Head of Food and Drink, Julia Bryce, put a new lobster brioche box to the test. But her question is, will lobster rolls replace the ever popular make-at-home burger kits?
While I am enjoying getting back to eating out in restaurants and cafes again, I can still see a place for dine-at-home boxes or make-it-yourself kits.
The pandemic encouraged (and forced) many of us to turn to these kits not just for a delicious meal, but for a change of scene from takeaways and home cooking.
These kits aren’t basic by any means. Many companies have invested heavily in marketing and the packaging for these boxes, all of which are delivered within a day or two and ready to be cooked up.
What I love about Dean Banks‘ latest home kit is the lack of cooking you actually have to do to create what I would class is a top-quality lobster roll.
Having launched his luxury fine dining dine-at-home boxes via Haar at Home, the Angus-born MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 finalist has welcomed new additions to his collection, including Waagyu Burger and his new Lobster Brioche Box.
Tried and tested
Sampling the lobster offering for myself, I put my lobster roll making skills to the test, however with minimal cooking required, I envisioned pulling this spread together to be a breeze.
- 4 x brioche buns
- Native Scottish lobster meat
- Smoked dressing
- Spring onion salad
- Chipotle chilli flakes
- Mirin butter
The key thing to note when making Dean’s lobster rolls is that you can really customise it to your liking, as there are numerous ingredients which you have a choice to add as toppings, such as the coriander and chipotle chilli flakes.
Within the box, which arrived on its expected delivery day, is an instruction card which assured me this was going to make for an easy meal.
I put all of the chilled ingredients immediately into the fridge and stored the other items away until I needed them later that evening.
The first thing I had to do to make the lobster filling was decant the lobster meat into a bowl and ensure any excess water was poured out. I did this by squeezing the meat in my hands and pouring the water out of the bowl.
Next I added ¾ of the spring onion and the smoked creme fraiche dressing to the bowl and mixed it all together.
Placing the bowl to the side, I emptied the mirin butter into a saucepan and slowly melted it down.
As I was doing this, I grabbed a frying pan and sprayed it with a little oil. I cut the brioche buns down the middle about ¾ of the way so that it still held its shape. I put the pan on the hob and heated it up to a medium-high temperature. I then took the buns and toasted them, leaving them on the pan for around a minute, maybe less.
The butter was still happily melting in the saucepan and when the sub rolls were toasted I transferred all four onto a plate. I took the butter off the heat at this point.
I then got cracking with assembling them, stuffing each with the lobster meat mix and then topping them all with the leftover spring onion salad, the chipotle chilli flakes and the coriander.
I poured the butter into a dipping bowl and served two rolls to my partner and I each.
Very easy to make, it was a case of minimum effort meets maximum results with Dean’s lobster kit.
The lobster meat itself was incredible. Succulent, soft and a little juicy (even after it had been squeezed to get excess water out), it was delicious and the smoked creme fraiche and spring onion salad it had been mixed with was packed with flavour.
It was creamy but not overly indulgent that it felt rich.
The toppings added a lovely vibrant colour to the sub roll and the spring onion was certainly a favourite of mine. Sharp in flavour, its aroma also added to the experience. I didn’t get enough of the chipotle flavour as I would have liked, so I added more to the second one as I had just sprinkled it on. My one tip – for the toppings, be heavy handed.
And the buns themselves were exquisite. Sweet, light and fluffy, they weren’t stodgy in any way, although they were filling.
But the dipping sauce is where it all came together in the most beautiful of ways. The bun soaked up the mirin butter like it was going out of fashion, absorbing as much as it could. Every mouthful got better and better as I worked my way into the middle of the bun.
The butter was slightly sweet, but was so incredibly moreish. It definitely elevated the dish and thankfully there was plenty of it for us both to dip our rolls into.
So what did I think of the Lobster Brioche Kit? I thought it was rather good. The food inside was easy to prepare with little to no prep work or cooking required at all, really.
The quality of the ingredients was apparent and if I had anything to nit-pick, it would be to have a little extra lobster in there, just to beef out the subs a little more.
However saying that, it was filling so I am maybe just being a little greedy on that front.
What I will say though is at £39, it isn’t a cheap eat, especially for four lobster rolls. I’m not sure what the going rate for lobster rolls is in restaurants or at food vendors these days but £9.75 for one of these individually seemed a little steep for my liking.
Had there been that little bit more lobster I may not have queried it, but both my partner and I thought it was a little expensive, albeit an incredibly delicious meal.
I loved Dean’s Waagyu Kit, which is a bargain when you get it at a reduced price, so while I did really enjoy this experience, I think I’ll retreat to the excitement of making more burgers at home. Besides, who doesn’t love the smell of burgers sizzling away?
For more information on Haar at Home’s Lobster Brioche Kit visit www.haarathome.co.uk.
For those who live in the KY or DD postcode area there is an option of a discounted delivery charge on the site. Please review postcodes the firm is unable to deliver to here before purchasing UK-wide.