Sunday, December 16, 2018

Getting Clawed and Lovin' It: A Clawsome Experience at Red Lobster, America's Number One Seafood Restaurant

When America's number one seafood restaurant splashes its way to Manila, get ready to be clawed for one seriously clawsome dining experience...

The Bistro Group adds yet another iconic American restaurant to its growing portfolio of casual dining concepts with Red Lobster and its signature offerings of fresh quality seafood, starters, salads, pasta, pizza and of course, real fresh Maine Lobsters from the east coast. Read on and dive in for a sumptuous peek at Red Lobster...

Since it opened back in 1968 as a single, family-owned restaurant in Florida, Red Lobster now has over 745 restaurants in 11 countries. That's quite a remarkable fish story indeed. Red Lobster International CEO Kim Axel Lopdrup along with EVP and General Counsel Horace Dawson recently visited their first restaurant in Asia... Mall of Asia's S' Maison showcasing their signature fresh Maine Lobsters. Flown in direct from the US, the Maine lobsters chill in a special aquarium located at the entrance. When you're craving for a lavish seafood feast, it's got to be Maine lobster. And leave it to Red Lobster to prepare a memorable feast.

Red Lobster's impressive global growth makes it the world's largest seafood restaurant company, and by sheer volume, also the largest seafood purchaser in the world with the highest market share of all seafood specialist restaurants in America accounting for a dominant 47% slice of the pie. These are big numbers, matched by its vision to be where the world goes for seafood, now and for generations. Expanding its global network with the opening of its very first restaurant in the country is a step that direction. This aggressive growth is tempered by Red Lobster's commitment to only source seafood of the highest quality, guided by its advocacy of "traceable, sustainable, and responsible" catch. This commitment to quality is reflected in all of their signature dishes, including salads, like the Honey and Bleu Cheese Salad (P 350/P 450) with garden-fresh and crisp romaine and lollo rosso lettuce draped in rich and creamy bleu cheese dressing topped with crunchy croutons, honey roasted peanuts and parmesan cheese, and drizzled with honey for that finishing touch. The sweet and salty notes of the salad weave seamlessly, coming together with each bite.

Diners can also opt for the Classic Caesar Salad with Grilled Shrimp (P 395/P 595) before the main seafood course. Rich and creamy with refreshingly clean notes, freshness is indeed flavor. Other tasty starters include the hearty New England Clam Chowder (P 220) and Champagne Grape Salad (P 350/P 450). And don't pass up on the complimentary refill of Cheddar Bay Biscuits.  Nachos? Try Red Lobster's Seaside Nachos too.

Red Lobster also offers a tempting selection of comforting pasta dishes like the Bar Harbor Seafood Bake (P 650) with spaghetti draped in creamy and nutty garlic butter sauce topped with plump mussels, succulent scallops, tender and almost melt-in-your-mouth squid, and shrimps. Inspired by Bar Harbor's traditional lobster bakes, this pasta dish highlights the clean briny notes of seafood without being overwhelmed by a boldly flavored sauce. The garlic butter sauce is the perfect pairing with seafood. And like they say, there's just nothing quite like fresh seafood with butter. But it's the way the squid is cooked that impressed me the most, remaining soft like butter unlike the usual chewy almost rubbery texture of most squid dishes. This one's a personal favorite. Other pasta dishes include the Crab Alfredo (P 595), Shrimp Alfredo (P 450), Mac and Cheese (P 450), Spaghetti Vongole (P 450) and Pancetta and Shrimp Pomodoro (P 595).

You'll also find pizza with that unique Red Lobster twist, like the Shrimp and Kani Pizza (P 550) with mozzarella, parmesan, shrimps, kani, fried garlic bits and anchovy dressing on a rustic crust. The pizza delivers subtle and delicate layers of flavors, kicked up by the cheese and anchovy dressing. If you're craving for even more seafood, there's the Langostino Tail Pizza (P 595).

But it's the seafood main courses that's the main draw at Red Lobster, specifically the Seafood Feast Combinations. Red Lobster's indulgent Ultimate Feast (P 2,950) is the seafood lover's top pick with Maine lobster tail, snow crab legs, shrimp scampi draped in nutty butter, crisp fries, wild rice, fresh vegetables and butter sauce served with a lemon wedge. The Maine lobster tail and snow crab legs are masterfully prepared, remaining soft and tender yet firm to the bite releasing a rich briny sweetness. Add some butter and the flavors become even more intense without overpowering the seafood. The freshness of the seafood is evident once you peel off the shells, with the lobster meat and crab meat coming out nearly whole. 

But the supporting cast of the Ultimate Feast are just as fresh and flavorful, with the shrimp scampi pairing well with the soft and fluffy wild rice. Add some of that butter sauce to the wild rice and you've got a serious meal. The fresh vegetables and fries complete the meal. 

The Grilled Lobster, Shrimp and Swordfish (P 2,250) is another must-try combination with Maine lobster tail, shrimp skewer, grilled swordfish, wild rice, snow peas and brown butter sauce. Maine lobster, shrimps and swordfish in one dish, that's a winning seafood trifecta right there.

The brown butter sauce just brings out the fresh flavors of the seafood, briny notes that will have you going for another spoonful of wild rice. Red Lobster's other seafood Seafood Feast Combinations include the Seaside Shrimp Trio (P 1,295), the Admiral's Feast (P 1,450) with shrimp, bay scallops, calamari, and wild-caught flounder; and the Seafarer's Feast (P 1,450) with swordfish, scallops, and shrimp scampi. Surf and Turf? Go for the Ultimate Surf & Turf (P 2,500) with snow crab legs, riblets in brown sugar barbecue sauce and shrimp scampi. You may have taken a second and third look at the prices of the Seafood Feast Combinations. It's not cheap at all. So are Maine lobsters and US snow crabs. Like everything that involves premium quality ingredients, you get what you pay for. And why not, you deserve a lavish seafood feast. Red Lobster's other mains offer even more tasty options including the Garlic Grilled Shrimp (P 550), Dragon Shrimp (P 350), Soy Ginger Grouper (P 995), Blackened Barramundi (P 495), Hand-Battered Fish and Chips (P 495) and Cod New Orleans (P 525). If you're looking for some chicken and pork love, no worries. Red Lobster also has the Chops New Orleans (P 495) and Chicken Fingers and Shrimp Poppers (P 450).

And if it's lobster you're after, Maine lobster with large claws from the cold waters of the Atlantic east coast, you've come to the right place. Red Lobster's Live Lobster (P 3,500), wild caught fresh from the Atlantic and simply steamed is the way to go. 

The vibrant red crustacean with its prominent pair of claws is quite a sight. There's just something about seafood caught from icy cold waters that give it so much flavor, and you get that rich, briny sweetness right from the very first bite. Delicately steamed, the one-pound lobster is tender and juicy with that fresh and succulent snap accompanying each tasty bite. Dip the lobster in the butter sauce and it's game over.   

Each order comes with two sides, the Shrimp Scampi and Wild Rice are my choices for that perfect seafood feast, Red Lobster style.

You can enjoy your lobster with your hands, but if you choose not to, Red Lobster's staff will gladly do all the work for you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy your Shrimp Scampi and Wild Rice as your lobster is picked clean in minutes right by your tableside...

...and elegantly plated, served with a lemon wedge. That's lobster fine dining without the fuss.

Just how do you cap a perfect seafood feast at Red Lobster? There are four ways to go at Red Lobster, starting with the decadent Chocolate Wave (P 325) with fudge and chips, the Apple Shortbread (P 295) topped with vanilla ice cream, the Brownie Ala Mode (P 295) or the New York Style Cheesecake (P 325), your call.

Sea to table goodness, and it's all crackin' at Red Lobster. Get clawed, and prepare for a clawsome experience at America's number one seafood restaurant...

Red Lobster is located at Level 1, S' Maison, Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

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