Big Easy: Chelsea

When tasked with organising a date I’m always struck with panic. It’s too quiet to get to know someone at the cinema, if I choose something too arty they might think I’m pretentious and anything outdoors is a no go with the weather at the moment. 

Then finally it came to me. What better way to break the ice than putting on a Big Easy bib and getting messy eating lobster. The easy-going live music, friendly atmosphere and delicious food made it the perfect choice – oh and not forgetting the promise of merriment after a few frozen mojitos!

Inspired by the 19th century crab shacks of the American Gulf Coast, the original Big Easy opened on the Kings Road 22 years ago. Since then two more have popped up in Covent Garden & Canary Wharf as it’s developed quite the cult following. I mean they serve seafood and cocktails – what’s not to love?!

We decided to share a starter and ordered the Deep Fried Jumbo Shrimp. The crisp golden batter was delicious but they were placed on top of prawn crackers to create the illusion of a fuller bucket of fried shrimp leaving me licking my lips and wanting more. At a tenner for each starter, and not quite as large as you would like, I would definitely recommend going straight to mains. 

I knew what I wanted to eat without even looking at the menu – Big Easy are famous for their delicious lobster and I couldn’t wait to tuck in to one! The restaurant have been working with the same fishermen for the last 20 years. They trawl the icy waters off Nova Scotia, following the seasons to ensure that they always have the finest lobster around. They’re flown in three times a week and my lobster tasted so fresh it could have come off the boat that morning!

Unlike the starter it was a magnificently hearty portion. You order your lobster by weight (all of which are displayed on the blackboard) and choose from 1.5 Lb to 10 Lb. By the time we arrived they had served all of their 1.5 Lb lobsters so we treated ourselves to an extra juicy 2 Lb each. There is little more satisfying than cracking the Canadian hard shell of a lobster (although my tight grip on the lobster cracker as I fractured the shell probably stirred terror in my date’s eyes).

As soon as I had finished exclaiming how full I was the dessert menu arrived – and of course I couldn’t resist. One Oreo Cookie Milkshake coming up please! It was a sweet end to a delightfully sweet evening and I can’t wait to return…. maybe next time for the challenge of the 10 Lb lobster! 

On the Kings Road it’s become a much loved local of choice for Londoners and its now a favourite of mine too. A lot of the restaurants I visit serve gourmet food with menus full of the latest fine dining trends but I rarely have as much fun as I did cracking into a lobster with a frozen mojito in my hand listening to good ol’ jazz. Fancy yourself some lobster and margaritas? Head over to Big Easy on 332-334 King’s Rd, London, SW3 5U

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