Red Lobster Malaysia @ The Intermark

October 1, 2014

With a history that reaches way back to 1968, a cross-border network spanning 700-strong branches, & a tantalising tagline that calls on customers to 'sea food differently,' the American crustacean specialist Red Lobster landed in Malaysia this week, brought to Kuala Lumpur's Intermark complex by local F&B brand Secret Recipe.

True to its name, this place is all about claw-to-tail eating, with highlights like live Maine lobsters or Malaysian rock ones, steamed or roasted with a crab-meat stuffing. But we're on a budget, so we opted for samplers constructed for sharing, including this Bar Harbor Lobster Bake, with a split lobster tail, shrimp & scallops on a bed of linguine in a savoury broth.

Surprisingly, this surfaced scarcely five minutes after we ordered it - a testament to Red Lobster's expertise as a fast-service, casual-eating outlet. All of the seafood proved as tender as touted, though in terms of flavour, it bordered on blandness. There's a mass-market, batch-cooked taste to this, making it fall short of the ocean's briny richness. RM109.90 before taxes.

Lobster pizzas are available, embellished with morsels of Maine lobster meat, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes & basil (RM36.90++). A step up from the crab-stick pizzas that delivery chains often offer, though a different dough & prep method might have worked better for the pizza base, which suffered a not-exactly-right texture, somewhere in between bread & biscuit.

There's lobster flesh in this bowl too, but it's muddled in a morass of cheesy stuffed mushrooms that seem more 'guilty' than 'pleasure.' Part of a RM45.90 'Seaside Sampler' platter that also comprises 'Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp' (Bubba who?) & fried calamari with peppers (the batter's a little too soft for that one, pictured further below).

On a positive note, Red Lobster Malaysia currently has a strong service team, comprising Asians working alongside Americans from Red Lobster's headquarters; they're enthusiastic (some with a sparkling sense of humour), patient (with a smile always near their lips) & obliging (even when tackling tricky requests from customers to switch tables at peak periods).

The menu is wide, so even if you're not into lobsters, other seafood can be ordered, from parmesan-crusted sea bass (RM36.90) to oven-broiled flounder (RM28.90) & mussels marinara (RM26.90).

Red Lobster's (complimentary) Cheddar Bay Biscuits are fluffy & savoury, but taste more of baking mix than butter or cheese.

The kitchen assures customers that the food is prepared without pork & without alcohol; mercifully though, the outlet maintains a bar that serves wine, plus basic cocktails like Mojitos & Margaritas (RM22.90). Ask specifically for the separate liquor menu.

Red Lobster KL
G-17, The Intermark, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2181-4855

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