Christmas and turkey are pretty much synonymous. The bird, not the country. At a time of such celebration, when rich flavours abound, from the cloying mull of gluwein to cinnamonny infusion of everything else, it’s amazing that we’re drawn to this fundamentally bland, boring and flavourless meat. Turkey, in taste terms a watered down version of the bland-already meal: chicken, is such a bizarre choice.
We’re hosting Christmas for the first time this month. It’s daunting, having the parents-in-law over, in stress terms it’s up there with moving house, finals exams or being hunted as game by a psycho killer. Looking ahead to our traditional turkey dinner, last weekend I suggested to the family that we could try ‘mixing it up’ a little… how about swapping turkey for lobster? I might as well have suggested we eat naked, or go vegetarian, such was the feeling against. But why not lobster? It’s premium, it’s different and it’s far richer and more flavoursome than any flightless bird. Nevertheless, unlike the turkey, I was shot down.
Surely someone would agree with me that lobster is the way forward? Well, it turns out that minor TV personality, former baldy and all-round nice-guy Jamie Laing does. The Made In Chelsea star has persuaded upmarket chain resto Burger & Lobster to bring in a Lobster And All The Trimmings menu. So given that crustaceans were off the menu at chateau Phil, I had to try it out at B&L, cheers Biscuit Boy!
Heading down to the Soho joint I tucked into what is arguably the most extravagant Christmas feast in town. Greeted with a glass of Prosecco, I embarked on chomping my way through a giant five kilo lobster with, of course, ALL THE TRIMMINGS…
So what does the Christmas meal involve?
What’s billed as the world’s first Christmas Lobster Feast (sounds unlikely) comes with a dino-lobster of true sea monster proportions, and is accompanied with rosemary and garlic roast potatoes. Along with roasties, a trove of British buttery winter market veggies, including brussels sprouts (boo!) and carrots (hmm). I’m never 100% exactly which bits are the trimmings, but I’m going to assume that the strong cheddar and mozzarella cauliflower cheese, finished with breadcrumbs and the roast lobster and thyme butter gravy qualify. All, of course, washed down with lashings of wine.
The two track mind restaurant has introduced the menu at a handsome £54 per head and you’re going to have to share this or else sit near the defibrillator. And according to Burger & Lobster, it’s all part of a move away from traditional turkey dinners, with four in ten in the UK saying they’re considering other options this year.
But, perhaps after all that, I’m now slightly sheepishly (birdishly?) looking forward to my bland turkey and bread sauce, lobster’s all very well but it’s very much a once-in-a-while affair. Given most of us have multiple Christmas dinners; work dinner, friendsmas, family, family again and so on, lobster after lobster after lobster could, just possibly, become a bit rich?