Jurisdiction: Crabs / American
Outcome: Majority Verdict
Ratio decidendi: Crab-lovers will have a great time getting their stuck into the ‘hands on’ dining experience at the House of Crabs. Personally, I would skip the neck clams and mussels which seem poor value and go for the fried chicken and lobster fries if you’re looking to mix things up (or aren’t a massive seafood fan and still want to get involved). A fun and enjoyable experience that is surprisingly reasonably priced if you order wisely.
Salient features: Crabs ($35-$45 per 500g), Fried Chicken ($18), Lobster Fries ($12).
Scope of discovery: Above and QLD prawns, little neck clams, SA mussels.
Case Note: We started with lobster fries and fried chicken which were for me, the highlights of the meal as I’m more of a ‘land’-food (as opposed to seafood) kinda guy. Really well seasoned and crunchy fried chicken accompanied with mayo dipping sauces and french fries covered with lobster gravy, cheese, bacon and corn – both are welcome additions to Sydney’s dude-food universe.
The Louisiana boil of crabs, prawns, mussels and neck clams arrived in individual bags which were unceremoniously emptied into the center of the table forming a steaming pile of goodness. What followed was 15 minutes of silence as everyone got stuck into the various forms of shellfish which were incredibly juicy and tasty after wallowing in their respective sauces in the bags.
Obiter dicta: I now can sort of see what a colleague meant when he said this place was a great ‘first date’ venue. Initially skeptical because of the mess that’s involved, I’ve somewhat come around because of the fun atmosphere and how you’re encouraged to pour everything out on the table and get your hands dirty. There’s the added bonus of being able to “read into your date’s character from the way they eat crab” apparently! 😉