Don’t worry. Smack Lobster Roll isn’t quite as violent as it sounds unless you happen to be a lobster in this restaurant’s kitchen, I suppose! The restaurant’s website however educates me that smacks are the boats which go out to catch lobster and they are very proud that their lobsters are all responsibly farmed from Nova Scotia and Maine.
Coming from the same Goodman group stable as the Burger and Lobster chain where a whole lobster will set you back £20, the owners have a stated aim of showing people that lobster can be affordable and not just for the rich and elite.
After the success of Burger and Lobster, they opened the original Smack Lobster Roll opposite Selfridges to bring takeaway lobster to the masses. They serve a limited menu concentrating on lobster – it’s served as a whole lobster, in lobster rolls and in chowder.
This Soho branch opened earlier this year, occupying a site on Dean Street which has seen a succession of different food businesses come and go over the last few years. Their menu is pretty similar to the original branch with the availability of lobster salads being the main difference at this location. The lobster salads are served with a choice of avocado salad, cous cous salad, sweet chilli salad and beets salad, all for £10. Lobster chowder weighs in at £5
However, I was interested in a lobster roll. On my holiday in Las Vegas earlier this year, Emma and I had discovered a fantastic lobster roll restaurant called Lobster ME and this is the closest I’ve seen to a British equivalent.
I turned up to an empty restaurant at 5pm on a Monday evening. The small space is divided equally between the kitchen area and a small seating area with stools and a covered trunk with table. There are some fridges and shelves containing artisan ice creams, crisps and popcorn.
However, it was lobster roll I was after and £10 buys you any of the five variations on offer. I asked which was their best seller and was pointed to the Classic, which is the version served in Burger and lobster. In the Classic, the sweet lobster meat is allowed to be the star with a mild Japanese mayo bringing creaminess to the mix. There are also the BLLT (with Japanese mayo, lolorosso, bacon and tomato), Californian (with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado mayo with lime and chives), Mexican (with smoked chipotle mayo, peppers, corn, jalepenos and white cabbage) and last but not least, the Seven Samurai (with Japanese mayo, white cabbage, cucumber, pickled ginger, spring onions, and Togarashi spice)
My lobster roll arrived quickly. The warm, toasted, buttered bread parcel was perfectly created to accept the generous filling of creamy lobster meat. Whole chunks of sweet, soft lobster meat brought a smile to my face with the crunch of the bread adding just the right amount of texture. The size was big enough as a main course for my Malaysian appetite.
At £10 each, these lobster rolls are amazing value for money. I shall definitely be back to try the other variations and I’ll bring Emma to reminisce about our summer trip this year.
Food: ★★★★ Service: ★★★★★ Ambiance: ★★★★☆ VFM: ★★★★★ Overall: ★★★★★
Price: Fantastic value for money for lobster
58 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 6AL