Lobster Peninsula, John Bright Street

Lobster Peninsula entered the city’s restaurant scene at the end of last year with a swanky launch party and much social media noise. Cue a million snaps of extravagant looking lobster dishes from eager diners.

We should say from the get-go that we’ve always found lobster a bit overrated, but in the name of art (sort of) we headed for the restaurant’s plush red-carpeted entrance to give it a whirl. The interior was a brilliant surprise. What I thought would be over-the-top and flashy thanks to the red carpet was actually super stylish, pared back and charming with lots of natural materials and great lighting. Menu-wise the lobster theme is pushed to the max, however there’s a lot to satisfy a non-lover too like a half pint of mussels with nuggets of chorizo running through a fantastic sauce that was so good we wanted to slurp it from the bowl. Burgers, ribs and grilled chicken feature too, but I’m not sure there’s much to satisfy a vegetarian aside from a grilled portabello mushrooms and a superfood salad.

STAR OF THE SHOW

The unquestionable star of the show was lobster chowder. Rich, velvety and packed with flavour this starter could have been lunch in its own right with a hunk of warm bread and a chilled glass of Gavi. While on the subject of wine, there’s a cracking selection and although we didn’t sample the cocktails, a quick chat with the knowledgeable bartender convinced us to pop back another time to work our way through the list.

We’re the sort of diners turned off by massive plates of food and it has to be said, the surf and turf was mammoth. There’s no doubt everything on the plate was brilliantly cooked but there was just so much of it. The steak was perfect as were the juicy prawns, garlic butter and crunchy fries. It didn’t need the half a lobster at all.

Crayfish and lobster scampi arrived at the table to gasps it was so vast. The tempura battered fish which is presumably technically difficult to get right, was really delicious with light crisp batter encasing beautifully soft, juicy shellfish. Served with perfect fries and a zingy tartare sauce it was great, just too big. We ate plenty, but hardly made a dent.

Despite our gripes about portion size, there’s a really nice energy about Lobster Peninsula. The key ingredients of attentive service, good vibes and great food are in action and once word’s out we reckon getting a table might be a struggle.

Lobster Peninsula, Lobster Peninsula House, 74 John Bright St, Birmingham B1 1BN. Tel: 0121 643 8886 peninsulalobster.com