herald

Saturday 1 November 2014

Lobster and steak feast in surf-and-turf heaven

RUGBY players nowadays are enormous and with the Six Nations almost under way there is a new place for the lads to fill up on protein with the opening of Rock Lobster, above Kielys of Donnybrook.

Kielys is, of course, where Ross O'Carroll-Kelly gets his regular dose of Vitamin H (think of a Dutch beer), but thankfully he seemed to be absent on my two recent visits.

I confess I returned to Rock Lobster to eat almost the exact same food and I did this in part because I wanted to test for consistency, but mostly because it tasted so damn good the first time.

My first meal was before Christmas with Citizen Foodie and the second with some returned emigrant friends just before New Year.



Cocktails

Rock Lobster calls itself a 'Cocktails, Fish and Primehouse' and, while there were interesting 'catch-of-the- day' fish dishes on a blackboard, we were there for the 'surf and turf' -- grilled dry-aged steak and buttered lobster.

We began with a bottle of very fine Chateau Pesquie Grenache from Ventoux and a couple of cocktails including a memorable Maverick Martini -- a combination of vanilla vodka, passionfruit and prosecco.

Our waitress initially left us dumbfounded by announcing that there were no lobsters due to the stormy weather, but on seeing our dismay she informed us that there was one lobster left in the tank weighing in at 1.6kg -- around four times as large as a standard lobster.

We chorused "bring it on" with only a slight hesitation on hearing that it would cost €100 (reduced from €110 as a gesture of goodwill). We did rather compound our gluttony by ordering a 1kg 55-day aged Porterhouse Steak at €60.

Of the three 'titbits' we snacked on, two proved to be not as good as on my previous visit with the posh fish fingers shrunken in size and the piggy puff pork scratchings reduced to rock-hard curls. The chicken liver pâte 'brulée', however, was excellent.

The sheer size of the lobster only became apparent when it arrived at our table with claws the width of a man's hand and limbs so thick we had difficulty breaking them using the crackers provided. This is easily the largest lobster I have eaten and one of the tastiest thanks to the dense, sweet flesh.

Our 1kg steak was easily as tasty as the Porterhouse I had two weeks earlier, very tender, but also juicy, flavourful and correctly cooked.

Purely out of a sense of duty to Herald readers, we ordered a lemon tart and chocolate fondant to share, which were good if not exceptional.

If you are willing to risk bumping into Ross or Sorcha and are feeling like a final pig-out before you start a diet, Rock Lobster is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. According to Twitter they now have 3kg lobsters in stock -- I advise sharing them with a rugby team.

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