29 Clarges Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 7EF, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 409 1699
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon - Sat noon - 10.30pm (last orders); Sun noon to 5.30pm (last orders)
Door: Go early
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Food
Price guide: High-end
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Sporting a Ronseal-style name, there's no confusion about what's on the menu at this new venue from the Russian-owned Goodman steak restaurant group. Its strapline is 'Restaurant and Cocktail Bar', only when we arrived we were told we must eat. Annoying. We did what you'd expect and pretended we would order food, scored a couple of seats at the bar and drank a few cocktails.
The list is not unfamiliar, having been drawn up by the talented guys at the Soulshakers consultancy who recently created a cocktail list for Goodman itself. Burger & Lobster boasts an innovative choice of 20 original cocktails utilising some unexpected ingredients. Cocktails are listed in three categories - Aperitif, 'B Cocktails', 'L Cocktails' and Digestifs.
Aperitifs include a Vesper-style Martini with Benedictine and saffron onions, and an 'Americano' sees the vermouth replaced with Byrrh and the inclusion of sloe gin - surely a twist too far to still justify the name? In the 'B' list Zinfandel wine is successfully paired with Woodford Reserve bourbon, and in The Jenner Irish whiskey shook hands with Scottish (mixing Jameson's and Laphroaig), though a house Buck was a syrupy mess.
The 'L' list includes a house gin fizz, with rhubarb bitters instead of orange flower water, while the Angel's Fall is a sour combining calvados and gin. The five-strong digestif selection further twists the category - a blazer made with cider brandy and the Old Fashioned boasts thyme syrup.
Friendly service and decent-enough drinks helped mask the fact that the bar, even in a busy Saturday session, was being used as a training ground for rookie bartenders, something we saw at the new Canary Wharf Goodman too. At £9 per drink, surely customers deserve an accomplished and experienced cocktail bartender, rather than someone working from a spec sheet for the first time?
Wish we'd been able to sample this new breed of surf and turf - all dishes are priced at £20. We'll go back, but for now we award Burger & Lobster 3/5.