Thursday 29th September 2016 – Crabbieshack, Kerb @ Quay, Canary Wharf, London
As far as I know the market will vanish with the winter months so I’m making the most of it, to the great pleasure of my taste-buds and probably the displeasure of my waistline. This time I knew exactly what I was aiming for, having tried the stall out once already. I was going back to Crabbieshack. If I was lucky there would be lobster for lunch, but I had a back-up plan just in case. It’s always good to have a Plan B. It’s only a problem if you end up on Plan Z, and even then good things can happen.
The weather wasn’t brilliant, it was windy, cool, and I’d clearly missed a sharp shower that had soaked all the seating and tables set aside for those who don’t want to take strong smelling food items into their offices, or who are just too hungry or greedy to wait till they can get back to their desks.
Once again my stall of choice had the smallest queues which does make me wonder a bit as I think I’ve said before. Still, it means I don’t hang about waiting and can get lunch in an efficient manner. It’s not like when I was in France and we competed to see just how long a lunch break we could take before anyone complained (on Fridays anyway).
I joined the non-existent queue and was soon aware that I would need to shift to Plan B. There was no lobster. Well then, a soft shell crab burger it would have to be. However, it’s never that simple. Once you know you’re having a crab burger there’s the whole issue of what you want with it. And that’s before you even get into the question of whether you want a portion of their fries with it.
Last time I went for the pickled cucumbers, chili, coriander and wasabi mayonnaise, which gave it an interesting kick. This time I got what I’d been aiming for last time, the samphire and tartare sauce. It hadn’t been available on the previous occasion. I then stood aside while the crab for my burger was deep fried in batter, and the brioche bun was gently toasted on the griddle alongside some rather fine looking scallops.
So having handed over £8.00 for this treat (and resisted the temptation to order any of the tempting sounding fried – clam chowder fries with crispy lardons sounding particularly appealing to me) what was the result like? Delicious is the simple answer.
The more complicated answer is that the bun was of good quality, holding up well to keeping the generous contents from spilling everywhere, even though there was a large quantity of samphire in there along with a massive dollop of tartare sauce.
Of course logistically a “burger” like this is never going to be easy to eat, simply because of the width/height of the wonderfully deep fried crab. They don’t make the best shape for a burger, but that was the least of my concerns.
The crab itself was crisp, with no hint of excess oil (no doubt lots of it was in the batter by then but once in a while who cares?) and tasted wonderful. The lovely, meaty body off set by the crunch of the batter and perked up even further by the sauce and the salty, mineral-scented samphire. So again, the question is would I recommend Crabbieshack? I would indeed. I can see why they have won awards. The food is fresh, well prepared and well executed, the staff are friendly and all in all although it’s not a cheap option it really does tick all the boxes.