Crab Tavern, London


How much do you know about crab? Did you know the collective name for a group of crabs is a cast? When a crab lose its claw, it grows back easily? The two things that I know about crab, it is very delicious and it gets very messy eating it.

Given the name, there's no prizes for guessing what a lot of the dishes will feature. Crab Tavern is an all day seafood restaurant, with an American surf and turf concept tucked in the redeveloped Broadgate Circle in the City of London. It is rare to find crab on the menu in London's restaurant with the crab meat still intacted with the shell. So, it is time to get our hands dirty...

Oysters Of The Day

Hand Chopped Steak Tartare with King Crab

West Coast Clam Chowder

For someone like me and my friend Ronson, we are like a newbie when it comes to removing the shell of the crab. Meanwhile, Mr. T would proclaimed himself to be an expert especially in hairy crabs (a speciality crab from China). It was on Mr. T's hand to do the dirty job of decluctering the shell for us.

Before that, we shared the starters. Not too sure what kind of oysters it was but it was good, lovely natural sweetness. Because we are in a seafood restaurant, we opted to add king crab meat to the beef tartare. It does not make any difference when mixed together beside the price, you can't really taste the crab meat as the beef have overpowered the whole dish. Nevertheless, it is a tasty beef tartare. The clam chowder had a lot of chunky seafood over swimming the plate, so much so it was lacking the soup. It was decent, not mesmorising.

Singapore Crab

Best Legs in Town

Moules Frites

French Fries

Warm Asparagus & Green Beans

If you never had Singapore crab, this imitation may pass your mark. If you had the real deal in South East Asia, this definitely have failed it. The crab should be stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chill based sauce. In no way is the crab coated in the sauce, it was more like the crab sitting on a tomato dressing and no hint of chilli. The crabmeat itself was creamy and rich, along with the crabmeat from the leg of king crab. Which you don't get a lot of legs, given there's not a lot of meat on them. The moules frites, aka mussels and fries was so forgotten, we barely touched the dish. It is something that you can whacked up at home easily and taste more delicious. All you need is mussels, butter, shallots, white wine and parsley. Simple as that, or you can always add some garlic to it.

Too immersed in our conversation, we only had mojito, Bloody Mary and a peroni. That is as far as I can remembered.

We went during the soft opening, I will not blame the staff for their lack of knowledge of the food and drinks. Service is fine, what you'd expect from a typical restaurant. The big question is the price, is it because it is in the city where all the big businessmen would come dine and drink that you can put a ridiculous price tag on some dishes. Not all dishes are overly expensive and I don't think the price justified for the execution that was received. Crab tavern does have a unique selling point and London does lack restaurants that focus on crab. You can have restaurants that focus on lobster, why not crab? It is still early day, too early to see the foresight.

Score: 2.5/5
Price: ~£40/person (50% soft launch, ~£90 for 3 people)

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