Brought up in a province filled with all the riches of the sea – the freshest of the fresh – I’m hardly pleased by any seafood fare, more especially I suffer from shellfish allergy, so a careful selection of what I can eat and what I need to avoid is imperative.
Tried a good number of independent seafood restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi but nothing measured up to the fresh catches I’ve gotten used to back home. Having established varyingly unique concepts, some of these restos are sure to give off a good first impression with the interiors, fixtures and ambiance; however subjectively fail to meet expectations of the gustatory sense.
Recently a group of good friends took me on a trip to Dubai, and, for a reason still unknown to me up to now, we went to Mr. Crab for lunch, among a number of restaurants lining up the area in Barsha 1 along Sheikh Zayed Road.
The first sights that greeted me were the earthy colors of wooden fixtures set against the vibrancy of orange chairs, hanging tungsten light bulbs and garden potted plants. The warm smiles of the staff also got my attention.
I’m a fan of restaurant menus complete with flamboyant visual illustrations that excite one’s appetite. Mr. Crab’s menu is indeed one of my favorites. It resembled one of my mother’s cookbooks, with fun and engaging how-to steps.
Cold drinks were served in mason jars complemented with prawn crackers in white charming metal tins. The group started reveling in some bites while I carried out clicking stills away in between slow munches.
For an appetizer, we ordered crabmeat nachos platter. I’d say it had everything the perfect seafood version of nachos could have, only I would like it better with more jalapenos.
Our main course included the signature crab-o-nanza accompanied with unlimited rice. The viand consisted of the reasonable amount of everything – king crab legs, mussels, shrimp, corn on cob and marble potatoes in Cajun sauce. This was when I thought Mr. Crab really nailed it. I’m not a fan of saucy meals, though not this time. I broke my own taboo, not because I had to but because I enjoyed it – for once. And for the record, the crab meat and shrimp were succulent and did not stick to the shell: such strong indications that the seafood was fresh and cooked to perfection.
One more reason I love this place is that it is a no-fuss, come as you are, no-pretense (as a friend once said) restaurant. Mr. Crab has every bit of all the charming stuff but it doesn’t over-impress. The group carried on with tummies happy and the five senses satisfied.
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