Here at Sankey’s we like to make life as easy as possible for our customers, which is why we serve all our lobsters fully dressed – otherwise known as splitting and removing the meat ready to be enjoyed straight away.
If you’re determined to do things by yourself though and plan on ordering a whole ‘undressed’ lobster from our fishmongers, allow us show you the ropes as to how to get the most out of your shellfish experience…
Before the lobster even arrives at your plate, it’s important to remember the two factors that will shape how things are going to go.
Gender – James Brown may have sung about how this is a man’s world, but under the sea it’s the females that are sought after as their longer tail naturally holds more meat than their male counterparts.
Hard shell or a shedder – As the names might suggest, a lobster that’s recently moulted might be easier to get into, but there’ll always be more meat inside a harder shelled creature as well as it being firmer.
Make no bones about it, eating lobster can be a bit of a messy experience so don’t be put off by the idea of getting your fingers stuck in.
Even the finest of restaurants provide bibs for their guests, so wash your hands and don yours for a moment to remember.
Start at the End
There are a few reasons as to why we’d suggest beginning with the tail of the lobster. Firstly, it’s the part of its anatomy that’s going to go cold the quickest and while it can be enjoyed as such, the combination of hot and cold doesn’t make for a great dining experience.
Secondly it simply looks tidier and more organised, perfect for if you want those around your table to think you’re some sort of lobster connoisseur.
When you’re ready simply grab the tail towards the top end and twist against the body to separate the two body parts. Then either take a knife to the centre or squeeze from the outside to break into that shell.
If you’ve played your cards right, you’ll be able to remove the tail meat in one mouth-watering piece.
Tackling the Claws
You’ll want to adopt a similar approach here but with a bit more care so as to not affect the meat inside. Give them a slight twist to separate, then use either a special lobster cracker or just a sturdy knife to apply pressure and get to what you’ve been waiting for.
It’s important not to neglect the knuckles of a lobster, even though there isn’t a great deal of meat to be found inside. Nevertheless what they lack in quantity, they more than make up for in flavour as arguably they’re the most sweet and tender part of the entire shellfish. That’s not to say you won’t need another show of strength to enjoy them however, as again we’d recommend an instrument to crack them open and another to get at the fine meat within.
Going the Extra Mile
The rich white meat of a lobster isn’t all that can be enjoyed, as on its underside you’ll find the tomalley – or liver and pancreas to make things easier. A greeny, grey substance, this stuff isn’t for everyone which is why you’ll only see it consumed by the most seasoned lobster eating veterans out there. If you want to give off the appearance of one though, be our guest in trying this weird and wonderful delicacy.
Speaking of dedicated lobster fans, why not top the entire experience off by breaking off the six legs and sucking the last remaining meat out of them? There’s barely anything to savour, and to be honest we’re not entirely sure why people do it, but who are we to criticise anyone making the most out of these awesome creatures…
You could do all that, or you could simply head to the Old Fishmarket or the Seafood Kitchen and Bar to let our talented team do all the hard work for you. We know which we’d rather go for...