There must be something in the water! Over the last year there has been a tidal wave of seafood restaurants to open across the Capital. Sticks 'N' Sushi opened a new spot in Canary Wharf; Lobster Kitchen brought crafty crustaceans to Fitzrovia; Smack Lobster Deli made lobster affordable; Rex and Mariano made fine dining with fish accessible; Beast answered my prayers with a Steak and King Crab only menu; and South Place's Angler received a Michelin Star. It seems London is crazy for seafood. And the latest to get on the boat is Broadgate Circle's Crab Tavern.
This new seafood eatery is part of the Broadgate Circle family of restaurants that aims to elevate the sometimes lacklustre eating standards of The City. And although you don't need a degree in deduction to ascertain CRAB Tavern's MO, it's what they do with those funny-looking little pinchers that really make them stand out - the menu contains virtually every variation possible with crab. On top of this there are some Southern American classics, a destination cocktail bar with an impressive drinks list, and a wine list that, though impressive in length, doesn't have many bottles north of the £50 mark... super!
FOOD AND DRINK
As I previously mentioned, Crab Tavern deliver an impressive selection of all things crab but also a couple of dishes that will impress any meat-over. I started proceedings with the Tavern Pork Belly Ribs W/ BQ sauce, pickles & slaw (£7.50) - for the price this is an absolute steal, succulent meat that falls off the bone, packed with flavour and a super start. With menus as large and varied as Crab Tavern's deciding on what to eat can be a bit of a dilemma (I suppose you could always make your way through the menu on multiple visits), and after having disappointed the waiter with my indecision for the fourth time, I went for the Crab Tavern Platter - King crab, crispy soft shell crab, crab Caesar sub, crab tartar on toast (£10 per person) - a great example of how diverse crab can be. The crab is fresh and full of flavour in every dish - the soft shell crab is exactly as described (with an incredible thin layer of batter for additional crunch), the salad reminds you of the unmistakable flavour of self-deshelled crab, and the crab salad is a refreshing addition to the platter. The main course was the show-stopper and was met with a large smile of approval from the waiter on order (as if to say... "Yeah.. that's right!) Soft Shell Crab Burger - Red pepper jelly, rocket, shiso cress (£15.00) an entire soft shell crab in soft buns with fresh salad and a side of slightly spiced French Fries. Though not on the menu, we washed these down with a string of perfectly made Old Fashioneds. If you're a crab lover and your guest isn't, there are also plenty of alternative terra-firma options such as Steak and Chips, Salads, Pot Roast Chicken and Steak Tartare.
Broadgate Circle has firmly secured it's title as one of the post-work places to be in The City. The Atmosphere at Crab Tavern demonstrates this as it's a buzz with dates, mate dates and post-work revelry. There is seating for large groups as well as intimate seating for up to 6 (depending on how much space you require to chow down). The outdoor area is alive with a bustling vibe as Al-Fresco diners from neighbouring restaurants amass to form on army of Broadgate Circle devotees - here you will find post-dinner drinkers, post-work diners, and a chance for some mingling.
Broadgate Circle is a great addition to the London dining scene and Crab Tavern stands alone for seafood lovers. A great choice for cocktails and bar snacks, just as well as a spot of seafood-centred glutinous levity. Though the name may throw many, there is plenty on offer for those who aren't sold on the sea. The cocktails are great, the service is attentive and the prices are extremely reasonably - it really is hard to fault it.
SNAPS FROM THE NIGHT
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