Oh crab, oh how you lay, with your legs crossed coyly, smothered in cajun sauce. I want to romance you, seduce you, connect with you…
I’MMA EAT YOU.
House of Crabs is the new hot place in town, with its unabashed obsession with seafood – particularly shellfish and crustaceans. The moment you step in, you’re thrust into gluttony and kitsch, and a LOT of fun. A HUGE crab greets you as you come up the stairs, and the little red booths and marine themed decor encourage you to let loose and have a chuckle.
The boil is what you ome here for, and the idea is simple: pick a type of seafood, and pick a sauce. There are snacks to help make it a meal and add to the experience, and while it might be tempting to think that these are but mere side-kicks, genuine thought has been put in to make them delicious and interesting.
The Redfern Prawn Roll came highly recommended, and didn’t disappoint. A soft, glazed, sweet bun was filled with succulent prawn and juicy mango – a celebration of summer. A creamy mayo bound it all together, and the lettuce kept it light and refreshing. The bun conveniently soaked up all the juice, and did a great job of holding together what could otherwise be a very messy meal.
The BBQ Octopus taco didn’t do as great a job of holding together, but was delicious and juicy nonetheless. Tender slices of octopus held the barest hint of a bite, and the fine slices of jalapeño and tangy dressing gave it a lot of sass. This was a messy one, but I’m not sure that you’d order a taco to be demure.
In the spirit of gluttony and excess, we also ordered the Lobster Fries. Shoe string fries were topped with lobster gravy, salty bacon bits and melted cheese. While the lobster gravy didn’t taste as strongly of crustacean as I would’ve liked, it was a very tasty dish, and addictive even when cold. I did much prefer it with the addition of the tangy hot sauce that was at the table, but I do like my chilli.
The Buffalo Cucumbers ($5) were – I think – meant to be buffalo wings, but with cucumbers. Lightly pickled slices of cucumbers were covered in a blue cheese sauce, and mixed with peanuts. This particular snack wasn’t quite as impressive as the others, but were refreshing and a good accompaniment. As far as pickled veggies go, I much preferred the jerk cucumber I had at Queenies, but that might be more because I like my food with a bit of a kick.
And for the main event, we chose Snow Crab with Cajun Sauce ($34 for 500g). In case you were wondering what 500g meant, we got pretty much a whole crab for it. You were encouraged to dump the crab out into the centre of the paper lined table, and just dig in. Gloves were provided if you wanted to be polite, but I gave up within the first 2 seconds because I love licking the sauce off my fingers. The cajun sauce had a slight hint of spice and a whole lot of attitude, and left me wondering whether I should buy home a tub to have with bread. Speaking of which, all the boil orders come with bread, for you to soak up those yummy juices in the bottom of the bag. DELISH.
The only dessert was the Nepolitan Ice Cream Waffle Sandwich with raspberry and almonds, and it was HUGE. This is definitely a dessert to share, and I was pleasantly surprised. I usually wouldn’t touch Nepolitan ice cream with a ten foot pole – because I just end up finishing all the chocolate anyway – but the tart raspberry coulis convinced me otherwise. A satisfying end to the meal.
In all, there were things that I wished that were stand out to me that I wish there were more of – extra sauce for the crab and extra raspberry for the dessert – but I had a really good time at the House of Crabs. The staff were really friendly, and the food was fast and delicious. The bill ended up slightly on the steep side – $107 between the two of us, including 1 beer – but we also ordered heaps of food. We walked away satisfied, but not stuffed, and were just left with memories of a really good night.
Great for a Friday night out with your friends, and a fantastic place to have a good food, some drinks, and more than a few laughs.
We ate at:
House of Crabs
(02) 9699 3177
305 Cleveland Street
Redfern, NSW 2016
Upstairs at The Norfolk Hotel