US chain offers extensive lobster choices
Red Lobster, the Orlando-based American casual dining restaurant chain, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, is opening its first venue in China at Shanghai IFC Mall.
The brand’s latest outpost carries the essence of its philosophy to the city: using only the highest quality, sustainably and responsibly-sourced lobster flown in daily from North America and fresh ingredients.
The 146-seat restaurant is modern and inviting with crisp white shiplap walls accented with classic nautical color palette giving a refreshing seaside vibe. Comfortable banquettes in the dining room offer a cozy way to dine, and the stylish bar with counter-height tables and stools serve as the focal point for those wanting a chilled moment.
The menu includes items iconic to the brand but with slight changes to cater to the local tastes.
Each table starts the indulgent dining experience with the beloved cheddar bay biscuits — crumbly, savory, irresistible premium bread loaded with garlic cheesy flavor.
Looking through the extensive menu while reaching for another piece of biscuit, the only issue was that the options for lobster and seafood are overwhelming. They are available in a variety of preparations and styles with the brand’s signature house-made sauces and side items.
I started my feast with the Chilled Seafood Tower — chock-full of delicious ocean bounty including chilled lobster tail, snow crab, oysters and shrimp.
It can be had either with a spray of lemon juice or with the restaurant’s classic cocktail sauce and horseradish or you can pick your own choice.
Among the irresistible choices here is the Ultimate Feast that offers great variety — a platter with North American lobster tail, steamed wild-caught snow crab legs, signature hand-crafted garlic shrimp scampi and crispy fried shrimp, served with cocktail sauce and hot drawn butter.
If you visit the place for its ultimate lobster offering, go for Live Maine Lobster, Steamed — an all-time favorite with the shellfish steamed at a precise heat and timing.
It’s recommended to dip in the hot drawn butter. The one-pot classic New England Bake is also an ideal winter option — roasted lobster, shrimp, mussels, fresh corn and potatoes served in a garlic white wine broth.
This opening is the first of several the company plans in China with its partner FWM Restaurants Group.
Opening hours: 11:30am-10pm (Monday to Thursday, Sunday); 11:30am-11pm (Friday, Saturday)
Address: LG1-20-1, Shanghai IFC Mall, 8 Century Avenue
Average price: 350 yuan