I’d say I’m a fan of the current trend of making lobster affordable and more accessible for Londoners – my glowing review of Burger & Lobster shows as much. I think that they’ve got it spot on – simple dishes that they do well, with high quality ingredients at an affordable price.
One of the best parts about Burger & Lobster though, besides the price, is the ambience – it’s understated, but charmingly done, and while it makes lobster affordable it’s tasteful – a nice place to go for an indulgent payday treat.
I’d heard mixed reviews about Lobster Kitchen, but always prepared to come with an open mind, I made my way to its corner of Fitzrovia, just off of Tottenham Court Road.
First off, it wasn’t the easiest place to find, especially on a dark evening in January – I walked right past it. As you walked in, the space was kitschy and cute, reminding you of a hip version of the lobster shacks in Maine. The benches were impossible to sit on gracefully in a skirt (I saw several women struggle, and complain about it) and once we’d sat down, we had to go up to the bar to order, making it a bit of an ordeal.
Lobster Kitchen was distinctly more like a fast-food chain than I would’ve liked. What is cute, kitschy and charming in New England, where you are paying New England prices for seafood, isn’t quite so cute when you are paying £14 for a rather measly lobster tail and tiny portion of fried pickles and £7 for a glass of cheap-tasting wine.
I opted for the ‘garlicky one’ – a lobster tail served in a white wine and garlic sauce – with a side of fried pickles, which were pretty tiny. Although tasty, I found myself wishing I’d just paid the £6 extra and gone for the whole thing a few streets away at Burger & Lobster.
My dinner date was pretty in love with her Lobster Mac & Cheese, which came in one of those Chinese takeout boxes, and was dripping with grease – I couldn’t say I was particularly tempted.
All in all, I’d have to give Lobster Kitchen 2.5 stars – while the lobster tail tasted nice, I found it lacking in terms of value for money. In my opinion, if you want to channel a New England lobster shack you need to do it right, and for me Lobster Kitchen doesn’t quite get it on the mark.(2.5 / 5)
Lobster Kitchen is located on 111 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NQ.