Lobster rolls have been surging in popularity, and the latest establishment that’s making a splash on our shores is Luke’s Lobster. Founded by ex-Wall Street banker, Luke Holden, the famous seafood chain rose from a single shack that was a passion project to a multi-million dollar empire.
It has spawned 26 outlets in America, and another ten in Japan. And Singapore is its first foray into the South-east Asian market, brought in by lifestyle company Caerus Holding.
Located on the ground level of Isetan Scotts, the open-concept 23-seater (safe-distancing measures allow for 17 diners) eatery is right by the entrance of the department store. It’s built to resemble a classic Luke’s Lobster seafood shack, with distressed wooden planks lending a rustic touch to an otherwise contemporary setting.
Get started with either of the soups, Lobster Bisque and a Clam Chowder. The Lobster Bisque ($12.90), with pureed lobster, sweet potato, onions, and sizeable chunks of Maine lobster knuckle and claw meat, is velvety, and delightfully moreish.
The Clam Chowder ($11.50) is equally hearty with potatoes, clam juice, Worchester sauce, heavy cream and fresh clams. The portions aren’t large, but that’ll keep you from feeling full before you tuck into the mains.
The stars of the menu: The rolls
The menu will focus on its three signature rolls for now, and the must-try, of course, is the Maine-style Lobster Roll ($25.50). This comes heaped with fresh, fleshy chunks of wild-caught Maine lobster. The mayonnaise is added a tad too sparingly, methinks, but if you’re into a clean-tasting roll with a briny hit, then this one’s for you. It’s paired with a drizzle of melted lemon butter, and sprinkled with the brand’s “special seasoning” that’s made from a blend of spices like oregano, garlic powder, and sea salt. The bun is well-buttered (and not too greasy) and griddled to toasty perfection.
If lobster isn’t quite your thing, its other crustacean offerings are worth checking out, too. Flaky Jonah crab meat sits in the Crab Roll ($23.50), while the Shrimp Roll ($21.50) is packed with juicy shrimps that offer bite.
For a taste of all three without feeling stuffed, there’s the option of the Luke’s Trio, which gives you half of each roll.
Watch for: The grilled cheeses
Nothing gets us like a good grilled cheese. And Luke’s Lobster does it right. We tried the Lobster Grilled Cheese, and the brininess of the lobster pairs swimmingly with melty cheddar. There’s also the Crab Grilled Cheese, and both are set to launch this December.
From ocean to plate
One thing you’ll notice immediately is the quality of its seafood. The lobster meat, especially is fleshy and firm. Despite our gripe with the lack of mayo, it’s also what allows the freshness of the crustacean to shine through.
What’s truly admirable is the brand’s dedication to traceability and strict sustainable practices – the seafood it uses can be traced right back to the dock it came from. The chain also works with a direct-to-consumer model, sourcing its oceanic offerings from a pool of trusted fishermen, and this supports fair wages, too. Quickly picked and steamed after they are caught, the seafood is then flash-frozen with nitrogen, and sent right to Singapore.
Luke’s Lobster Singapore will open its doors on Wednesday, Sep 23, at 1pm in Isetan Scotts, and daily from 10am to 9pm (last order at 8.30pm) for dine-in (walk-in only) and takeaways. Pre-orders for takeaway can be made via www.lukeslobster.sg from Sep 17, 12pm.