October 31 2010
Occasionally when I’m out and about in London, I find myself at Sotheby’s – not to attend the sales, which are not really my thing, but for a delicacy served in its café: the lobster club sandwich.
I was first alerted to this succulent variation on the classic club sandwich by a friend who happened to be working for a rival auction house at the time. We had agreed to meet in Mayfair for lunch, and on arrival, she – clad in bug-eyed sunglasses and with a cream pashmina wrapped unnaturally high around her neck – told me in a hushed voice, “I’m taking you to the Sotheby’s Café for lunch.” She had discovered the café, and the sandwich, about a year earlier and felt that, despite her allegiances lying elsewhere, it was a dish worth entering “enemy territory” for. That was years ago, and I am still hooked.
The mix – sliced lobster cooked in Tabasco and lemon, combined with crisp lettuce, grilled tomatoes and roughly chopped bacon rashers, all between warm slices of brioche – was added to the café’s menu by head chef, Laura Greenfield, and I consider it the ultimate post-shopping snack, especially when it is served in such a relaxed space peppered with interesting artworks inside the auction house’s Mayfair rooms. But if you can’t make it to the café, Greenfield has published her recipes in the Sotheby’s Café Cookbook – a celebration of food and art which conveniently contains among its 40 delicious recipes the revered club sandwich.
The Lobster Club Sandwich, £18.50.