Would you wait for 1h 45min for dinner? I used to consider myself a sane person who wouldn’t stupidly hang about a bar waiting for a table until 21.30 at night. Now, I definitely fall into that category after my second visit to Burger and Lobster.
You see, the first time I went I only had to wait 30 minutes and that was perfectly fine. Perched on a bar stool listening to the Italian talking about soft furnishings and light fittings (his flat renovation has just begun), I actually didn’t mind the wait. And when they carried in my steamed lobster with chips and fresh salad, I swiftly tied the plastic bib that had been given to me, around my neck and started eating.
I think I re-surfaced 15-30 minutes later, with fingers covered with lobster juice and greasy fries. Oh heaven. The Italian, who I estimate had finished his giant burger in 5 minutes, looked at me with fascination as I maneuvered the lobster tools, trying to get every single meaty bit out of the shell.
At Burger and Lobster you either order a) a burger (with cheese or bacon) b) a lobster or c) a lobster roll. Ordering takes a minute, or two minutes if you’re thinking about ordering the whole shebang as the Italian did (I said no). Everything comes to £20, which is a fantastic bargain for lobster. The problem is that everyone else thinks it’s a fantastic bargain too, and hence the enormous wait on my second visit. The Italian provided a good benchmark for the burger claiming that it’s better than an In n’ Out Burger (apparently the holy grail of burgers), and he also managed to say between bites: ‘Now I understand what the fuss is about’.
I would say that’s a very fine verdict, indeed.
The service is nothing special, after all this is a posh shack, but the staff are very friendly although they’re constantly hassled by hungry diners who are wondering when it’s their turn to tie the plastic bib around the neck. I confess I was such a diner, but my pout got me nowhere. Thankfully, soft jazz music is playing in the background so you don’t feel too stressed or too angered. Imagine if they were blasting out loud fist-pumping tunes.
The Italian wants to go back every week for the burger, and I would be happy to accompany him. It’s not often you eat lobster at that price and additionally, the chips are addictive too. As is the butter sauce. So yes, I would follow him every week to Mayfair if the conditions were better. What I mean is, I don’t want to wait 1h 45min again. Restaurants that have a no-booking policy might be enjoying more customers and therefore more cash flow, but it’s deeply stressful for those that don’t want to go for a drink beforehand or stand like an idiot glaring at fellow guests. Having said that, I might be back next week – prepared with a thermos flask and snacks under my arm.