(no real camera on hand at this meal, but I hope you still manage to see how it impressive the portions are!)
great diner in soho. so there was massive hype about this restaurant that opened in mayfair with only three dishes, all going for £20. I’m usually of the opinion that the fewer dishes a place has, the more likely they are to be good – so this was not a bad start. also there have been a gazillion reviews out there in the blogosphere about b&l, so I was pumped to get going when their new soho branch opened. the soho branch is located on dean street, an amazing foodie lane with vaunted new restaurants like cay tre and ducksoup and many more, so that’s a competitive place to have a restaurant – also a very smart move I fancy since overspills give each other business.
anyway, enough prelude. the restaurant was relatively unoccupied at 6.30pm on a monday night, though it filled up plenty towards 7.30pm. our waitress recited our choice of burger, lobster or lobster roll – but really as proud seafood-hungry asians with unhealthy obsessions for proper shellfish, there was nothing we could order but the lobster. the dishes come with fries and salad, and they also happily changed my fries to another salad, so kudos for good service.
when the lobsters came, we were raring to start. it was an incredible massive portion of whole lobster, with two bowls of salad for me – and some tasty fries for my partner. I’ve no idea the provenance of these lobsters – but they are of the boston-type, with large meaty claws alongside a meaty body. these are very simply grilled on their half-shells, and served alongside two choices of dip, either the garlic butter or somethingelseican’tremember, but get the garlic. the other one was just weird to us and barely tasted of anything.
the lobster was meaty and fresh, with loads of brown meat in the head (sorry if you get queasy) at the brain area, and I ripped it apart trying to find all the meat. the claws were very meaty and came off the cracked shells just fine, though the claw meat tended a little on the powdery side. but still good – the tail flesh was amazing.
I saw many tables of people just eating the tail flesh and leaving the rest of the carcasses untouched for clearing – that makes me so sad. the best parts are the ones that are most inaccessible! I almost wanted to ask if I could have the carcasses but I didn’t want to embarrass my partner too much. also I can’t fancy paying 20 for a burger when there is such great seafood – and you can always get the roll if you’re queasy about shells.
it’s nice when a place lives up to hype. even though I’ve had much better seafood overseas, you don’t get such plentiful portions of such fresh seafood in london at such non-exorbitant prices – so I think this is a good place. plus the soho outlet is large and a good way to try out the hype.