For the second time this year I was at a teppanyaki restaurant enjoying the food and flamboyant showmanship of the chef ‘playing’ the grill plate at our table. We ordered lobster and enjoyed the usual crowd pleasing displays of fire and egg tossing that one would expect at any teppanyaki restaurant. However, what I didn’t expect was to meet my dinner face to face.
“Is it alive?” I asked the chef, much to the amusement of the table. It was a foolish question because the lobster was clearly moving on the tray next to the grill, blissfully unaware, like me, of what was about to happen.
A little oil was added to the grill then everyone looked not at the chef, or the lobster, but at me. I was confused, then shocked as the chef picked up the lobster and placed it on the burning hot grill. I actually jumped as he did so, but nowhere near as much as the lobster did! It then began to thrash around, as much as a lobster ever could, waving its claw arms as if one of us might reach out and help it.
What followed can only be described as lobster torture. The unfortunate crustacean was cut in half, gutted, and set on fire while it was somehow still alive. It was a show that made me consider becoming a vegan, adorning sandals, wearing nothing but hemp clothing, and listening to soft harp music for the rest of my days. That was until the fresh lobster meat was platted and served, followed by the lobster soup. Deliciously rich and flavorful, it was nothing short of a pleasure, a guilty pleasure perhaps, but still a pleasure nonetheless.