Thursday, August 5, 2010

Great Rivington Lobster Massacre

Let me tell you a story of 4 maidens, cast adrift on a harsh unknown sea. There were two Australians, a South African and a Swede. They had found themselves on a desolated shore – no bars, no restaurants, no shoe stores....and then like a mirage on the horizon, they spied their salvation. Glittering in the distance, a purveyor of fine food and beverage...The Rivington Grill in Greenwich.

OK, so I am being a tad melodramatic, but living in South East London, there is a distinct lack of awesome dining options for hungry TwEaters. More so in Woolwich Arsenal where KangaRue and I make our home, slightly better across the river where CookSister resides, and Cathy257? Well Gotenberg is home to some of the best restaurants in Sweden, but she was staying in Holland Park in West London – so it was a double trek for her to catch up with us.

I had met CookSister at Food Blogger Connect a few months ago, and we have stayed in touch on Twitter, this was our first chance to catch up in person since, and her first meeting with KangaRue and all of us were meeting Cathy257 for the first time. And look that, I am rambling already!

We started the evening with a drink on the outdoor terrace...ok it was the second drink for Kanga and I, but she is a bad influence at all times and I accept no responsibility.

Moving inside, we settled in to view the room, and the menu. A wonderfully crusty hot loaf of bread with salty butter was deposited on our table. The smell of freshly baked bread is only surpassed by the smell of rain on hot asphalt and freshly mown grass for me, and I was in a very happy place.

3 of the 4 of us decided to be unoriginal and go for the Heritage Tomato Salad with Lovage and Wensleydale. KangaRue bucked natural order and went for the Chilled Beetroot and Horseradish Soup.

My salad was gorgeous – about 6 or 7 different types of heritage tomatoes that tasted like they had just come off the vine, served at room temperature so the full flavour was apparent with creamy shards on Wensleydale cheese. Kanga’s soup was gorgeous to look at (hey I like pink bits!) and tasted of the earth with a nice kick in the back of the nasal passage from the horseradish as it went down.

I also am on a quest – to try as many different oysters in the UK as I can get my tongue around. So, on seeing oysters on the specials board, and there being no minimum, I ordered one for myself. Now, as luck would have it, the kitchen stuffed up – so we got 3...poor Kanga missed out as these little suckers were lush.

When the waitress had been talking us through the specials of the day, it had been a unanimous decision that we were all going for the Lobster Special. A whole lobster served with chips, and a rich luscious unctuous mayonnaise. Now, I know you are thinking “She has just quit her job and is ordering LOBSTER?” But, as we had booked an online special, we were getting 50% off the really was very affordable.

The lobsters arrived, and they were, well, they were huge. With a large separate dish of crispy fluffy perfectly salted chips that on their own I would have been happy with....but I had a whole lobster before me. And so, after thanking the crustacean gods for their sacrifice, I dived in. There were juices flying, shells cracking and flesh sucking....all accompanied by the sounds of 4 women in a happy food place.

As the piles in front of us grew small, our bellies and the plate of discarded shell grew significantly larger. 1 lobster makes for a lot of shell....4 makes for a mountain!

By this stage our asses were getting numb, as the chairs were not the most comfortable for a long leisurely session, so we moved to the couches to digest and contemplate....could we fit in dessert? Why yes...I believe we can! Just.

CookSister and I had been eyeing off the Honeycomb Ice Cream with Hot Toffee Sauce since we arrived at the restaurant...and were heartbroken to be informed it was sold out. We took them up on the offer of good old fashioned vanilla, with the toffee sauce and were very happy. Thick oozey toffee goodness was a perfect accompaniment to the icecream which cut it nicely.

Kanga went for the chocolate mousse, which she was disappointed in (I tried it – and have to agree that I got the better pud!) Cathy went for the Eton Mess – her first ever!

Of course, booze was consumed....but like the bad blogger I am, I was too happy by the end of the night to remember what it was. All I can say, was it was really good, and there was a lot of it.

In summary: lovely company, great food on the most part, lots of booze, laughter and silliness. Bad points: chairs not so comfie, tables to close together, choccie mousse needs work.

All in all a great night, and cant wait to do it again. South East London Foodies Must Unite!

For other versions of this dinner please see Cathy and Kanga's blogs!


catty said...

Wow they ARE huge lobsters! Looks delicious :)

Kavey said...

I'm so used to places listing "1 lobster" on their menu only to serve the teeniest tiniest little sucker I've seen. So good to see some proper generous critters plated up!

Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

Aaaah, good times, good times (not so much for the lobster family though!!). It was fab seeing you again & meeting Cathy & Kanga - we must do it again sometime soon! Will let you know when my post (finally!) goes up :)

Also, do you think you could send e-mail me the unedited aerial photo of the lobster killing gang? Ta!

AussieFoodie said...

Catty - tasted even better than they looked if you can believe that!

Kavey - These kittens were more like tigers! The claw meet was so juicy it dribbled onto the food shelf for Hussyband to have later!

AussieFoodie said...

Jeanne - photos headed your way. A rematch sounds awesome. What crustacean genus should we decimate next?

Cathy said...

That was one fab evening! I keep telling people about my lobster massacres in London. Can't wait to do it again with you fun loving ladies. And you really need to come to Gotheburg and try some of our restaurants when you get your passport back...

Just like Jeanne I would love an unedited photo of the four of us. Is it possible? I'll DM you my email.

Vibey said...

I'm impressed at the lobster - but even more at you managing dessert!

Kanga_Rue said...

Such a great night, can't wait til we do it again!

RamblingTart said...

What a fabulous night!! It all sounds delicious and so fun!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wow that is an enormous lobster! For a lobster lover like me, that is akin to pure food porn :P

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