Inspired in part by the overseas chain of the same name, Burger & Lobster on Bree has been creating great excitement on Bree Street, since it opened three weeks ago. Katharine Jacobs went to sample the goods.
Best for: a fun evening out with a group of friends or a lavish lunch at one of the streetside tables in the sun.
Average main meal: R129 to R860
Parking: Bree Street can be a bit of a nightmare. Try the Heritage Square lot across the road or take an Uber.
Star ratings: food: 4, Service: 3, Ambience: 4
The lobster in question is West Coast Rock Lobster (same family as lobster and crayfish; slightly different design). The menu – on a blackboard above an illuminated tank of lobsters – features just three dishes: a burger, a lobster roll, and a whole lobster. Limited menus usually signify a great focus on the dishes offered – so will the restaurant deliver really excellent versions of each?
One bite in, it’s already apparent that the lobster roll is a winner. Succulent, sweet morsels of lobster in a Japanese mayo settle into a cake-y brioche roll that’s soaked up lobster juice, mayo and butter to become a thing of beauty. It’s simple, but thoroughly delicious.
The burger is all made on site – the buns baked, the cheese (a mild white cheddar and an American-style cheddar), the patties ground from steak. It’s a large, meaty creation – featuring maple bacon, and nicely cooked to medium rare as ordered. Some might actually find it too meaty – if you prefer a less dense, softer pattie. The whole lobster is quite a showstopper. The bright red crustacean arrives on a large plate complete with sturdy seafood crackers to help you get to the succulent leg meat. It’s served with a clarified butter that’s gloriously rich and marries well with the sweet lobster meat.
It’s not cheap – the burger is R129, the lobster roll R147, and a whole lobster ranges in price from R303 to R860 for between 300g and 1kg – but then again, lobster is not cheap, so save your pennies – or share a portion of lobster with the table. It’s succulent, sweet, and certainly worth trying.
In the event that you have room for dessert (perhaps you shared that lobster), we can recommend the Nutella Oreo cheesecake, which has some caramel-ly chocolate ganache on top that is the stuff dreams are made of. There’s also a Mississippi mud pie complete with marshmallow topping, and a sweet crème brûlée made with white Lindt chocolate.
Sip on cocktails like the bacon and maple Old Fashioned or the Exotic Marigold made with Hendricks gin, grapefruit juice and smoked chamomile cellulose. Alternatively, bubbles pair beautifully with the food.
Plenty of it. Plaster has been peeled back to expose brickwork and stone work in places – in one place, to create a giant lobster – and the long narrow site has been cleverly designed into different areas with high seating, and another with lower black leather banquettes. Oversize lightbulbs on long leashes dangle from the high ceiling, but it’s fairly dark inside. Music is of the electronic persuasion.
Our food comes out fairly slowly, despite the restaurant being quiet. But it’s early days, so the kitchen is likely to get up to speed soon.
The kitchen stays open until 11pm.