Washing ashore in bustling business hub Broadgate Circle surfaces the all-day, contemporary-cool Crab Tavern, which proudly promotes itself as London’s finest crab restaurant. Having hit up the City this June, this stylish seafood-and-steak-speciality eatery is serving up the American-born culinary concept of surf and turf fare enticing in packs of professional punters and London rookies alike. With crab unsurprisingly being the real “hero” of the menu mix, come expecting a predominantly crab-themed feast cooked up in all manner of tasty dishes, together with creative cocktails and fine wine.
Transporting you over to the dynamic streets of Manhattan, this lively New York-style diner and bar certainly showcases an urban American seafood shack feel. Artistically industrial-inspired, its exposed-brick wall, tall metal tables under an unconcealed labyrinth of ceiling ductwork give the place a touch of that long-time in vogue warehouse look. Harmonised with the likes of crystal ball-like lampshades, sombre-mood lighting and a mishmash of mirrors, modish murals and even a comical strip of cartoon crabs, this trendy, light-hearted lair has no trouble with luring in the hungry hordes. In this way, merging together mouth-watering grilled meat with fresh seafood scrum, as well as an overload of beers, vino, shakes and cocktails, the Crab Tavern will have all your belly needs more than well taken care of.
Food & Drink
Once readily seated at our diner booth, we immediately were offered a couple of fizz Tuesday tipples to accompany our starters. Prosecco-based, we supped a refreshing glass of sparkling rhubarb and gin-infused liquid loves whilst deciding on what to munch on from the A La Carte. Coupling classic appetiser West Coast Clam Chowder with the raw Tuna and Watermelon Tartar served inside a shell-embellished bowl, we were wholly palate pleased. Evident that detail is key when it comes to Crab Tavern cooking, the additions of smoky lardons and crackers in the Clam Chowder added that too often overlooked texture; and as for the Tartar, the sweet and salty flavours went cliché-perfect hand in hand.
Next, on merrily working through a fine bottle of white from their extensive wine list, there seemed little contest on picking the partner main course. This was one of the haunt’s sumptuous specialities, the sharing surf and turf stonker – none other than the West Coast Bucket Boil. Both bibbed up prepped for a mighty messy affair, we were equipped with all sorts of seafood tools to tackle this delicious, get-your-hands-dirty grub. Dished up in a hefty saucepan brimming with everything from crab claws and lobster legs to mussels and merguez sausages, as well as seasoned sweet corn and ratte potatoes, we were well and truly belly-filled after an entertaining battle of smashing up shells. Side-kicked with sweet and savoury bread, fries and tasty bisque, it’s safe to say that this pincer-packed platter was literally finger-lickin’ good.
A crunch, crack and a “chomp” later and we were onto the desserts, which were accompanied by vibrant green French liqueur Chartreuse, which was top-quality and well-aged. Despite having bellies beyond the point of bursting, we semi-wolfed down the Brownie Stack with salted caramel ice cream and the Pecan & Maple Tart, which we’d recommend highly to guarantee a great end to your evening eats.
Atmosphere & Clientele
Settled inside the happening hubbub of city slickers in Broadgate, Crab Tavern is nestled on par with many an exquisite eatery or barfly magnet on the West side of Liverpool Street. Due to its City location, expect a buzz of thirsty professionals grabbing a few too many pints and of course (sea)foodies, as well as a handful of Big Smoke visitors looking for a great bite to eat close to the station. Servers are always friendly and eager to please, whilst the clear popularity of the bar promises an easy-going, bubbly hangout to chill out in with dates or mates.
Whisk yourself off to New York-style diner and drinking den Crab Tavern in Broadgate, where in a highly relaxed environment, you can try your hand at cracking through crab shell without the potential embarrassment of not knowing how to work your lobster fork and cracker. Immersed in this moody-modern, American-inspired surf and turf chow-house, you'll tuck into the eclectic assortment of meat and seafood plates and don’t forget to wash it all down properly with the broad banquet of bevvies to boot.