The Fake Holiday We're Celebrating for Real
There are holidays we automatically shrug off, the kind we ignore as we flip to the subsequent pages of the calendar for the next important thing because there's absolutely nothing in it for us. We're still at work, the traffic is the usual bad, and no one is blowing out a cake.
National Lobster Day is not one of those random special days created just for the sake of selling things. Though not a real holiday by any means (Still at work? Yes? Yes.), it is still a momentous occasion. In the average Filipino lifetime, most of us will have birthdays more times than we'll have lobster. Why shouldn't we celebrate?
Times have changed though. Bun Appetit has done for lobster what places like Hai Chix and Meat Plus did for steak, dragging it off the ivory tower and adapting it into something relatable: sandwiches at a corner stall. Bun Appetit has turned a celebratory dish into something every day, not by making it any less luxurious (a roll is nearly P800), but by making it accessible to those who can—and want to—afford a little opulence a little more often.
On September 25, National Lobster Day, Bun Appetit's stores at Salcedo Market and The Grid are setting the spotlight on numerous lobster offerings: its flagship buttery roll now flanked by other old guards like the gooey and chunky lobster grilled cheese sandwich and decadent lobster macaroni and cheese.
The newer creations, however, are also a cause for celebration. The lobster quarter pounder burger is a generous picture: soft burger buns barely holding together a load of glossy knuckles and claws. There's just a bit of lettuce and dressing somewhere in there too, allowing that beautiful assembly of bright red lobster meat to do its job. It was launched on Father's Day but became so popular that owners Lawrence and Iya Cua had no choice but to heed the demand.
There is nothing more glorious than seeing a whole lobster, steamed until its shell colors transform into a smooth deep orange. Bun Appetit's lobsters, which are shipped from Maine, are so fresh that their meat, from claw to tail, slides off without so much as a tug. The tray, which has to be ordered one day in advance, comes with Sriracha aioli and lemon but also other old favorites such as garlic noodles and Cuban-style grilled corn. It's irresistible despite its P4,000+ price tag. At Salcedo Market, the whole lobsters are sold live to ensure the best quality.
For a limited time, Bun Appetit is also coming out with its version of the world's dish du jour, avocado toast, given that signature touch with alfalfa sprouts and several squares of lobster claw. The bread is a special sourdough slice from Panaderya Toyo. If avocado wasn't so difficult to get, we'd probably get to enjoy this dish past the holiday, too.
National Lobster Day isn't recognized as an official day of lobster worship, but we're always looking for a reason to spend a little more on food anyway.
Bun Appetit is at The Grid, Power Plant Mall and Salcedo Market (every Saturday), Makati.