One of the greatest things about Singapore is that it’s my home. That’s where my friends are and that’s where my heart is. And really, sometimes that’s all you need to feel like you are eating a Michelin starred meal. Food tastes sweeter somehow, when cooked and eaten together. Three good friends in a kitchen. Chopping, searing, boiling, stirring, talking about the same things we’ve been talking about the last 15 years – relationships, work, gossip.
This time though, part of the conversation focused on the most humane way to kill the lobster for our super decadent Surf n Turf lunch.
It’s not very difficult to go lux at home and it’s defintely cheaper than eating at an upscale restaurant. After all, some of the best ingredients are the simplest ones. You might keep a few staples in your pantry like some good truffle oil and a nice aged balsamico but otherwise, you just pick up some fresh ingredients from the market and you’re ready to go. No fancy schmancy prep involved either. Lobsters were plain boiled while steaks were salt and peppered and thrown onto a hot grill pan.
With the boiling done, it was time to move on to the best part: How to eat a lobster.
First, you detach the head from the body with a gentle twist and pull – it should come off fairly easily. DON’T THROW ANYTHING away yet!
Then you cut through the shell on the underside of the belly and pry out the chunk of lobster tail.
And finally, after getting all the flesh out, it’s time to sit back and savour your meal. I can’t wait that long so I eat as I leisurely de-shell one part after the other. The tail, the claws, the legs…it’s not a glamorous process but when you’re at home, you can be as finger-lickingly messy as you want.
Nothing tastes quite the same as lobster, with a squeeze of lemon, dipped in a golden pool clarified butter. It’s a food designed by God – Ambrosia. Seriously.
Nothing is wasted. In the heads you’ll find the bright red coral (the female’s roe) and the greeney-brown tomalley (the liver) both of which are the most intensely lobster flavoured part of the crustasean. This must be eaten at all cost, and I mean all cost. We spread the tomalley on rolls of toasted egg bread which was simply awesome!
The roe we mixed into angel hair pasta along with any bits of left-over flesh we dug out from the head and tail.
And just to cleanse the palate from all that buttery, lobstery richness, I made a Kyoho grape salad using the cheaper Taiwan-grown variety. Gave them a quick toss in my favourite dressing of ginger vinegrette, chilli, cilantro and shallots and voila! Ready to serve.
Our menu was easy to prepare and very affordable. For less than $50 each (not including the truffle oil), it was a decent price for a touch of luxury.
Good ribeye – $7/piece from Ben Foods or Qbee (wholesale distributors)
Live small lobster – $34/ piece from Cold Storage
Angelhair pasta -$2/packet from any supermarket
Kyoho grape salad – $3/500gm from Cold Storage