Tag Archives: Lobster

Burger & Lobster: The Lobster Roll

15th July 2013

Ok, so I’m not winning any races with this blog post.  Everyone who lives in London knows the Burger & Lobster story… 

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However,  a) not everyone who reads this does live in London and b) it was amazing and I want to tell you about it anyway.

After a day of birthday shopping with Mummy (lucky me), we headed to Mayfair for a late lunch at B&L.  The deal: choose Burger, Lobster or Lobster Roll.  Each one costs £20, and includes sides.  Beautifully simple, especially if, like me, you’re terminally indecisive.  I like to read a menu cover to cover, so not being given a menu nicely eliminates this task.

There is however a comprehensive drinks list with great cocktails.  We went for gingery, limey and refreshing.  

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We both chose the Lobster Roll (hence the post title).  I would be very happy to return and report back on the other options one by one – takers please?

The interior of the restaurant is sort of rustic and wooden, with an open kitchen front.  Diners eating lobster are given a fetching plastic bib – a definite plus.

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If you’re in a group and up for a challenge, you can order one of the bigger (to massive) lobsters to share.

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Although we certainly had enough to be going on with when our food arrived…

85Buttery, cooked bread filled with lobster – so, so good.

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Don’t look past the sides – the salad is well dressed and topped with parmesan.  The chips are really good chips.  Simples.

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I lined up the roll and went for it.  No cutlery needed.

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Something that really endeared the restaurant to me is their sauce policy – ketchup and mayo are out on the tables, in bottles.  No need to keep asking politely for another tiny ramekin over and over again.

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I was glad we’d finished shopping because I struggled to walk to the tube after we were done!

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You can’t book at the Mayfair B&L, but you can make reservations for large parties at their other restaurants (there are four in total).  Details are on the website.

If you haven’t been yet, go.  That is all.  (Even if you are late to the party like me!)

And thank you M for a lovely day.

Burger & Lobster on Urbanspoon

The Lockhart

11th July 2013

Last night I went for dinner at a new restaurant, and I left feeling absolutely certain that I would return.

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The Lockhart serves upmarket US Southwestern food and has taken a calm, gentrified approach to the ambience and flavours.  There’s no tacky tourist Tex-Mex here; the décor is a soothing palette of white walls, exposed brick and thoughtful, quirky features.  

I made my way towards Marble Arch from Edgware Road, and with the weather still being lovely, I found H sitting at one of the tables outside.  

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We had lots to catch up on, and managed to successfully be those annoying customers who don’t read their menus.  We did however quickly wolf down the scrumptious baked jalapeño and cheddar scones that were brought out.

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The side plates are charming old fashioned china, each with different patterns.

Having lived for some years in Texas, I have a serious soft spot for this type of food and I was definitely a bit overexcited at what was on offer.  Nachos, tortilla soup, enchiladas – the favourites are all there, but the plates coming out of the kitchen looked healthy, fresh and beautifully presented.  Forget that bright orange cheese...

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By the time we were ready to order and our very patient waiter had answered all our questions, it was getting a little chilly and we migrated inside (typical Brits!).  

But not before the man at the next table had informed us that the chicken wings were ‘as good as crack’…now there’s a review!

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The tables and floorboards are polished wood, the napkins are linen and there are tea lights dotted around. 

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Look at the ceiling…

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I ordered a Strawberry Fields cocktail – vodka, fresh lime juice, strawberry, cucumber, basil and black pepper.  There are some deadly sounding tequila cocktails on the list – if only it wasn’t mid week!

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We started with some ‘crab hush puppies’ which came with cajun dipping sauce.  These are breaded balls of brown and white crab (one of my greatest weaknesses) and they are actually miniature bites of crabby heaven.  (Not sure if that reads right, but I’m gonna go with it).

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For main course, I had one of the sharing boards – how could I resist the combination of lobster and nachos?  Also, why have I never thought of the combination of lobster and nachos?

So here it is – Dunny’s lobster nachos: native poached lobster, crisp tortillas, piquant pepper salsa, house smoked mozzarella, dorset cheddar, and fresh guacamole.

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I was a bit worried at first that I wouldn’t get full up, but these nachos are packing some serious stuff.  Each one – lobster, cool sour cream, tangy salsa – I think I could live on these.

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H had the seabass, which came with lobster, mexican chorizo, crayfish bouillabaisse and summer greens.

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On the side (strongly ignoring the mac’n’cheese) I went for succotash, an ole Southern favourite.

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It was a smoky, bacon-y mix of corn and beans and I was very pleasantly surprised.

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After scraping our plates and talking a whole lot more, we popped downstairs to check out the bar.

It’s genteel take on a classic American bar, with a subtle nod to the saloon in the low lighting and wood details.  There are more tables as well, which I have no doubt will be filling up fast over the weekend and coming weeks.

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The Lockhart has been set up by two Texan couples who live in London.  They have done a beautiful job and I would highly recommend putting it on your list to visit.

It’s my dream to help set up a restaurant like this one day…

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Lockhart on Urbanspoon

The Vanilla Pod

9th July 2013

At the end of June my little sister A turned 21.  These days we seem to be all over the place, so getting the whole family around a table for a meal can be a challenge.

Between university, jobs and trips abroad we found an evening when everyone could be at home to celebrate.  

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We smartened up, toasted A with champagne, and then headed out for dinner.

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The restaurant is called The Vanilla Pod, and it’s in Marlow, tucked up against the River Thames.  It’s located in a refurbished town house, which used to be the home of T. S. Eliot.  The Vanilla Pod has been listed in the top 100 independent restaurants by the Good Food Guide 2013 and by the Sunday Times.

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There were eleven of us, so we fitted snugly into the upstairs dining room.  Wine was ordered, and we started on the warm bread that was brought to the table.  We each chose from a set menu that my parents had selected earlier in the week.

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An amuse-bouche of sweet potato soup arrived, which was seasoned with nutmeg.

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And then the real fun began…

I had Seared Lobster with Tomato Chutney to start.

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Those who didn’t have the lobster went for Smoked Duck Breast Salad with Portobello Mushroom Vinaigrette (no takers for Risotto of Ceps). 

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Which was exquisitely presented and tasted incredible.

In fact, all the starters disappeared rather quickly… luckily there was lots more on the way.  In honour of the summer, I went surf and turf – for my main course I chose Fillet Mignon of Beef with Oyster Mushrooms and Coffee Infused Celeriac. 

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Writing this out now is making my mouth water!

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The birthday girl had Gilt Head Sea Bream with Broken New Potatoes, Olive Sauce and Chorizo Sausage (I think she was probably making room for lots of cake later).

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And the prize for  ‘the dish I would have ordered if I could have had two mains’ is awarded to: Fillet of Lamb with Brioche and Orange Crumbs & Madeira Jus.

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That lamb is seriously beautiful.

To round off such wonderful food, the obvious choice was – cheese.  5 cheeses, to be more specific.  I’m sorry to say I can’t remember what they all were, except that one was from Crete and it was delicious. (Or was it Croatia…?  Note to self: less wine, more cheese note taking).

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L went for the Caramelized Vanilla Cream with Blackberry.

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Dragging myself away from the cheese, I did manage to get a picture of the Chocolate Taste, but only after D had started to battle it (to be fair, he is 9, and it was too good to be true).  Grandad’s had already completely gone.

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If you happen to find yourself in Marlow, do visit The Vanilla Pod – prices are more special occasion than everyday, but the food really is fantastic.

The website is here.

Happy Birthday A – I miss you!  (Try not to get too tanned).

Vanilla Pod on Urbanspoon