Thanks to Leslie Kelly at the Commercial Appeal, we tried a great new Asian restaurant tonight, Lobster King. I have not been for Chinese food in a very long time because I am tired of the limited, Americanized choices. One dinner at Lobster King has me excited about the possibilities of Asian food again.
Sorta Sister Squirrel and I went while Mama Squirrel and Squirrelly, Jr., are making their way back from Hawaii — not an easy process thanks to Hertz, a slow shuttle, and a missed flight. I feel quite guilty having such a good meal while they are having such a miserable day. Still, they got a whole two weeks longer in paradise than I did, so I feel a bit better.
Lobster King has two different menus — one American and one Asian. The American is pretty and loaded with pictures. The Asian version is dense with choices. Go for the Asian menu. Even if you go for a more Americanized choice, it’s great to see the Asian flavors and ingredients and the wide variety of seafood available.
SSS and I weren’t sure what to try so we went with the appetizer sampler and the dim sum sampler. We also had spring rolls, won ton egg drop soup, and roast pork noodle soup. The appetizer sampler had fried shrimp, fried clams, shrimp rolls, pork, and another interesting roll that I would have asked about if I hadn’t been so busy stuffing my face. The small dim sum sampler came with two each of five different dim sum. Again, I should have asked for more details, but it’s rude to talk with your mouth full. I will ask more when we return on a Saturday or Sunday for the dim sum cart. That’s right, a cart is rolled around so that you can have your choice.
The spring rolls are beautiful. Translucent rice paper wrapped around shrimp on rice noodles on mint leaves. Green onions in the center add flavor and color because their stems are allowed to extend well beyond the roll. The spring rolls are very light. I didn’t think they stood up well when eaten with the spicier elements of the menu. I think they would be perfect as a first course or taken between courses of spicier items. The soup was the only thing that was less than thrilling. The only thing missing was a bit more salt. Both soups were very flavorful when we dosed them with a bit more salt.
The item that is missing from all the food is MSG. The chef uses no MSG in any of his dishes, and they don’t need it. The chef’s deft touch with fresh ingredients and seasonings are all it takes to make great food.
The samplers were the perfect choice for a first trip. Not only did we get to try a wide variety of items, we had lots of time to consider the two menus. We saw a lot of items that we want to try when we go back. And that will be very soon.
Lobster King Seafood Restaurant — Closed
32 N Cleveland Street
Memphis, TN 38104-2302