In dinner terms, I do not think that £20 is an extortionate amount of money. It’s six Boots meal deals, four bottles of on-offer-in-the-supermarket red wine, or two ‘dine in for a tenner’ ready meal bundles. It’s roughly what the boy and I would spend each on a mid-month meal out. Or, now, it’s a lobster. A highly non-extortionate lobster. Alternately, indeed, a rather extortionate burger.
Burger & Lobster – which has finally opened in Bath after months of rumours, teases and anticipation – isn’t exactly cryptic about what is does. For a flat £20, you can have a burger (10oz, piled high with cheese and bacon), a whole lobster (just steamed, or finished under the grill) or a lobster roll.
We both went for the grilled lobster. They were a decent size – served with thin-cut fries, a well-dressed side salad and a boat of beautifully silky lemon butter sauce – and came halved, with the claws partially pre-cracked. The meat was sweet, especially from the claws, and the grilling gave an extra, smoky dimension to the flavour. Delicious. We agreed that next time we’d both probably give the steamed lobster a try, as there’s always likely to be a trade-off between the extra flavour and the extra chewiness that the grill adds.
The best thing about Burger & Lobster, though, is its lack of pretension. Lobster might be a stereotypically ‘sophisticated’ dish (burgers less so), but airs and graces aren’t expected – the atmosphere is relaxed and pressure-free. To be honest, a restaurant that gives you a plastic bib along with the requisite tools for a potentially messy dish has clearly seen me coming, and I appreciate that. Not a restaurant for a first date, perhaps.
Pudding had two options: a berry cheesecake, or a ‘Snickers pot’ (£4.50 each). We both went for the latter – a little plastic pot of chocolate mousse hiding a bottom of salted caramel and peanuts, topped with chocolate cornflakes. When I say that the caramel genuinely tasted of salt, I really do mean it as a compliment.
We were lucky enough to grab a booking for the restaurant’s soft opening (huzzah for Twitter!), so we only paid for our drinks. That said, we’d happily have paid our non-extortionate lobster bill – and are already planning our return. Why you’d go for anything other than the lobster baffles me. There are plenty of great (and cheaper) burgers on offer in town (hi there, Grillstock, Firehouse et al!), but nowhere else that does such afforable crustaceans. I did see someone on a neighbouring table bite into theirs, though, and the look on their face suggested that they were very far from disappointed – so perhaps that’s me told. It’s the seafood section of the menu, though, that’s got its claws into me.