So, Burger and Lobster, the Goodman Group Mayfair based eatery with three choices for dinner; burger, lobster or lobster roll, all served with fries and a side salad. You would think there would be nothing else that could be possibly written in the blogosphere about the beef patties and grilled crustaceans served here, and you'd be right, if it wasn't for the fact that this dinner date also doubled up as the starting point of mine and the Ewing's, slightly unconventional, hen do.
While there were no L plates, penis shaped straws (Michael was rather upset by this) or strippers (and this too) we did have dirty martinis, champagne, the most immense burgery lobsteryness and, of course, the company of our closest friends to help us celebrate those last, fleeting, hours of freedom.
Beth was rather confused to see a double-sided menu presented to us as we were seated, until she realised, rather than listing the food (the three choices are chalked up on a blackboard), they described some rather wicked sounding cocktails. The Ewing had something pink with Aperol in it, Michael had a Reisling smash, a rather manly combination of white wine and Kammerlings and I enjoyed a dry martini with a vicious kick (and some sorry-looking olives), There is something intensely pleasing and rather decadent about washing down mouthfuls of buttery lobster with ice cold gin, the perfect combination.
So, here's what all the fuss is about; a kilo of imported Canadian lobster, steamed and finished then off the grill if requested. On the side a jug of garlicky, lemony butter ready to anoint the chunks of smoky seafood. Even a mere half of this beauty kept the Ewing quiet for a good half an hour, the best tenner ever spent (that, of course, was a joke, darling, hold fire with the divorce papers...).
The meat was succulent with the grill adding a pleasing charred edge. It's a fine pleasure to be sitting in the middle of Mayfair with a plastic bib around your neck , clutching a lobster pick with greasy fingers (for those who like to be little more decorous when eating their dinner, the claws are pre-cracked and the body split, meaning it's not too messy)
|Creatures from the deep and lobster roll|
It would take an awful lot to put me off a lobster roll, but this photo may just have done it... Seriously though, lobster rolls are an unparallelled joy that I first discovered driving up the North East coast of America as a teenager. While there we discovered that even McDonalds do a version of this fishy treat in this part of the world (McHomard over the border in Canada). Although I experienced a mild pang of guilt watching my uncle chase a lobster round the sundeck of our cottage, before condemning it to a pot of boiling water, I couldn't get enough of the stuff.
I have to confess not trying this example, a good looking fellow containing the meat of lobster body, bound in a light mayo and topped with a whole claw, but it's glory was all too brief, being very quickly dispatched. Unless you can spring for another one to enjoy in quick succession, my guess is the whole lobster or burger will delay your gratification.
Much has been made of the meat eaters subsidising their burger brethren. While there is no doubt that the lobster represents one of the biggest bargains in the big smoke, when broken down further the burgernomics aren't too shabby either. Although twenty bucks may seem like a lot of cash for ground beef in a bun, if you consider it comes as a 10oz blend of grass and grain fed beef, topped with cheese and bacon and served with fries and salad, price wise it begins to compare more favourably with London's other burger big boys.
The money shot; this was a very fine burger; cooked nicely rare/medium rare, very pink in the centre with out dissolving into a bloody mess, with a deep meaty, umami flavour (Goodman's is reported to use fish sauce in its ground beef) and perfectly charred crust. The bacon was streaky, which is absolutely as it should be, and the cheese oozy and gooey. The richness of the buttery brioche bun and juicy patty was perfectly cut through with a tangy pickle spear, and all additional condiments were rendered superfluous as I greedily tucked in.
For my money you could do no better than taking an agreeable companion (the Ewing seemed remarkably amiable tabout sharing with me for once) and split both the grilled lobster and the bacon cheeseburger. Alternate mouthfuls of sweet, charred crustacean and rich, savoury beef, interpersed with the odd chip or salad leaf, is surely the stuff which dreams are made of. For those with iron constitutions, pimp your meal with a lobster each and a burger on the side, reef and beef has never been such good value and such good fun.
|Photo courtesty of Stealth. Mousse modelled by the Ewing|
Puddings are bought in; lime or chocolate and mocha mousse being the two choices. Both are fine, if unspectacular (The Ewing is still mulling over the fact I 'forgot' to let her try a spoonful of mine. To be fair I did genuinely forget, fuelled with champagne and distracted by Beth's sugar cube 'magic' trick.) The milky chocolate version being studded with choc chunks and shards of coffee bean, the refreshing lime being sprinkled with the contrast of crunchy biscuit crumbs.
As if an alcohol and butter-drenched dinner could be anything but sublime, and possibly the most legal enjoyment you can have with your clothes still on, sharing it with my wonderful friends just amplified the experience. And if more proof was needed that posing with a crustacen never ceases to be fun...