Santa might be sleighing into town soon, but in Melbourne right now Mr Claws (rather than Claus) is the name on the lips of anyone who appreciates a well-made snack in a bun.
Following on from the runaway success of Huxtaburger, Daniel Wilson, Dante Ruaine and Jeff Wong have turned their attention to that most high-falutin' of American fast foods - the lobster roll. Wilson and partners have spent months developing a different offering to what's already on the local market. "Obviously, there's Andrew McConnell doing the New England lobster roll," says Wilson, "but this is more of a New York-style lobster."
Hitting an accessible price point is tough with lobster in Australia, but Wilson and co believe they've cracked it by using lobster meat sourced from a sustainable North American fishery.
Their core offer is a generous helping of lobster heaped into a soft roll and topped with your choice of sauce - miso and wasabi, Sriracha-spiced mayonnaise or buttermilk ranch. The roll on its own is $12, or $15 with sides of straw potato chips and pickles.
The whole idea, Wilson says, is to bring a luxury product into the everyday: Mr Claws is simply for anyone who's hungry and appreciates good food.
The current Mr Claws appears to be a trial run; it's run as a pop-up occupying a small space next door to the Collingwood location of the trio's burger joint in Smith Street, but word on the ground suggests a more permanent CBD base opening in 2015, with more branches to come. For now, Mr Claws is staying put at least for the length of the summer.
Mr Claws, 104 Smith St, Collingwood, Vic.
Looking for more Melbourne dining options? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Melbourne.