Review: Lobster Kitchen VS Smack Lobster

Posh fast food – Lobster roll

Yet another trend in the London food scene. One that I hope would stay. Lobster, as we know, is seen as royalty of the crustacean family, an upgrade from prawns, a special treat for some.

Burger & Lobster served me my first Lobster roll. Then Bob’s Lobster came into the scene in their eye-catching red and white lobster van. This street food purveyor with their fresh idea, made lobster accessible to the London crowd. @Bobs_Lobster built themselves a strong following of foodies and put the simple Lobster roll firmly on the London food map!

Recently, there has been 2 new openings serving the much loved Lobster roll Smack Lobster and Lobster Kitchen

Being a fan, of course I rushed to try out both joints 🙂 Here is what I thoughts:

Lobster Kitchen

Location: 111 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NQ
www.lobsterkitchen.co.uk
For more information, follow @lobsterkitchen

The place
Centrally located near Tottenham Court Road station. If you manage to find the entrance (better signage needed), what you will see is an intimate communal canteen style space with a small kitchen / order counter. Unlike Smack Lobster and its no-frills deco, Lobster Kitchen has a colourful maritime theme throughout. This trendy little eatery is also equipped with tablets and power socket points for diners to charge their phones and surf the web.

Lobster Kitchen deco

Lobster Kitchen deco

Lobster Kitchen deco 2

Lobster Kitchen deco 2

The food
Decent size menu for a tiny place, with a good enough selection of mains, sides, drinks and even dessert. All the items are written on a chalkboard above the counter. Slightly difficult to read to be honest. I’d suggest providing traditional paper menu as well. It is especially handy if there is a queue of people waiting to order. I went for the Lobster roll, naturally; a side of Lobster mac’n’cheese and a Day’s cream soda.

  • Lobster roll, The Garlicky One – A VERY generous helping of lobster stuffed in toasted brioche bun. I agree with some of my fellow bloggers that the lobster meat being slightly under seasoned / lacks flavour. The sauteed chopped garlic, butter and fresh parsley were ever so subtle. Too subtle. Having said that, I didn’t mind it too much. Probably impressed by the amount of lobster in that skinny brioche bun.
Lobster roll - The Garlicky One

Lobster roll – The Garlicky One

  • Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese – It tasted like the healthy version of mac ‘n’ cheese – not enough cheese sauce. The flavour, again, was subtle but not bad or tasteless. Decent portion size with the pasta cooked to my liking. Room for improvements? Definitely!
Lobster mac n cheese

Lobster mac n cheese

The price
I managed to get in before the end of their soft launch. Which means I got 50% off my bill. £8 for the set of a lobster roll, a side and a drink. Value for money!
Normally, the lobster roll costs £12 each. Sides range between £3.50 and £7.50. Soft drinks range between £2.50 and £4.50.

Check out the menu.

The staff
Very friendly 🙂

Overall rating
6/10

Click to add a blog post for Lobster Kitchen on Zomato

Note: I went at around 3.30pm on a weekday. Very quiet time of the day, with no queues. This might have had an impact on both food and serve quality. 

 

Smack Lobster (from the owners of Burger & Lobster)

Location: 26-28 Binney Street, London W1K 5BN
For the latest information, follow @SmackLobster

The place
Also centrally located – near Bond Street Station. Spacious, unlike some other recent eateries where you have to queue for space, just to eat while half sitting on a stool, an inch away from the person next to you. However, it looks bare and cold. You see a HUGE menu on the wall as soon as you enter and 2 tiny counter to the side where you order and pay for your food. It has an open kitchen, so you can see your order being prepared, put on trays for collection on the other side of this open kitchen. Drinks and condiments are all self-service and refillable. It felt very factory production like, which for me, slightly ruins the dining experience, fast-food or not.

Smack Lobster - menu

Smack Lobster menu

Smack Lobster

Smack Lobster

The food

Small and simple menu, probably what you’d expect from an eatery with a no-frills, fast food concept. We had the:

  • Seven Samurai – Toasted brioche lobster roll with Japanese mayo, Japanese cabbage, pickled ginger, cucumber, spring onion and togarashi spice
  • Mexican – Toasted brioche lobster roll with smoked chipotle mayo, peppers, corn, jalapenos and white cabbage
  • A side of lobster chowder and courgette fries
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Smack Deli

Lobster rolls

Lobster rolls

15727074510_86daa994a0_k

Courgette fries

Lobster chowder

Lobster chowder

The brioche roll was just the way i like it – slightly toasted on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside and properly buttered. The dressing for both lobster rolls was tasty, definitely added an interesting twist to a normal lobster roll. My preference was the Seven Samurai, probably because of my wasabi biase.  BUT, they didn’t get the the lobster and topping ratio right. Not enough lobster to leave one feeling satisfied. The lobster chowder was mild, underseasoned in my opinion. Courgette fries – limp 😦

The price
£28.90 for 2 lobster rolls (£9 each), 2 sides and a drink. Not too bad.

The staff
A little on the cold side 😦

Overall rating
6/10

You may also be interested in what others have to say…

@TheLondonFoodie’s review

@HotDiners’ post

 

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