, but this didn’t distract from the great lobster flavour.
When it came to the burger they weren’t able to cook it rare (I think that’s Westminster Council sticking their oar in again, ’cause they are of course the experts when it comes to cooking meat!) but they could provide us with a medium rare burger which was good enough for us, and didn’t require a dunking as it was cooked brilliantly, leaving it juicy, pink and delicious. The pickles within it added a nice crunchy tang and the bacon gave it a cook kick of saltiness. However, £20 for a burger, some fries and a salad isn’t a great deal. Not when you can head over the road and have a much better burger & fries at Honest Burgers for less than half the price. But I think in this restaurant, the burger is on the menu to satisfy the people who don’t like Lobster (but then I suppose this begs the question… why would you dine there?)
I think it’s obvious that this restaurant is all about the lobster, and if that’s all you’re ordering, then you are getting a fantastic deal on what is a very tasty lunch or dinner. I am glad I got to try the burger, but it’s not the reason I would return to this very popular restaurant that can now also be found in The City, Farringdon & Knightsbridge… It would definitely be the lobster and garlic butter combo! A great treat at a very reasonable price.