Restaurant Review: Burger & Lobster

Regular readers (i.e., the best ones) will know that I have reviewed Burger & Lobster before, but that was way back when they first opened, and now that they've settled in I thought I'd pop back for a refresh. I'd also heard great things about their support for local producers when it comes to their drinks menu, which I thought was pretty cool - all right, their beef & lobsters might not come from the UK, for various reasons, and that puts some people off, but they have made more effort than most chains to get involved with the local community, which gets a thumbs up from me. I was particularly delighted to see my favourite Stoney Bonk on there from Honey’s Midford Cider (it’s a fabulous blend of their own cider, brewed just outside Bath, and ginger beer), but they also had some Electric Bear beers on there, which are brewed right in the city – Persuasion would be my personal pick.

Another reason I’m fond of Burger & Lobster Bath is for their loving restoration of the Octagon, which has been neglected for a long time. Built in 1767, the Octagon was originally a chapel, and in Jane Austen's day was a fashionable place to see & be seen. It's a gorgeous spot hidden away in the thick of Milsom Place, so you'd never know it was there from the outside. Inside, it's a haven of light & space. A mighty chandelier hangs from a beautiful dome two stories above the restaurant floor, above the circular bar in the centre where you can watch Burger & Lobster’s expert bartenders do their thing. On the ground floor, the atmosphere is busy and buzzy, while on the balcony that runs around the first floor level there’s a quieter, more intimate air. The fact that there’s no menu makes the whole experience pretty simple & relaxed – there’s just three dishes, all of which are £20.

My dining companion for the evening was a first timer as far as lobster is concerned, so she was eager to get stuck in to the full shell-on deal. We ordered the grilled lobster (which I think has more flavour than the steamed option), which comes with fabulous garlic butter, as well as skinny fries and a salad – they aren’t shy on portions at Burger & Lobster, so you might be tempted to skip the salad, but it’s actually really good, with a great dressing. It’s easy for restaurants to skimp on details like that so I love that B&L doesn’t. As well as the shell-on lobster, we also tried the rest of the menu – relax, it’s only two more dishes – the bacon cheeseburger, and the brioche lobster roll. It was actually the first time I’d tried the lobster roll and I think it might be my new favourite – it’s rich, but the flavours are amazing. And the burger is, as you’d expect, of a very high quality, stuffed with plenty of trimmings, but to be completely honest with you I’m not sure I’d ever really pay £20 for a burger. That being said, £20 for a lobster is a pretty damn good deal.

When it comes to desserts, there’s no menu again – just a couple of options that, unlike the main menu, change regularly. We chose a triple chocolate mousse, which came with caramel in the bottom and biscuit crumbs on top, and a Spanish trifle, with dulce de leche and a soft vanilla sponge. They were both amazing – Burger & Lobster’s dessert game is consistently high – but I think the chocolate mousse just edged it for me.

Simply put, it was a fantastic feast, in a beautiful location, washed down with amazing local booze. Highly recommended.