Another London import has hit Dubai and this is one we just couldn’t wait to try. Burger and Lobster is renowned for the fact that there is no menu and with a selection of only three dishes, it is a refreshing discovery for the crowded Dubai dining scene.
Located in the non-descript Burj Daman building in DIFC, Burger and Lobster had us hooked from the moment we entered into the gloomy interior. Walking through a tunnel-like entrance, the left side of which glows an otherworldly blue. The eery glow is cast from the rows of lobster tanks that are stacked ceiling high and contain some of the most gargantuan crustaceans you can imagine. The right side comprises of stacked wooden lobster pots, each one individually lit by a bare yellow lightbulb.
The inside pays close attention to detail, with the atmospheric theme from the entranceway continuing throughout the interior. With plenty of red leather and polished dark wood, all seating options are upon high bar style stools, yet still feel comfortable. Diners have the option of smoking or non-smoking areas (something that was abolished long ago in the UK and still feels strange) and despite the large bar area, alcohol is not currently served, though our waitress informed us that it may come soon. B&L is a dimly lit and intimate setting, blending fisherman’s wharf with modern and sleek, resulting in an altogether different ambiance, from the initial rustic premisses in London’s Mayfair.
The decor comprises exposed brickwork, bare light fittings, partially tiled floors, and splashes of colour – primarily from the red leather and the orange lamp shades. Blackboards are hung on the walls with phrases like ‘best day ever’ scrawled in chalk.
Staff were very friendly and all wear chef’s whites, even those who do not work in the kitchen. Menu’s are provided for beverages with the usual array of soft drinks, juices, teas and coffees being offered. We found it appealing to dine somewhere with only three food items choices and no menu, so to speak. The options are simple – cheese burger, lobster tail or the lobster roll – each costing 131 AED. For the fact that B&L only sell three items, we had high expectations that it would be a case of a few things done exceptionally well.
Unfortunately this is not one for all you vegetarians, as the Burger and Lobster websites clearly states “We know burgers and we know lobsters” in response to any vegetarian offerings.
Being greedy and wanting the best of both world’s, we opted for a combo that includes the burger and the lobster tail, not realising how big the portion would be for a workday lunchtime.
The food arrived on a shiny silver platter that was encased in paper and emblazoned with the Burger and Lobster branding. We were provided with a bib and a lobster cracker, so we knew that things were likely to descend into complete messiness very quickly.
With fresh lobsters being flown in daily from Canada and burgers made from the three separate cuts of Nebraskan beef steak that pertains to be the juiciest around, to say expectations were high is an understatement.
Sitting upon the platter was the burger, sliced in half due to its sheer size, the lobster complete with monstrous claw, a fresh looking side salad and a bucket of French fries. Not quite sure where to start, we began with the burger which was crammed full of cheese, tomato, lettuce and onions, whilst the patty is surely one of the plumpest in Dubai. The vegetables inside the sweet bun are chunky and taste oh so fresh, the patty was cooked to perfection, exactly as we had requested, and had a nice pinkness for it’s medium grill. Now we know this will be a controversial statement, but despite the visual appeal of the burger it tasted very much like a Whopper from Burger King.
The lobster on the other hand had to be prised out of its pink-shelled prison and we found the meat to be a little on the tough side, probably due to slight over-cooking. The only time we needed to use the cracker, was to release the tender white meat from the claw, but it was well worth the effort and could well be the best element of the meal. The lobster was accompanied by a gravy boat of rich garlic butter infused with flavours of the sea, off-setting the dish nicely. Bare in mind that the lobster can be either grilled or steamed upon your request, though we personally would recommended grilling to obtain the smoked charcoal taste.
We were suitably impressed by the sides dishes. The salad was fresh and the green leaves had a distinct nuttiness that was further enhanced by the crumbed parmesan and slight bitterness of the balsamic dressing. The fries were crisp and golden and as close to perfect as one can expect.
As we ploughed through the meal, the bottom of the burger bun began to soak up the juiciness of the meat, like a sponge and created a moist meaty mess that though difficult to eat with any decorum, tasted fantastic.
The Good: The ambiance of B&L is truly exceptional, it is such a well crafted space that you will never want to leave. The grilled lobster and it’s accompanying buttery sauce were better than the burger.
The Bad: The price point is far to high, a bargain for the lobster perhaps, but not so for the burger. The prices have been further inflated from the ‘£20 no matter what’ ethos of the London branches. Also the paper that the meal sits on, slowly begins to disintegrate as you eat and eventually becomes a disappointing part of your food.
Burger and Lobster is a fun place to dine but did leave us feeling a little underwhelmed by the food. Maybe it was the over-hyped nature of the brand that set our expectations a little to high, or maybe it is the fact that you can get better elsewhere.
Location: Burj Daman Building, DIFC, Dubai
Hours: 12:00pm – 2:00am
Phone: 04 514 8838