Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Lobster Kitchen is another lobster joint to bring the New England Lobster shack experience from Maine USA to the shores of old Blighty. The experience from beginning to end is exactly what you would expect in any lobster shack in Maine. There are no reservations, you order and pay at the register, find a seat at the communal dining space and collect your food when it is ready. Food is served in plastic cutlery, paper cups and disposable containers. While, the space is designed with nautical paraphernalia to mimic the coastal shores of New England.

Lobster Kitchen, Bloomsbury - Split Lobster Tails - The Garlicky One

We ordered the (£15) Split lobster tails rather than the whole split lobster (£18 – this includes a choice of one side). This wasn’t really worth our while considering the whole lobster was smaller than the lobster tails and were roughly the size of my palm.

The split lobster tails were steamed in a white wine and celery stock and we chose to top this with butter, garlic & parsley – The Garlicky One. This was more appealing than the description of the other optional sauces e.g. The Asian, Thermidor or The Cocktail. We asked to have this prepared just under cooked. The texture of the lobster was just perfect and I’m not sure if this would have been any different without our special request nonetheless, this lacked the flavour, seasoning and garlic I was hoping for.

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Awarded One Chef Hat, Catalina is perched along the edge of the water in Rose Bay. The venue offers sweeping panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour from an expansive open dining area containing an impressive indoor and outdoor space. You can watch sail boats, wind surfers, ferries and sea planes float on by. Its location means you can arrive in style, either by sea plane, boat or ferry making it no stranger to celebrities or wedding functions. Today I am here for a different kind of celebration, my girlfriend’s hens lunch, where we sat down to a sumptuous three course semi-set menu for $110 per person. This is the bride-to-be’s favourite dining spot and I can easily see why.

$110 semi-set menu also includes bread, chips, salad, coffee/tea and petit fours.

Prices quoted below are as they appear on the al la carte menu.

collage - fpn

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Just when Dixon st couldn’t get any better it graces us with a delicious Hong Kong style eatery serving up Cantonese food in a casual ‘dai pai dong‘ setting. It’s hard not get too excited while you wait outside with the pork bun enshrined capsules, glistening BBQ ducks and live seafood tanks looking sweetly at you.

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine has a great mix of value and deliciousness. Atmosphere is buzzy, service incredibly warm and friendly. I’m just so used to it hard and fast, so I’m a little dumbfounded at how pleasant it all is.

What’s hot on everyone’s lips? The baos of course. With their variety of char siu ($7 for two), pork (siu yuk – $8) or Peking duck ($8). In fact, Old Hong Kong Town appears to be one of the better places serving up value for money Peking duck – half duck ($35) or whole duck ($65) with a second course of san choi bao.

pork belly entrance - fpn

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This is my second time at Burger and Lobster. If you have read my previous post, you would know that this to me, is the happiest place on earth. I ‘just’ love getting down and dirty with some lobster.

At this point, it’s popularity still hasn’t wavered. In fact, we spent 2.5 hours waiting to be seated. The only reason I am happy to wait is because they call you when your table is ready. Which means I can have a cheeky few before the hunger really sets in.

Burger and Lobster, don’t have a menu as such and only serve the following three items:

  1. Whole lobster steamed or grilled with clarified garlic butter or garlic and lemon butter;
  2. Lobster roll served in a brioche bread with with clarified garlic butter or garlic and lemon butter ; or
  3. Beef burger with optional cheese and bacon

All are served with a side of salad and fries at £20 a pop. Approx. $35AUD.

First time round I did the whole lobster, but now I wanted to tackle the lobster roll so I could compare the two.

Lobster Roll - fpn

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the rook collage fpn

The Rook is the newest venture from the Keystone Group and is responsible for likes of The Loft, Cargo Bar & Bungalow 8. It is considered the latest Rooftop bar to hit Sydney. Well… ‘ish’. There is an open bit, some windows (some plastic-ky ones) and hopes to make the rooftop retractable.

It appears to be loosely based on London’s Burger and Lobster concept, where the menu is limited to burgers and lobsters. Word of mouth is that the food isn’t The Rook’s strong suit. Its a great place to have an after work drink, draws on a buzzy crowd, bangs out some good tunes but appears to fall short on the food front. Remaining positive, I am keen to find out for myself.

lobster roll.

The lobster roll ($25) comes positively jammed packed. The lobster filling includes additions of potato, corn, mayo, onion, jalapenos and bears a strong likeness to a potato salad. Unfortunately, it was under seasoned and missing a bit of punch. Yet the flavours were strong enough to overwhelm the delicate lobster.

Being one who likes to “eat with their eyes” I found that I would have also preferred the lobster in larger chunks. I really wanted to see the hero of dish and then, I wanted to be able to feel it when I tasted it.

truffle fries

Truffle fries quickly make for good munching. Yet the truffle flavour is lost on me very quickly and appears to be only lightly doused. They smell and taste delicious at first but unfortunately the wonderful aroma quickly subsides. The side of tomato salsa quickly comes to the rescue. It’s smokey, tangy, acidic and quite intense. Delicious as it may be it doesn’t quite make up for the absence of that beautiful truffle.

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mud crab

Ingredients:

1.5 kilo mud crab

400 g egg noodes

A knob of ginger (cut into shards)

6 cloves of garlic (crushed and roughly chopped)

5 stems of shallots (cut lengthways)

salt

white pepper (2 teaspoons)

brown sugar (2 teaspoons)

1 cup chicken stock

Chinese rice wine

1 cup warm water

1 heaped teaspoon of corn flour

soy sauce

peanut oil

How to prepare the crab:

The easiest way is to ask your fish monger to slice the crab into quarters for you, which is what I do. This totally beats having to do this yourself.  Also ask them to crack the claws. This ensures that the heat seeps through the claws to even out the cooking time. You will need to cut the the legs (little legs of four) on each side in half. This will ensure everything cooks consistently.

Remove the deadman’s fingers/gills and digestive tract. Or you can leave the mustards, if you prefer.

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Arriving at Heathrow

My sister currently lives in London and has done so for 11 years. With that in mind and the London 2012 games coming, I just knew I had to be there. Next stop, Rio!

My sister just so happens to be a very popular food blogger in London (she would dispute this otherwise – you can find her here) and therefore she utilised every single opportunity to make us eat our way through London.

First stop. Burger and Lobster. 

burger and lobster

This place, is kind of like what Mc Donalds is to kids but for adults. It’s like a magical wonderland brimming with lobster tail and claws and all for the price of £20. This will buy you a 1.5 kilo lobster.

Hungry?

Well, you can upsize it to 2 kilo for an extra £10.

The place doesn’t take bookings. So best to get there early otherwise expect a 30-45 min wait while you food envy all the other patrons with their platters of lobster. I managed to spot a guy eat a mother of a claw, and of course I approached him like a zoo animal and took a snap of him eating his 7lb lobster.

Like what the hell is this place? Cos it is freaking awesome!

lobster hand

Man with 7lb lobster

Casually, I make my way back to the bar and ordered some very tasty cocktails for £9! That is great value for London standards.Especially if you make it to the Mayfair location. We then notice the the “Big Boys” sign and “The Catch”specials board (see below).

Wow this place really is happiness on steroids!

Big boys

catch of the day

Only 9lb left!

We finally arrive at our table and there isn’t a menu as such. We are told that we can either choose from:

  1. Whole lobster steamed or grilled with clarified or garlic and lemon butter;
  2. Lobster roll served in a hot dog bun with a slick of wasabi mayo; or
  3. Beef burger with optional cheese and bacon

The four of us unanimously order the whole lobster as it is clearly the best value item on menu. They recommend the grilled lobster as it gives it a nice charred finished whilst keeping the meat nice and moist.

accessories

Preparing for battle with bib, claw cruncher and wet wipes

lobster and fries

Grilled lobster, fries and salad served w melted garlic lemon butter sauce – £20

lobster close up

garlic butter sauce

Getting all garlic buttered up

aftermath

the aftermath

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