5/29-31 Orwell Street
Potts Points NSW 2011
+61 2 9380 2558
When the co-owner of one of my favourite wine bars (Love Tilley Devine) in Sydney decided to open a lobster roll bar in Potts Points, I just knew I had to visit the first chance I got. That moment happened just a few weeks after the lobster roll bar, Waterman’s Lobster Co, opened. I arrived in Sydney just after dinnertime which was fine because according to Waterman’s website, they opened until late. By the time I met up with my friend Dom in front of the Potts Points establishment, it was just after 9pm.
And Waterman’s just had closed.
One of the guys at the bar told us that they decided to shut down early because they hadn’t ‘seen a single person walk in for at least an hour’ (this was followed by his co-worker giving him side greasy). They had just closed the kitchen and weren’t taking any more orders. Disappointed, we went into the winter night and into some random pizza place in the ‘Cross.
I did, however, get my second chance only a few weeks ago. Long story short, but I had to made a trip to the French Consulate in Sydney one Thursday morning. Not wanting to risk a delayed morning flight out of Gold Coast, I decided to fly into Sydney the previous day, stay there overnight and wake up refreshed the following morning to (nicely) take on the French.
It was around 6:30pm on Wednesday night when we decided to give Waterman’s another go – and the place was buzzing. Thankfully, they managed to squeeze the two of us in at a communal table in the back room.
Because it was such a cold night, we figured a bowl of crouton-topped chowder would be a perfect starter to share. It arrived immediately so I’m guessing everyone else had the same idea and the kitchen had heaps ready to ladle out. The chowder was rich, creamy and deep in flavour; I haven’t had many chowders in my life but I’m fairly certain that this was the real deal – at least compared to the pretty-sure-this-ain’t-legit one I had at a Marlborough winery a few years ago.
(WP 2 ALL)
Waterman’s offers two different types of lobster rolls: the Maine style one and the Connecticut style one. Dom suggested we order both and split them, which was a brilliant idea. I then decided to order a glass of Gosset Brut Excellence ($20) to have with my lobster, another brilliant idea if I do say so myself. It was a beautifully balanced champagne; rich and creamy yet fragrant and fruity, the bubbles complemented the buttery lobster rolls to a tee.
The Maine style lobster roll came with mayo and celery; after one bite, I was hooked. The closest thing I’ve had to this was Andrew McConnell’s now-famous lobster roll from Golden Fields which, at the time, sent foodgasmic shockwaves around Melbourne’s foodie set. I, however, found it underwhelming mainly due to its price point – $15 for a small roll? Yeah, no.
This roll, however, was big. As big as a hot dog. And sure, the lobster may have been imported from the ‘States (according to the owners, they tasted better) and sure, there may have been a bit of a wait for them but hey. The combination of succulently sweet lobster, buttery bread and mayo, accentuated by the crunch of the celery pieces, was nothing short of amazing.
The Connecticut Style roll was just as good. It was a simpler roll, with just a dash of warm butter to coat the lobster. I think I liked the Maine style lobster more because of the beautiful balance of flavours and textures, though the simple nature of the Connecticut roll meant that I really got to taste the natural flavour of the lobster meat.
We both added some lightly seasoned fries ($2) and a pickle ($1) to our plates to make it a complete meal. While Dom was a bit underwhelmed by the pickle (it lacked flavour, he argued), I thought otherwise – it was especially great with the Connecticut Style roll as it added a bit of extra flavour.
Of course, Waterman’s rolls aren’t just limited to lobster ones. They also sell prawn, scallop and smoked eel rolls, all of which I’m keen to try the next time I’m down in Sydney… which probably won’t be until the end of the year. Sob.