Luke’s Lobster, Shaw Centre: “If you’re queueing, order the Clam Chowder”

Luke’s Lobster lands in Singapore.

Luke's Lobster Online
Credit – Luke’s Lobster

This writer’s lips—which have spent a good eight years of her career tasting the most memorable and most undesirable food—have never had a taste of a lobster roll. Suffice to say, it’s tough for me to sit here and judge Luke’s Lobster without having an anchor point of reference, especially when I know there will many who read this and insist that this latest F&B import is the best thing since Shake Shack came to town.

I still am very grateful that I’m one of the few here who are privy to taste-testing Luke’s Lobster lobster rolls before the public does, so I will try my best to be just in my opinions but also realistically frank.

Luke's Lobster Online
Credit – Luke’s Lobster

It’s a milestone for the brand, as it adds Singapore to its growing global footprint of 22 food trucks and full-service restaurants across America, as well as 10 locations in Japan. We also happen to be fortunate to be the first Southeast Asian outpost. Their catch is fresh—‘seafood straight from the source, prepared pure and simple, without the filler’—according to their official site.

I expect nothing less, especially when preparing and cooking crustaceans can prove to be a temperamental chore, what with food hygiene standards and all. The Shaw Centre outlet is welcoming throngs of eager fans come 23 September 2020 at 1pm, and in true foodie fashion, you know there will be snaking queue of patrons awaiting their turn for a bite of a succulent, buttery lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster.

Let’s not dally anymore and dive right into what’s worth your penny.

What I tried

Luke's Lobster

If you want to save time (and stomach space), I recommend ordering Luke’s Trio (S$33.50). It packs the three signature rolls, all halved, so you get a worth-it 3-in-1 combo. Should you spot tiny red flecks on your Shrimp Roll, don’t yell at the staff just yet.

Their secret seasoning (made from a hush-hush recipe of garlic powder, oregano, sea salt and other spices) is dusted on all their rolls, along with a smear of mayonnaise and lemon butter. Also, don’t be afraid to use your hands for these; there’s a convenient automated basin located within the restaurant and the etiquette here is simply to enjoy your meal.

Out of all three, I have to say, the Shrimp Roll was top pick. You’d think the Lobster Roll would naturally sweep me off my feet, but the sweetness of the shrimps was the most apparent and was the best against the intense butteriness of the roll. In fact, my biggest gripe would be that the rolls were overwhelmingly buttery that the delicate seafood struggled to make an impression.

The secret seasoning was lost in all this delightful fatty butter, and after a few bites, I could tell I was going to have to waste some bread because I was getting too full too quickly.

Luke's Lobster 4

The one thing I have to applaud Luke’s Lobster for is their generosity in stuffing their rolls to the brim. If you still insist on tasting their original and classic Lobster Roll (S$25.50), please treat yourself. At only a fraction of the cost of most other famous lobster rolls, this one’s a steal.

Don’t expect the lobster flesh to taste of much; it’s only mildly sweet and salty, serving mostly as a vehicle for other flavours it’s cooked in. Having said that, the first and only taste I that came through was the butter, once again. I shook my head in pity because I desperately wanted to fawn over this.

Luke's Lobster 5

Here they have two soups, the Clam Chowder (S$11.50) and Lobster Bisque (S$12.90). They just might be sides to your meal, but they fared much better and proved to be the redeeming dishes for the afternoon.

Between the two, the Clam Chowder got my vote with ample cubes of potatoes swimming in clam juice, Worcester sauce, and heavy cream. Note that the use of heavy cream didn’t make it cloying and necessarily ‘heavy’. In fact, it was so enjoyably light with a touch of brininess, which made it the only thing I finished—willingly without regret.

Luke's Lobster 3

Although their grilled cheese sandwiches won’t be served for awhile (they want to ensure service standards are in order before rolling out more menu items), I managed to sneak a few bites. First impression was a no-go, as the cheese overwhelmed all taste of the Lobster Grilled Cheese (price TBC).

It left an unpleasant taste in my mouth and by this point, I felt like I’d eaten half a loaf of buttered bread and was ready to throw in the towel.

Final thoughts

As my virgin experience with lobster rolls, I have to admit, Luke’s Lobster was sub-par. I wanted to savour the succulent sweetness of the lobster flesh, along with the raved-about ‘secret seasoning’ that is supposedly generously peppered on every roll.

However, I will say, if you are still insistent on spending a few hours queueing and dropping cash on this new kid in town, then you must, at the very least, order the Clam Chowder with your meal. It was the most memorable menu item, and one of the better ones I’ve had in Singapore. And if I were to be honest and conclusively positive, I’ll be back again just for a spoonful of this.

Expected Damage: S$25 – S$35 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 2 / 5

Luke's Lobster

350 Orchard Road, Shaw House, Isetan Scotts, #01-K4, Singapore 238868

Our Rating 2/5

Luke's Lobster

350 Orchard Road, Shaw House, Isetan Scotts, #01-K4, Singapore 238868

Telephone: +65 6592 7642
Operating Hours: 10am - 9pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6592 7642

Operating Hours: 10am - 9pm (Daily)
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