What do you think when you hear the word “breakfast”? Chances are, no matter what your culture or background, what springs to mind involves neither lobsters nor burgers – and almost certainly not both. On the other hand, the same could be said for “lunch” and that hasn’t stopped Burger and Lobster carving out a very successful niche for themselve in the City lunch space, so will they manage the same with the breakfast crowd?
I can’t tell you that, but here at least is what you can expect if you do trot in to the new Threadneedle Street premises of this ever popular franchise. First of all, you can expect a vast, cavernous space. As with most of the places on Threadneedle Street this is housed in one of those old bank buildings that feel almost like a cathedral. As you might expect, the conceit is the same as with their lunch – there’s no grand menu, you get burger or you get lobster. And the price is straightforward enough too – it’s £15 . That said, it’s slightly unfortunate that our server seemed to think that this included a tea or a coffee. According to our bill, it doesn’t.
And if you don’t want your burger bloody, then you’d better be sure to tell them so when you order, because you won’t necessarily get asked. As it happens we are both quite content with a juicy medium-done piece of prime beefburger, but there are certainly those who might be unhappy to find their burger bun red from anything but ketchup …
So, onto the food. If you’re looking for a banquet, then you are in the wrong place – the provisions come in modest (some might even say dainty) proportion. Nevertheless, it done well and is surprisingly filling. While the burger looks inescapably lonesome with nothing but a couple of hash browns and a cup of beans to keep it company, it is delicious. And the cheese topped egg perched atop it is cooked to the perfect point of semi-solidity that allows you to consume the burger without egg-splosion difficulties, yet the yolk is still soft and melt-in-the-mouth. Inevitably, I did not sample the devil-spawn (beans) that come with this, but I am advised that they appear to be standard Heinz. This will probably please and displease you bean fans out there in roughly equal proportion. Certainly I feel that at the price level Burger Lobster pitches at, they could afford to jazz this up somehow. The hash browns are crispy outside, moist inside as they should be: good but nothing to write home about.
For the breakfast table, Lobster comes in the form of lobster scrambled eggs. This is muffin, scrambled egg, large flakes of lobster topped with cooked vine tomatoes and a sprinkling of chives. A sort of crustacean eggs benedict, in a way perhaps? In any case, the scrambled eggs are rich and creamy and complement the lobster well. The actual quantity of lobster is quite restrained, but sufficient to let you know you’ve got it.
So, to the point – how was it? The verdict is that it’s surprisingly good – and surprisingly filling, despite what you may think when it arrives in front of you. At nearly £20 apiece once the drinks and service are added though, it must be said that this is one more for the novelty than anything else … but then, it’s Burger Lobster so you already knew that before you came in. It’s worked well enough for the lunchtime crowd it seems, but will there be enough interest to sustain the novelty breakfast concept, that’s likely to be entirely reliant on local workers and, unlike lunches, will get little or no support from tourist footfall? I’m not convinced, so if you want to give it a try I’d do so now – but you never know. If anyone can pull it off, then probably Burger Lobster can.