The Lobster House, Wandsworth
The Lobster House is an adventure, in both culinary and geographical terms. As the name would suggest, it’s a high end sea food restaurant, branded as a ‘seafood, steak and pontoon champagne bar’. Newly opened by Wandsworth Park, it’s right on the River, presumably to serve the expensive looking high rise flats which have sprung up nearby.
In truth: a bit of a curious location. It’s not that well served by public transport so, unless driving, you face a slightly grim walk through Wandsworth to get there. These factors probably account for the slightly strange mix of clientele. There were some well-heeled, middle aged couples who had probably driven down from Barnes or Wimbledon but also some yuppyish types having a boozy Friday night – perhaps new residents of the apartments. To mix it up further, sitting on the next table to your reviewer was a lone middle aged man cracking into a £40 sea food platter and a bottle of fizz. If I’m ever eating lobster solo on a Friday night I’ll know something’s going either seriously right or seriously wrong – I’m not sure which. On balance, you’re most likely to go here if you really know your seafood, live in SW18, or both.
There are a few meat options, but you’re really here for the seafood. Get stuck into some starters: try the deliciously flavoursome lobster bisque and a plate of chilli squid. Man up and go for the steamed lobster for main. Not for the faint hearted, this king of the sea is served with minimal preparation and an array of rather threatening looking implements with which to do battle. Once strength and cunning are deployed to get at the edible bits, you will be impressed by the quality and the simple but tasteful preparation. The Dover sole is also very good, if perhaps a bit of a cop out.
Booze wise, this is a winner. Kick off with a bottle of the pleasantly dry house Prosecco to stimulate appetite and conversation. Move on to a delicious Sancerre (not cheap but worth it) which will set off the fish very nicely. Finish a decadent evening by sharing a chocolate brownie.
Let me level with you: it’s not easy to look like Casanova while eating lobster. For a start, you’re issued with a plastic bib ornamented with a lobster, which you will have to wear if you don’t want to ruin your outfit. Take the bib situation in your stride and perhaps even grab a flirtatious lobster bib photo opp.
Try to avoid going silent and perspiring while wrestling with the lobster crackers. Look like a pro if you can, otherwise be self-deprecating and console yourself with the fact that no normal person eats lobster that regularly, so all’s good.
If the fine wine is flowing, the slightly surreal surroundings could create a nice intimacy. You can test the waters with a quip about lobster being an aphrodisiac. However, you’re going to emerge into the South London night with few options so strategically call a minicab as you get the bill. Don’t subject your date to the walk back to Wandsworth Town rail if you want to hear from them again.
Lobster House makes for a nice evening, despite the expense and unusual location. It’s early days brother.
2 – for those that get off on seafood.