Pince & Pints Restaurant & Bar
32-33 Duxton Road
After all the hype and then the sorry tales of long wait-times, is this lobster joint all it’s cracked up to be? With about 60 people on the list by 6.30pm this Thursday evening, manager Wayne Ng agrees that a nightly tide of impatient diners is probably the best problem any new restaurant could have.
Being an old-fashioned kind of guy, that’s what my other half chooses from the comprehensive list of cocktails ($12 to $18), and it’s a good one; mine is a glass of dry Austrian sparkling rosé ($12) from an interesting selection of wines.
Deep-red banquettes, a long bar, plain white walls and strings of naked light bulbs make for an unpretentious ambience. Occupying the width of two shophouses, Pince & Pints accommodates a fair number of crustacean-fanciers at a time. No doubt the short menu helps to move them along swimmingly, too.
When I say short, I mean very short: lobster, lobster or lobster – alive, alive-oh. No starters, no desserts. As fresh as seafood can be, it comes either char–grilled (or steamed) and served with a mesclun salad, shoestring fries and herbed butter sauce; or marinated in mayonnaise and salt and served as meaty chunks in a lobster roll, with similar sides; or as a local-style chill lobster, in a ceramic dish with a sweetish red gravy that you soak up with deep-fried mantou – you know, those soft, white buns that always come with chilli crab. The sauce makes this probably the most substantial of the three choices.
Whichever you choose, it’s worth the $48 you’ll be shelling out. But you can’t book ahead, and in these early days you’ll wait anything up to two hours for a table.
Must-try dish: char-grilled lobster