Can You Handle It? Whole Lobster At Belgo’s Annual Lobsterfest #Lobzilla

belog lobsterfest lobzilla london

About ten days ago now, I popped along to Belgo’s annual ‘lobsterfest’, which takes place annually at their venues across the capital.

Now I hadn’t realised it until the other day that Belgo has been established in London since 1992, and that in the last few years this Belgian inspired restaurant has opened up many new sites across the city.

Centraal (as it is known) is the oldest, biggest and most bustling. Situated within striding distance from Covent Garden station its two entrances on Shelton Street and Earlham Street are surprisingly easy to miss. However once you are inside and have walked across the bridge over the heads of the Chefs who are about to prepare your meal you will never simply pass by again.

If you know much at all about Belgium, you’ll know all about Belgian beers – Belgo supplies an incredible selection, and they will even match a beer to your meal. If you’re feeling flush there is also “Deus Brut Des Flandres” which is a beer brewed much like Champagne…

However if like me you get excited about food, Belgium also has it’s most famous dish; moules and frites (mussels and chips). But that isn’t the end of it; the locals love shellfish as much as we Brits and with lobster having renewed interest lately with the storming success of Burger and Lobster, Belgo has re-opened their yearly festival of lobster that they been doing every year since 1996.

On top of the normal menu selection for the next few months you get their extra lobster based options comprising of a Lobster Cocktail (a prawn cocktail made with lobsters), a Lobster Salad (pretty much the lobster cocktail but containing a whole lobster!) and ‘Lobzilla’, an entire lobster with fries and salad, aioli dip and your own set of lobster crackers.

I have a small confession to make at this point, and that is that I’m not a huge lobster fan. I’ve had it a few times in my life and been thoroughly un-impressed each time. This time was different – the lobster cocktail had some very sweet and flavourful meat in it. Most restaurants would serve it with a Mary Rose sauce, but Belgo’s alioli has delicate lemon flavours that work extremely well. The real surprise here though is the sugar snap peas in the accompanying chicory salad which add their own flavour to the aioli and draw the whole cocktail together.For all intents and purposes the salad is simply the bigger brother of the lobster cocktail, containing a whole lobster, more chicory and more of the aioli!

The real star on the menu is of course the Lobzilla with some more of that fantastically flavoured lobster.This time grilled with some butter and garlic and Belgos crisp fries. I say fries but they were a little thick for fries, I would call them chips but either way they go very nicely with the aioli.

Another option which for some reason is not on the Lobzilla menu but was presented to us at the press-night was the Surf and Turf; a half lobster with steak and chips. It’s a bit more expensive but I strongly recommend this option, you get the great fries and lobster that make up a Lobzilla plus a perfect steak, pink in the middle and seared on the outside.

This is without-doubt a festival not to be missed. If you just go for the Lobzilla it comes in shade cheaper than Burger and Lobster and I found the Canadian lobster being used in Belgo the best I have ever had. Belgo even source their Lobster ethically with their ‘buy-one-set-one-free’ plan that donate ¬£1 to the National Lobster Hatchery per lobster sold.

The other great thing about Belgo is of course the selection of beers and even those who find beer repulsive cannot resist a glass of ¬†Fruli. I would say it is very difficult to find a reason not to head along at some point this summer…