As stated on the Burger and Lobster website, ‘we already have too many decisions to make in life so let’s keep it simple.’ That’s certainly a good mantra for me. So, on a Friday afternoon, Hubs and I sat down to corn-fed beef from Nebraska (the American in me heartily approves) and lobster from the Atlantic Ocean, which are flown in and have a home in the tanks near the entrance (well, a temporary home…). Vegetarians be warned – this is not the venue for you – literally, as the name of the restaurant might imply, there are no main courses available.
‘B & L’ (as the moniker on the Facebook page and their e-mail signature suggest) is a place for good food and low fuss. With a bit of a recent relaunch, there are a few more options on the menu, and that’s what brought us in the door.
On the topic of burgers, although the Original looked good, Hubs decided to instead order the Hot Mama (medium rare). At the recommendation of the waitress, he opted for the regular sized burger (instead of the smaller portion listed on the menu). When it arrived, it was cooked to perfection. As Hubs is training for the Spinneys 92 Cycling challenge and had already logged an impressive amount of kilometers on the bike earlier in the day, the burger quickly disappeared. I had a taste of the ‘spicy’ sauce, which was more curry based rather than hot.
As ordering an entire lobster to myself seemed a needlessly selfish thing to do (even by Dubai standards) I decided to try a Lobster Roll, specifically the Californian. Having traveled to Maine two summers ago, I have high expectations when it comes to a lobster roll. While I was not able to compare against the original version, I think the Californian delivers (honestly, lobster + avocado = happy Courtney). At AED90, the roll comes with fries (and I opted to include a surprisingly decent salad).
To wash things down, I (trying to be good), ordered the Pimm’s O’Clock (certainly all the fruit and vegetables could help with the current cold I can’t seem to shake) and Hubs tried the Honey Cucumber, which we both agreed was a winner.
Although I don’t usually order dessert, we were tempted to by the effusive service staff. For me, the Choco Brownie (topped with salted caramel ice cream) and the Sticky Toffee Pudding for Hubs. At AED25 each, these desserts are enough to skip the meal and go straight to the restaurant for. Seriously. As the sweets are made fresh, we were informed they would take a few extra minutes (totally worth the wait). My brownie was warm, just a bit crispy and loaded with rich chocolate. 10/10 would order again. Hubs’ sticky toffee was clearly fresh from the oven and delivered on all counts.
As we enjoyed the meal, I thought of how things could be further enhanced. With some minor adjustments, I think the ambiance could match the pricing, My suggestions, for whatever they are worth:
- Instead of placing whole bottles of ketchup and mustard on the table (to me, a bit gauche), serve condiments in small saucers or cups.
- Better glassware for the drinks. To match the ambiance, perhaps Mason jars?
- This extends to the straws as well. You might call this nitpicky, but black straws (or striped straws) would be a better fit over plain clear straws (as in, I felt more like I was at TGIFridays and less an international venue).
- A better, larger selection of sauces to accompany the fries/burgers. I went to a cafe near my parent’s house this summer (nothing special), but they had eight homemade sauces which elevated the entire menu (e.g. curry mayonnaise, smoky barbecue, honey mustard).
- More consistency in pricing. A salad is AED17, but dessert is AED25. I’m okay with cocktails at AED50, but overall, I thought things were a bit on the (overly) pricey side (nearby Firebird Grill suffers from this fault as well).
Why do I mention this? While delicious and certainly top quality proteins, the cost of this lunch (3 alcoholic beverages, 1 bottle of water, 2 main courses with salad, and 2 desserts) would’ve come out near AED500. As Hubs and I departed the restaurant, we realized that with the Entertainer App (or any of the many BOGOs on offer), that we could’ve gone to a full on brunch for less than the cost of this lunch. I do think the value for money is present, but given a saturated market like Dubai, I have lots of choices for burgers in town.
Would I go back? Yes, most likely. While expensive, the food delivers and the service was fantastic. Now, I’ve only got to check out the Artisan to complete the Burj Daman dining options!
Have you been to Burger & Lobster? What is your favorite dish?