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On A Roll: Luke’s Lobster Is Opening Here

Opening at Isetan Scotts on Sept 23, Luke’s Lobster Singapore is the brand’s inaugural venture into Southeast Asia.

American-based Luke’s Lobster specialises in, what else, lobster rolls. The lobster roll chain, which started eleven years ago by founder Luke Holden, has 26 outlets in America, and a further 10 in Japan. Their first Singaporean outlet is set to open on Sept 23 – with, coincidentally, 23 seats.

Done in collaboration between the brand and Caerus Holdings – headed by CEO Vijay Pillai, previous trendsetting ventures include Lady M’s signature mille crepes – lobster rolls might be brought into the spotlight once again, after their last big splash in the local foodie scene thanks to Burger & Lobster’s opening in Jewel Changi Airport last year.

After all, Singapore has quite the stable of restaurants offering up homely takes on exquisite oceanic dishes: think all manner of rib-sticking chowders, bisques and gumbos that draw from the seafood capitals of the States, Louisiana, Boston and more. And since you won’t be able to make a trip down any time soon, these lobster rolls and other takes on classic American seafood are the closest you’re going to get for some time yet.

This article first appeared in The Peak.

Luke’s Lobster Singapore
The latest player in town. Fashioned to resemble its overseas counterparts to a tee, Luke’s Lobsters is seafood shack through-and-through, including an overuse of rustic, weathered timber planks (buoys and seagulls not included). The food, again, is pure Luke’s Lobsters: “Taste The Source” is their oft-repeated mantra. Don’t expect any mentaiko, salted egg or what-have-you (for now at least). What sets the seafood rolls here apart is, well, seafood. Sustainably sourced and traceable from surf to turf, the Maine lobsters, as well as excellent crab and shrimp, are done simply: Maine-style buttered and griddled rolls, lemon butter, mayo, and signature seasoning. If that’s not enough, a selection of bisques and beers seal the deal.   #01-K4 Isetan Scotts; tel: 6592-7642 The Market Grill
The Market Grill, headed by Jaan and La Cuisson alum Kenneth Lin, stakes its claim as the first concept to introduce lobster rolls to Singapore. And if you don’t care about them being first, maybe you’ll care about this: a whole lobster, grilled to order, and slathered in an herbed pommery mustard mayo on toasted brioche. The open concept eatery doesn’t take itself too seriously, with its decor centered around old-school butcheries and whimsical diners, except where it comes to fresh and premium ingredients, including lobsters imported from the Atlantic. And if you’d like to go a little more over the top, there’s always the option to add ikura – in other words, umami-rich, seafood bullets in the form of salmon roe – because why not?   208 Telok Ayer Street; tel: 6221-3323 Pince & Pints
Self-styled as another pioneer in Singapore’s burgeoning premium seafood scene, Pince & Pints has been serving lobster rolls since 2014. Lobster rolls here are served with a classic butter sauce, though it’s now possible to get it done local style with Nonya Chilli – or a light bombardment of just-shaved truffle, truffle caviar and truffle-infused butter sauce. Other bold flavours include chili or black pepper lobster, lobster mac and cheese, and more – clearly, they aren’t afraid of angering any purists while managing to bring Singaporean tastes to exquisite American seafood.   32-33 Duxton Road Naked Finn
Restaurateur Tan Ken Loon isn’t afraid of stripping down seafood to its essence and coming up with grub that’s as delightful as it is contemporary. It’s recently seen a changing of the guard: with new head of creative Marcus Leow, who previously held court at Tan’s year-long chef-grooming venture, Magic Square. Head chef Kek Wan Fong and Ken Loon will “still be hanging around”, but remain in the shadows. The restaurant is dedicated to sourcing quality seafood – with over 250 species in their culinary vocabulary – and cooking it simply.   Sustainability and traceability both feature in a big way for the Naked Finn: knowing exactly what fish you’re eating, even if it’s less popular and therefore less likely to be overfished, is how these values are expressed in the restaurant’s menu. Well, how about an Homarus americanus or Homarus gammarus roll for lunch? For those who don’t speak scientific nomenclature, that means American or European lobster: grilled with unsalted butter and served alongside creme fraiche or house-made shio kombu mayo.   39 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks; tel: 6694-0807 DB Bistro & Oyster Bar
Feted American chef and culinary great Daniel Boulud’s local venture in Marina Bay Sands opened up in 2010. The oyster bar wooed crowds with its take on uncomplicated bistro fare, complemented by plenty of great seafood and an extensive wine list. Come 2013, it hopped onto the lobster roll fever with its own take on the roll, which featured the addition of avocado and an herbaceous tarragon aioli. That said, we’d be remiss not to recommend you anything else from the oyster bar’s venerable seafood offerings, not the least of which include the myriad of oysters done any which way.   B1-48 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands; tel: 6688-8525