Pince & Pints – Dinner

I love lobster rolls and lobsters and had really good ones a year ago in New York and Menton. Since my return, a lobster craze seemed to have swept over Singapore and lobster was the “in” thing for the second half of 2014, lobsters posted all over social media despite the heavy price tag.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this establishment and I knew I had to try it sooner or later, even though I was doubtful of the quality after I experienced really good ones abroad.

Priced at $58.00++ per dish, they serve lobsters 3 ways – Grilled/steamed, Lobster Roll and Chili Lobster (done chili crab style). Each version uses a whole lobster.

With the hype mellowing down, I did not have to wait for a table at 7pm on a weekend but looking at how small the restaurant is, I understood why people needed to wait in line for hours when they just opened. The restaurant was pretty small even though they did maximise space by cramping tables together. The vibe was very casual – like Billy Bomber’s, somewhat like an American diner.

First, say Hi to my new friend:

His name is dinner.

Lobster Roll – $58.00++

I wanted to like this but I have to say that I did not really like this version of lobster roll. Reason – the bread.

The bread ruined everything for me. They get their bread from a local bakery in Chinatown (that was written all over the internet, based on my memory) and I can really taste it. It tastes like the sort of bun that would come in a packet of 6, adjoined, with red bean paste in the center – that sort of bread. Fluffy and sweet bread. I understand that this restaurant is trying to distinguish itself from Burger & Lobster in London but using Singaporean bread just… doesn’t work? Lobster roll is ultimately a non-Singaporean dish. Such bread may work as fried mantou to go with Singaporean Chili Crab but for American Lobster Roll it just didn’t do the lobster any justice.

The sweet taste is one thing, the texture is another. See, it was slightly crispy on the outside having a nice crunchy texture, but the rest of the bun was too soft. The toasted crispy surface was way too small and shallow. The best lobster roll I had in New York (Luke’s) had buttered crispy toasted New England-style split bun (hotdog bread, to be direct) to match with their amazing Maine lobster chunks and the texture was just perfect. The bun did not interfere with the taste of the lobster and that’s why it worked.

Chinese buns should be limited to having Chinese style fillings, like red bean, coconut or kaya.

For this reason, I preferred the bun from The Naked Finn and Fix Grill.

Bun aside, the lobster amount was generous and I was alright with the flavours of the lobster itself. The sauce and salad was fine but the fries were a little too salty.

I really would like this a lot more if they opted for buttered and toasted hotdog buns.

Grilled Whole Lobster – $58.00++

Can’t go wrong with grilled lobster because it eliminates a variable (aka the bun) which affects the final results. The only variables left was the lobster quality and the grilling. The lobster meat stuck to the shell so perhaps it would be better of it would dislodge more easily but other than that it’s as good as grilled lobster gets.

I would definitely go for the grilled lobster or maybe chili lobster if I were to dine here again. For lobster rolls this is definitely not the best in Singapore unless they improve the bread!

*****

Ambiance: 6.5/10
Food: 7/10
Value: 6.5/10
Overall: Forget about the lobster roll and go for the grilled whole lobster.

*****

Pince & Pints
32 Duxton Rd
Singapore 089496

Tel: 62257558

*****

Mon – Fri: 5pm – 11pm
Sat: 12pm – 11pm

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