I’ve never been to Burger and Lobster before. I’m not the biggest fan of lobster (as you may remember if you read my post about my first time with lobster in Jamaica) and I begrudge paying £20 for a burger, which, up until recently, was the set price to dine at this restaurant regardless of whether you opted for a burger or lobster – the only two dishes available on the menu.
However, Burger and Lobster Cardiff have shaken things up somewhat with their new menu, which launched late last month. It’s all very much still burger and lobster, but the new menu sees the introduction of succulent lobster rolls, a choice of lobster sizes, a greater variety of burgers (including a kid’s burger) and the option to add sides (equally suitable as starters).
I was kindly invited along to Burger and Lobster on The Hayes, Cardiff recently to sample the new menu with a guest. Arriving at the restaurant with my friend, Sarah, we were told that there were no tables available (it was fairly busy as a number of bloggers had been invited along that evening) and handed a buzzer that would sound once a table become available for us. We made our way to the bar and enjoyed a drink while we waited for a free table. It took around 50 minutes for us to be seated, which was somewhat understandable as it was a busy evening for the restaurant, although I wouldn’t be impressed if I came here with a booking on a busy Friday or Saturday night and had to wait this long.
We sat at a table near the bar, where our waitress politely introduced herself and gave us an overview of the menu, before leaving us to ponder over what to order for a few minutes. We chose to order a side each as a starter, as the main meals are served with fries anyway.
I opted for the lobster mac and cheese (£5). This was an innovative take on a classic, comfort food dish; a generous portion of macaroni pasta and fresh pieces of lobster meat in a creamy, cheesy sauce with a golden, crispy crust, finished with chopped chives.
Opposite from me at the table, Sarah tucked into a bowl of nachos topped with tender beef brisket and melted cheese (£4). This looked very appetising and Sarah said the beef literally fell apart in her mouth, but we both thought there should’ve been an option to add guacamole, salsa and perhaps a dollop of sour cream.
After polishing off our starters, we moved on to our main courses. I played it safe with the classic B&L beef burger (6oz, £8), served with cheddar cheese and bacon as extras (+£1 each if I remember rightly). If you’re feeling up to the challenge, Burger and Lobster also offer a 10oz beef burger (£12), although I wasn’t feeling hungry enough to take this on myself.
The burger consisted of a thick, succulent beef patty accompanied by crispy bacon rashers, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion and melted cheddar cheese, finished with burger sauce and pickles, all wedged between a soft brioche bun. This was visually appealing and tasted okay, but in comparison to all the burgers I’ve tasted recently from Cardiff’s many burger bars (like Locke and Remedy, Shake Shack, The Grazing Shed and Bagel and Burger Kitchen, to name just a few), it didn’t really stand out for me. It had a slightly sweet taste, which didn’t really do it for me, while the juices from the burger ran into the bun and caused it to become slightly soggy.
A big lobster fan, Sarah opted for a whole lobster served half-steamed, half-grilled and accompanied by regular French fries, a green leaf and red onion side salad sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a garlic butter sauce. The steamed lobster half was juicy and full of flavour, but unfortunately the grilled half wasn’t as satisfying; maybe it was left under the heat for a little too long, as it was rather firm and chewy. Sarah still enjoyed her meal, but it was over-priced at£24.
Something I found strange about Burger and Lobster was that if you want to order sweet potato fries, you have to order them as a side – you can’t choose to swap them for standard fries as part of a main meal, even if you pay extra. So, Sarah had to order sweet potato fries as a side dish to go with her lobster and side salad, even though we made the waitress aware that the regular french fries would go completely to waste. I don’t agree with wasting food in this way and I think Burger and Lobster charge enough for their main meals as it is, without charging diners extra for the privilege of sweet potato fries.
On the whole, we were actually pretty disappointed with our visit to Burger and Lobster; it was over-priced, we had to waited a while to be seated and served, and the quality of the food just wasn’t all it’s made out to be. I’d be interested to see whether the food improves when the restaurant is quieter, but I won’t be rushing back to find out.
Burger and Lobster Cardiff
(029) 2022 4044
I was invited to Burger and Lobster as a guest and our food was complementary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review.