Thursday, November 09, 2006

Crab Shack, Thomson Road

This place is seriously crabbed. Almost everything edible on the menu is crab or contains crab meat. Crab Shack is located along Thomson Road and the unit that houses this eatery looks to be previously a coffee shop that has been through very brief renovation, leaving hints of what it used to be before it became the "crabery" it is today. I came to know of this place from a good friend of mine (whom I had dinner with) who are pals with the owners of this place, so decided to check this joint out for evening chow.

I don't normally enjoy getting my hands dirty or dealing much with bones or shells with my food, so the orders were pretty much crab meat items. Besides those, the only other thing that Crab Shack sells are flower crabs which you can order piece meals like chicken from KFC. The tables of this place all come with a bucket of eating utensils which include a nutcracker and a slim crab pick.

These above the crab croquette. Coming from a place that specialises in serving crabs, I kinda expected a lot more out of the croquettes. In fact, I was thinking somewhere along the lines of the delicious crab cakes that I had at Riciotti, but it apparently wasn't close. These croquettes have breaded texture and creamy insides which contains, well, a faint hint of crab flavour. That is pretty much it for this. No morsels of meat detected. I'm actually quite disappointed.

The soft shell crab with chicken floss were quite decent. The crabs that they used for were actually rather small. It's usually larger sized crabs which are chopped into smaller pieces, but these are small enough that you can finish each crab in about 2 large bites. The chicken floss which were slightly crispy were a nice touch.

What's in the basket above are some members of poor stone crabs which will never pinch anything again. The stone crab claws were a fairly unmessy eat if you're armed with a cracker and a suitable pick. The shells were not as tough as the larger mangrove crabs and do not contain much sharp ridges like flower crabs. So they're fairly easy to crack open to get to the sweet meat inside which I thought was pretty good. I've had good and bad crabs and these frankly are not bad. But I feel that they're a little small, which meant that there isn't that much of meat to be had. Beats eating flower crabs though.

The crab au gratin is a small bowl of crab meat in a creamy mix containing shredded crab meat and chopped water chestnuts which are topped with cheese and baked. This small dish came scaldingly hot and was actually quite tasty. Again, I thought it might have been better with larger portions.

This is the crab spaghetti and was one of the mains of Crab Shack along with crab baked rice and the piece meal crabs. Everything else before were actually appetizers. Seriously. The portions of this spaghetti wasn't very big and neither was the taste. What they used was a very boring tomato based sauce, probably jarred variety and a very familiar shredded crab meat sauce on top of the pasta. The menu mentioned sun dried tomatoes and I'm positive these in the spaghetti aren't those. It was totally unremarkable. Pasta Mania does pasta better, so I don't really think much of this. For less than $8 I can think of better places for pasta, albeit without shredded crab meat sauce.

All in all, I would say that Crab Shack serves averagely food at affordable prices. It's decent at a point where you can probably come by and get some bites (beware the small portions), however nothing really stands out. And since what was ordered tonight was more than half of the menu, there isn't really much else to keep me coming back. Unless one enjoys the arduous process of picking out tiny scraps of meat off flower crabs where I personally find that the effort negates whatever joy gotten from eating them.

Here's a little trivia from the waiting number from the table.


Anonymous said...

Hiya! I came across your blog last week actually while trying to find out more about this Crab Shack place. Heard it was pretty good from the other food blogs. Anyway, I tried out the place yesterday and was actually really impressed! Was actually quite skeptical after reading your blog, so decided to post a comment as i felt your comments didn't quite justify the experience i had! =) Personally, i felt that the spaghetti was one of the best i've tried, especially for that price. I did taste the shredded sundried tomatoes though. Admittedly, the crab ball thingys didn't quite sit well with me. Too creamy and mushy. But i absolutely loved the softshell crabs! The portions were small, but very reasonably for the price. That's about all i tried for now...but will definitely be back. Just my two cents worth. =)

LiquidShaDow said...


I suppose everyone has different expectations of how they like their spaghetti. It just happens that they way it is done here doesn't quite agree with me.

Another reason of a different experience could be because of inconsistency in ingredients and service which I know happens at more than a few eating places. I'm quite sure there wasn't sundried tomatoes in mine.

I still maintain my views on the spaghetti though, until I've eaten again (which is not likely) and am convinced otherwise. ;)