Monday, 26 July 2010

Homage to Homard.

Aren’t lobsters bloody fantastic? Perhaps rather churlishly, I announced over dinner last night that I would be happy to eat lobsters every day for the rest of my life. With the benefit of hindsight and in the cold light of day, I can see that this is ridiculous and would take away the fun of eating lobsters on special occasions. Unless you eat lobsters daily, like others eat eggs or bread? Thought not. Because they are special occasion food, reserved for high-days and holidays, and to eat them with any more frequency than this would be to ruin their special appeal to me.

 That said, I could do with eating a few more than I have been. I was reminded last night how blooming marvellous this crustacean is when it’s snappy and fresh and covered in delicious garlic butter. I went to Riddell and Finns on Meeting House Lane in Brighton, which sounds a bit like a seafood restaurant in Harry Potter might, and is indeed fairly magical inside. Diners sit at long marble benches with candelabras in the middle, dripping with atmospheric candle wax. The chairs, however are most uncomfortable, and left a ‘basket’ impression on the back of my thighs, not cool. The walls are covered in old-timey photos and mirrored tiles with French writing on, to give a suitably elegant and nostalgic feel to the joint. But you care not for such details, you want to know about the food!

 I ordered a whole grilled lobster with garlic butter and set about it with my shell-cracking device and teeny fork-pick with gusto and relish. I fear this was a most unappealing sight, but I cared not a jot. The lobster was a good size, with plenty of claw meat and a good fat tail. I ordered fries to go with it, but should have asked for more bread to mop up the tasty garlicky juices left behind. Next time.

 Another lobster experiences has just occurred to me, which escaped the notice of this blog. I am getting slack, forgive me. For my friend’s recent birthday we went to The Big Easy on The King’s Road for a lobster chow-down which horrified my vegetarian friend (again). We tore at the red beasts and dribbled sweet juices down our chins in our eagerness to tweeze out even the tiniest morsel of meat. The table was a tragic vista of discarded shell and balled up napkins as the final diner set down their fork, like there had been a lobster Armageddon. We paid £15 a head for a lobster/chips/salad combo, with a margarita thrown in for good measure, and though the lobster was on the smallish side, and the house band were a little long in the tooth, you really can’t argue with those prices.

 Riddle and Finn’s is significantly more expensive than that, but it’s infinitely more refined and benefits from no in-house band belting out mid-90’s soft rock standards. To surmise, both offer a great lobster experience for very different situations. Although, I can’t really imagine a bad experience if there is a lobster involved somewhere along the line. Can you?

 Riddle and Finn’s
12b Meeting House Lane


BN1 1HB.

The Big Easy

332 – 334 King’s Road



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