We love a good seafood restaurant so The Lobster Pot on Mansfield Road has been on our list for a while. Seduced by a lobster platter special and with the arrival of summer lightening our appetites, we figured it’s about time we dug into some delicious seafood.
The Lobster Pot has been run by a Thai family for 15 years so you will find a lot of Thai influence on the menu (I’ll bet their monkfish Thai curry is bitchin’). We ordered the midweek special of lobster platter with 2 sides, a bottle of house wine and a dessert for £60. Sounds a little dear, but you get extras included and it is lobster we’re talking about. We were given the option of cold lobster or cooked with garlic butter, so naturally we chose the stinky, fattening version mmm.
For 2 people, the platter includes:
1 whole lobster
We chose fries and a tomato and basil salad as our sides.
When it arrived we realised our mistake – although we wanted the lobster grilled, we didn’t realised this choice extended to the rest of the seafood – they had grilled our oysters in garlic butter too. We prefer them raw, so if you do too make sure you make it clear if there are any elements you would like cold.
We had little claw crackers (technical term?) to get at the juicy lobster meat, which was an adventure in itself – I did fling half a claw shell across the room at one point – you can’t take me anywhere.
The lobster was lovely, extremely garlicky and buttery which made it feel like pure indulgence.
From what we could tell, it tasted fresh and was well cooked, the flesh remaining soft and sweet. As it should be, the lobster was the highlight of the platter. Other good things: We had a queen scallop each, also cooked in garlic butter (can you see the theme?), which disappeared too quickly. They were very small and scallops are our favourite thing! MOAR please! The mussels were also well cooked, not gritty or chewy with a good, fresh flavour.
The not so good: As I mentioned previously, we didn’t know our oysters wouldn’t be served raw and we don’t think they’re improved by a grilling in garlic butter, you lose that fresh, salty taste of the sea and the whole experience of knocking it down your throat with a dash of lemon and tobasco, which we were looking forward to. The langoustines proved very difficult to peel, we just could not get the shell to part with the tail – maybe it was the way they were cooked. Although small, 90% of the prawns were tasty – king prawns would have been better. However, one prawn I uncurled to peel was choc full of gross, grey, slimy eggs – it was like something out of an Alien film and I physically gagged. Now, I know this is part and parcel of shell-on seafood but I feel the produce should have been checked before cooking/serving – it wasn’t edible or pleasant and the waiter tried to make a giggle out of it when we mentioned it. I shudder to remember (no I didn’t take a picture, you sadists).
The sides were just fine, the chips didn’t blow us away and the tomato and basil salad was tasty – a very fresh accompaniment for the summer months… but it was pretty much just a sliced tomato.
We were glad the platter deal came with dessert as this is my one reservation with a seafood feast: it never really feels like a feast. By the time you’ve finished de-froching everything, you’re not actually left with much meat. We were far from stuffed so gladly took the dessert menu from our server. Yeah, it’s nice and all to think that a couple will share this mid-week offer and think how cute it will be when they dip two spoons into a shared pudding and gaze longingly into each other’s eyes, but seriously – one pudding included?! We wanted one each, man! That felt a bit tight. Luckily, we both would have gone for the sticky toffee pudding so there were no fist fights over what to order.
The sticky toffee sponge came suspiciously quickly and melt-ya-face hot so I assume microwaved.
The sauce was sweet and sticky (if a bit thin) and the sponge was soft but a bit dense – not the best sticky toffee we’ve ever had but it was a nice end to the meal. The rich, creamy vanilla ice cream was the perfect bedfellow and we polished it off sharpish, playing a bit of spoon fencing in the process.
We had a choice of two white wines to choose from (you could also pick red or rosé) so we chose our favourite, Sauvignon Blanc. It was a lovely wine and super chilled – one of the highlights, actually.
So overall, we did enjoy the food but there were a couple of issues. For £60 for the both of us it was dear and I think we’ve had better food in the city centre for less (though we do appreciate lobster is costly by nature). We’ve had a similar platter for less at Loch Fyne before and enjoyed it more, as much as we would rather support an independent. I do think the restaurant is worth it’s salt though – out of curiosity we would go again but for the platter deal. If you’re particularly in the mood for seafood and in the area we would still drop in. We would both like to try some of the other seafood specialities, the Thai dishes in particular sound really tasty so we might go back to try these instead.
Atmosphere and surroundings: 8/10