12.068 Fried Season Maine Lobster with Spices


14 (Sun) March 2021

Fried Season Maine Lobster with Spices


at New York Lobster

-Cheongdam, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-


New York Lobster aka New York Bada Gajae is a restaurant chain.  Currently 19 locations across the country.  (Not to be confused with LK New York Lobster, also a national chain).  Specializes in dishes made with live whole lobsters – broiled, braised, boiled – all served as full course meals.

The original location in Cheongdam-Dong.
My parents are convinced that the tanks in front of the store are a scam, that the live lobsters are kept for show, while frozen ones are cooked for the customers.
The place was empty except for one small group.
And yet they shoved me into the tiniest room, not that I minded.

The restaurant has been around, like, forever.  I couldn’t find information on the internet as to when it first opened, but I cannot remember a time when it wasn’t there, in that same building, which I’ve passed by thousands of times.  I seem to recall a passing fad for “western-style lobster” sometime during the mid-90s, so New York Lobster probably started around then.

Both of the broiled options came with the same sides, so I opted for the Fried Season Maine Lobster with Spices, which the menu touted as the restaurant’s signature dish.

As much as I love lobster, I have no explanation as to why I had never tried New York Lobster until this evening.  Always wanted to, but the opportunity never came up in all those years.

Tonight, W copped out on driving IZ to a playdate in the area, so I stepped in; while waiting for the playdate to end, I treated myself to a lobster dinner at New York Lobster with W’s credit card.

Garlic Bread (2.0) + Soup (1.5): a wannabe bisque, but light on the lobster flavor, a bit bitter, not enough cream.
Salad (1.0)
Mul Kimchi (2.5) + Pickled Sea Snail (2.0)

The lobster was not very good.  Supposedly 750 grams (about 1.65 lbs) (the larger size on the menu), but it looked closer to 650 grams (about 1.45 lbs) (the smaller size on the menu).  The tail, cut into quarters, offered as much flesh as 4 medium shrimp.  The pieces were coated in what appeared to be melted processed mozzarella cheese (i.e., the kind used by cheap delivery pizza chains).  No hint of “spices,” no flavor beyond a sickly saccharine sweetness.  The meal overall was laughably amateur, even by 1995 standards.  A total ripoff at 72,000 won.

In fact, I wasn’t paying attention when I approved the credit charge, only later to discover that I had paid 80,000 won, meaning either that I was overcharged or a bottle of beer cost 8,000 won, which would in itself be an overcharge.

Anyway, I am so relieved finally to get this place off my list.

Recently, my parents had also tried the restaurant, with similarly terrible results.

When I asked, half-jokingly, why they hadn’t invited me, my mother said, “I didn’t realize that you would’ve wanted to go” (see also 11.323 Chilli Lobster).

Flying Fish Roe Rice (2.0) + Seaweed Soup (1.5)
Plum Tea (2.0) + Glazed Walnuts (3.0)

In light of my experience, I am shocked that the place is still in business, that it has so many additional locations, and that the Naver rating is 4.73/5.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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