Monday, 11 May 2009


John of St John fame was up from London and knowing how much he likes his bivalves,

I thought that Crabshakk would be the perfect place for us to have lunch. In my current state most of the menu is off bounds but I knew that I could live vicariously through John.

Crabshakk has come out of nowhere, it is relatively new but already for Saturday dinner is booked up 3 weeks in advance. The owner John Mcleod along with his wife Lynne Jones have utilised every last scrap of space in the joint, something which probably has something to do with John being an architect and one who is responsible for the interiors of Cafezique, Bar Gandolfi and Gandolfi Fish. He obviously learnt a thing or two about the restaurant trade whilst he was involved in these projects, judging by Crabshakk's success.

Lunchtime on a Friday afternoon and the recession is nowhere to be found.

We were one of the first ones in with a table for two at twelve, fortunately they gave us a table for four, which given my ever girth and John's prodigious ordering meant we had just enough room.

I went for the fish (Pollock, the fish not the plaice!! ha ha droll fish humour) and chips with garlic mayo, which we confirmed was made of pasteurised egg yolks whilst John started off with three oysters with shallot vinagarette, tabasco and lemon

In one of his shells was a little critter very much like the one that was in my oyster in Applecross, again, we couldn't tell if it was a sign of freshness or otherwise but the lovely staff provided John with an additional two oysters in recompense.

He then proceeded to have half a Scottish lobster grilled with garlic butter


a whole brown crab. Looking at him tackle said crustacean with crab clamp made me glad I had the far lazier option of fish and chips. Far too much effort if you ask me, almost negative calorie in essence- the amount of effort expended equals the amount of calories consumed, the perfect foodie diet!

My fish and chips was very very good but suffered from a bit of seepage from between what was perfectly cooked fish, and the batter.

The chip were excellent, almost on par with Mohr fish, the only thing that could make them perfection would be if they had a little bit of crunch on the outside to give that whole texture sensation in the mouth, as the insides were soft a fluffy and yummy, especially with a lick of garlic mayo. My plate was clean.

The place was full within half an hour of our arrival and as mentioned before every possible seating option was utilised, something you see a lot of in New York and London but not so much here. It added to the feeling that you were somewhere desirable, a place to be seen and a place to eat in. I am quite happy with avoiding the 3 week wait and having what Crabshakk has to offer at lunchtime. I certainly couldn't wait 3 weeks to have more of those chips.

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