Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Double or Nothing

Another week, another crap record of blogging which is why I am combining two visits which may have very little in common, for reasons of speed.

Come to think of it they have quite a lot in common. They’re both new, both much-hyped prior to opening and both second ventures of highly successful first-time-round restaurants. They also had the unfortunate luck of having a visit from me without a decent camera – hence the grainy inedible shots you see before you.

Up first is Burger and Lobster on Dean Street, recently landed on the mean streets of Soho and already doing a storming trade of burgers, lobsters (plus a lobster roll for good measure). I didn’t actually manage to visit the Mayfair predecessor but others inform me that this place is bigger and better. With absolutely no authority on the opinion, I agree heartily. The lovely space with red banquettes, hanging exposed bulbs and buzz of fabulous folk, is immediately somewhere you feel you want to be (preferably necking wine and great lumps of meat/shellfish alternately).

I opted for the lobster, which came chopped in two with a jug of molten butter on the side - as well as brilliant, salty chips and a well-dressed bowl of leaves. It was delicious, bundles of fun to batter apart and cheap too (as everyone has pointed about a million times since the first one opened in Mayfair to general praise and applause).

Another restaurant that has received its fair share of fanfare is Caravan in Exmouth Market, much of it from me. Their fry up, which goes that extra mile with slow-cooked tomatoes and creamy soy mushrooms, is a million times less mundane than its name suggests.

Apart from the bigger, more consciously design-led space, it’s business as usual at the new Kings Cross branch. Cheerful, good-looking imps charm and serve in equal measures and the menu remains as pleasing as ever. We went for a late Saturday brunch, the area in which I personally feel that Caravan shines. The team effortlessly turning standard breakfast offers on their head and coming up with genuinely interesting things to eat first thing. The salt beef fritter with poached eggs and hollandaise I ate perfectly illustrating this point.

Admittedly these two restaurants are totally different – one serving a grand total of three dishes, with the other wracking up double that in just the ‘large plates’ section of their all-day menu. Yet both are wonderful and both sit at the popular table of the canteen that is London’s restaurant scene. And that, my friends, is enough of a reason to link them as any… 

Burger and Lobster
36 Dean Street  
W1D 4PS 

Granary Building
1 Granary Square

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