A little while back, I received an invitation from The Keg Steakhouse + Bar’s PR company asking if I would be interested in attending their lobster summer menu tasting event. I have to admit that I am not usually a regular at The Keg, considering I don’t really eat a lot of steak or meat and potatoes (worst Albertan ever?). My preference is always the seafood or fish dish, so when I read lobster – I was immediately on board! When I arrived at our table and saw the tasting menu, I was overwhelmed by how many options they were bringing us to sample and it was all lobster related too, but I guess when you’ve been offering a lobster summer menu for over 15 years as The Keg has, you know what you’re doing.
The Keg also has several feature cocktails for the summer and I was interested in a lot of them, but as our tasting menu came with wine pairings, and I was driving myself home, I decided to try the Strawberry Basil Lemonade sans gin. I thought this was a nice refreshing drink for the hot summer day and would love to drink it while sitting on a patio. I really liked the tartness of the lemonade and the basil in it – I am confident that adding gin could only make it better!
The first starter that The Keg brought out was their new Szechwan lobster, which had fried lobster mixed with shrimp in a sweet and spicy sauce. Because The Keg knew about my shrimp allergy, they offered me an alternative starter, which was the bacon wrapped scallops. I will say that based on my experience, The Keg really takes allergies seriously. The South Edmonton Common General Manager, Owen, indicated that if you have an allergy and tell your server about it, the manager comes over to discuss how they can accommodate your allergy and then takes that order back to the kitchen to make sure there is no cross contamination etc. My bacon wrapped scallops were quite good and pretty much taste like you would expect so nothing out of the ordinary here. My shrimp allergy only kicks in (knock on wood) when I actually eat it, so shrimp can be touching other items in the dish and I will be fine, so I did try a few pieces of the Szechwan lobster. I thought it was nicely fried but I didn’t get the heat that I was expecting from something with Szechwan in the name – I would like a little more kick to it, but if you have very low spice tolerance, this might be right for you.
The Keg is looking to offer more casual plates to their lobster summer menu because not everyone wants to have a large meal, especially in the summer. I don’t know about you, but if it’s hot outside, I am not going to want to eat too much even if it’s lobster. The two casual plates that we tried were the new lobster roll and the crispy lobster tacos. As the lobster roll is a mix of shrimp and lobster, I couldn’t taste it the way it was meant to be, but I did pick up a few pieces of lobster to try. I liked the lobster and the sauce it was mixed in, especially with the addition of celery, which gave it an extra element of texture. I also really liked the fries – they were my favorite kind with a good crunchy outside and a fluffy inside. I couldn’t stop eating them even though I knew more food was on the way!
The crispy lobster tacos were pretty good as well and even though the lobster was deep fried, you could still taste the sweetness of the lobster. I liked the slaw and the corn a lot in this taco too – the corn was another layer of sweetness that just tied everything together for me. The menu lists that there is cilantro in the taco and despite my hate for cilantro, I couldn’t really taste it, so that’s a win there too.
At this point in the meal, I was feeling pretty full, but the entrees were rolling on over to our table. When our server put my 6oz sirloin and half lobster in front of me, I think my eyes popped out for a second. That half lobster is not a tiny thing and that was all I saw at first, and then I realized there was a steak on the plate too! I barely touched this dish while we were at The Keg and I had most of it packed up to go. I had a bite of my steak and it was cooked the way I wanted it (medium) and the lobster was delicious in it’s simplicity. For my side, I chose the asparagus, but there are many other side options available, when I mentioned that I got vegetables, a friend told me I absolutely made the wrong choice and should have really gotten the garlic mashed potatoes instead, especially if I was taking it home and reheating it.
If I thought the half lobster with steak was overwhelming, you should have heard the gasps when the 1lb lobster tail arrived at the table. In all my time eating lobster, I feel like this is the first time I have ever had a 1lb lobster tail placed in front of me. I was speechless… Again this was simply prepared but sometimes you don’t need to get fancy when you have a good ingredient to work with. I had a small bite of this and the lobster tail dipped in butter was just so fantastic! I like how The Keg has suggested that you add a lobster tail to your entree and share it between two people. I feel like just eating half of this lobster tail would be enough for me but if there were 3-4 of us, I could see sharing this as an option.
After all this delicious lobster, you would think that we would have no room for dessert, but as we all know, dessert goes to another stomach entirely. One of our table mates ordered the Billy Miner Pie, which is essentially a slice of ice cream with tasty toppings on it. I had a small taste and can definitely see why she loves it so much – this is a fantastic summer dessert because nothing really goes better together than ice cream and summer days.
As for myself, I shared a mini mango brulee with Andrea – I just can’t pass on creme brulee and it was a mini version so how big could it possibly be. The mini mango brulee was pretty good and even had little chunks of mango in the creme, which was a nice touch. This was the perfect size and let us finish this meal on a sweet note!
So What Would Argenplath Pay?
Full disclosure here – I didn’t pay for my meal as we were invited by The Keg for the menu tasting, but I did receive a copy of the menu with the prices. I don’t think that the prices of these items are outrageous by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, I was surprised that it wasn’t more considering they are bringing in live Canadian Atlantic lobsters for the lobster summer menu.
Here are the prices for everything we tried:
- Strawberry Basil Lemonade – $6.50
- Scallops & Bacon – $11
- Szechwan Lobster – $12
- Lobster Roll – $19
- Crispy Lobster Taco – $16
- Steak and Half Lobster – $45 (6oz steak), $47 (8oz steak)
- Lobster Tail (1lb) – $40
- Billy Miner Pie – $6
- Mini Mango Brulee – $3
I think the value of what you’re getting at these prices is quite reasonable and if I come back with friends, I don’t think a lobster summer meal would be too far off from what I am paying in general, so The Keg is definitely somewhere I would consider dining at this summer, especially while the lobster summer menu is still on. Which brings me to my final point, the lobster summer menu is only available for a limited time, so if you’re into surf and turf or maybe only surf (or turf if that is how you roll), make sure you get down to The Keg before August 30!