The interestingly named Smack Lobster Roll is the little sister of Burger & Lobster, opened in 2011 by the Goodman Group and one of the front runners of the (almost) single-concept restaurant. Smack, nestled on the Chinatown end of Dean Street, is sans burger and has a nice little menu of five rolls and four salads, with a chowder side option, all lobster based.
All the lobster is sourced in Nova Scotia and Maine, using little boats called Smacks – it’s right there in the name. They are sent over and kept live in huge tanks at Heathrow, and delivered to the restaurants daily, which I found quite interesting.
Part of Smack’s ethos is to dispel the opinion that lobster s a luxury product that’s ‘only for the rich and famous’. All well and good, but at a tenner a go it’s still not exactly your cheapie sandwich option, especially when they try and upsell a chowder on the side – another fiver. Saying that, the food’s bloody good. I went for the ‘Californian’, which consists of hearty amounts of tender lobster, with lettuce, tomato, lime, chives and avocado mayo.
All the rolls used are soft, fresh brioche, oozing with buttery flavour and toasted to absolute perfection. Very lightly crispy on the outside but so delicate. They’re tall but the filling pretty much reaches the bottom – very important so as not to be left with mouthfuls of dry, empty bread. No one wants that, even when the bread is this good.
The place is decked out nautically (see what I did there) with a few seats along the window and a big concrete block complete with blankets and tables in front of it – sounds weird but kind of works. It’s cosy and sweet, and again the food is great. Firmly on my lunch list.
More info on their website here.