Clawfully good: Lobsters rule at Pince & Pints KL
Lobster done five ways : grilled, steamed, in a roll, with noodles or in fresh tomato and chilli sauce. There, I just listed the entire food menu of Pince & Pints KL, the latest lobster joint to hit Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
For a newbie restaurant, this “limited-choice, take it or leave it” attitude is pretty gutsy.
“We are only kidding ourselves when we look through pages of menu at restaurants that we frequent, as we end up ordering the same thing like we always do,” says Pince & Pints co-owner Datuk Hafez Mohamed.
“Many of us are creatures of habit, and that plays well for Pince & Pints. Our patrons’ minds are already made up before they enter the restaurant.”
You would think that lack of options would discourage anyone from entering the premises, since we live in a food heaven and are spoilt rotten for choice.
But no. People apparently have no qualms about being told that they only have five items to choose from and no one has complained … so far.
Although, in this case, those dining at Pince & Pints KL can consider themselves lucky as the original outlet in Singapore only has four items on the menu.
The Lobster Noodles is exclusive to Pince & Pints KL.
“The Chilli Lobster with Mantou is very much a Singaporean chilli crab-style dish, so we insisted on an exclusive dish for the Malaysian outlet. We argued that the lobster noodles would do really well here, and that’s how we managed to get that fifth dish,” he adds.
On top of getting their own signature dish, the Malaysian partners were also adamant about getting a creative licence to style the interior to their own liking.
“Pince & Pints Singapore is very casual and looks like a diner with its red seats and what not. We didn’t want to copy the look. We want each of the Pince & Pints outlets in Malaysia to have its own decor and characteristics. Here it looks like a trendy and proper upmarket restaurant,” says Hafez.
The restaurant opened its first Malaysian franchise in October and sees a steady stream of customers every day. They are closed for lunch during weekdays because no one wants to rush through a lobster dish during their lunch break.
However, business gets really busy during dinner service and Hafez advises patrons to make reservations to avoid disappointment. There are three seatings at 5.30-7.30pm, 7.30-9.30pm and 9.30-11.30pm.
“We will hold tables for 15-20 minutes per reservation. If it’s a no-show within that time period, then the table will be opened to our walk-in customers. Latecomers will have to wait for available space in the next seating,” says Hafez.
One of the top dishes at Pince & Pints is the exclusive Lobster Noodles, which is recommended for two to three patrons.
Inspired by the lobster noodles at London’s Mandarin Kitchen, this dish is similar to Sang Har Mein (freshwater prawn noodles). The aromatic smell is welcoming, and the bright red carapace shields all the good stuff underneath. The springy noodles and thick gravy, seasoned with copious amounts of ginger and spring onion, tastes even better when mixed with the homemade chilli oil.
And the lobster? So sweet and succulent that you cannot believe it ever was on a 20-hour journey from Massachusetts in the United States.