With the opening of Grand Avenue at The Avenues also comes an onslaught of new restaurants that has had us at bazaar struggling to catch up. Luckily for us the opening coincided with our annual dining guide, which I’m sure by now you’ve devoured, and so we were able to cover a lot of those new places. We were disappointed to not squeeze Red Lobster in but are delighted to have been able to check it out finally and get it in our January issue alongside our dining guide.
Red Lobster was founded in 1968 in Lakeland Florida by Bill Darden, a man with a passion for seafood and a focus on quality and service. Today there are more than 680 Red Lobster restaurants in the US and Canada, but more importantly there is now one in Kuwait. There’ll be two kinds of people heading down to Red Lobster at Grand Avenue; those who know and love the place from time spent in America, and those looking to find out what all the fuss is being made by those already know and love it. I fall firmly into the latter category, and being a fan of seafood couldn’t wait to check it out. Especially after I heard that Red Lobster is the place where popcorn shrimp was invented!
Red Lobster is located in the cluster of new restaurants that greet you as you head into Grand Avenue from Phase II, just on the right side. It occupies one of the first floor spots which can be accessed by stairs or elevator between the ground floor restaurants. The cool thing about these first floor locations is that you can sit out in the terrace, watching the whole world go by and you enjoy your meal. Looking down on the throngs of shoppers strolling down the thoroughfare that is Grand Avenue, you get a sense of being in a grand old high street.
The restaurant itself has a heavy nautical theme inside but done in a very subtle and classy way. Think dark wood and portholes. One wall features International signal flags that ships used to use to communicate with each other, each flag a different letter. The ones at Red Lobster spell out the word ‘fresh’, which is very fitting. They also have a private room in the back known as the Captain’s Room which has enough space for ten people.
We took a seat outside and ordered some drinks. You’ll be spoiled for choice at Red Lobster and we conquered this by ordering a lot; non-alcoholic Margarita and Mojito are refreshing and tasty, and for those with a sweet tooth we’d recommend the Bahama Mama, a blend of mango passion fruit mix syrup, or the less sweet Mud Slide, which is a chocolate laced avalanche of coffee flavour syrup and ice cream, and was my favourite.
Then we moved onto the starters. We took Lobster Nachos, tortilla chips topped with lobster meat, cheese, fresh pico de gallo, jalapeno and sour cream which are every bit as tasty as they sound. We also took the Crispy Calamari Salad and Lobster-Artichoke-And-Seafood Dip. The New England Sampler is great for sharing, featuring lobster, crab, and seafood stuffed mushrooms, breaded clam strips, and a skewer of wood-grilled, beef-bacon wrapped sea scallops. All three dishes in this sampler were delicious but it was the clam strips that had us fighting.
Next came the NY Strip and Rock Lobster Tail as we moved onto the main course. This dish is typical surf and turf territory with a lightly seasoned, wood-grilled 12oz NY Strip and an oven-roasted rock lobster tail, served with steamed broccoli. We then tried the Seaside Shrimp Trio which, as the name suggests, is a feat of shrimp variations – a generous sampling of Walt’s Favourite Shrimp (breaded shrimp), savoury garlic shrimp scampi and shrimp linguini Alfredo. This being Red Lobster we had to sample some more of their fine eponymous shellfish and so we took an order of Wood-Grilled Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops. The split Maine Lobster tail was perfect and the skewered jumbo shrimp and sea scallops finished off a fantastic dish, served with a buttery garlic finish.
For dessert we went all out. Cheesecake with Strawberry was exactly as advertised, rich and creamy and topped with fresh strawberries. We also couldn’t resist Chocolate Wave, a warm, rich chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. But when there is an item on the menu called Chocolate Lava Cookie what are you going to do? You’re going to order it and devour it, that’s what! This is a warm thick cookie, almost like a mini pie, topped with vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with chocolate sauce. The key here is that word ‘lava’ though; when you break into this thick cookie, a molten chocolate centre will ooze out and, when mixed with the ice cream, will send you to warm cookie heaven.
If you’re looking for a fantastic seafood place or simply a great all-round restaurant Red Lobster should be on your list of destinations to check out amongst all the new openings at Grand Avenue. From tasty starters, to sumptuous mains, and heavenly desserts, Red Lobster certainly has something for everybody’s taste.
Red Lobster is located at Grand Avenue, The Avenues, to the right side on the first floor. For more information visit www.facebook.com/pages/Red-lobster-kuwait or call