I'm somewhat behind in my posts, but let's pretend I didn't post a picture of this visit well over a week (*cough* or two *cough*) ago...
I was chatting with a friend about restaurants and when they told the name of a new place here, Holy Crab!! For some reason those kind of names suck me in - there's a Chinese restaurant here called "Fook Yew" that I just know I'm going to have to visit sometime. Clearly, I'm so grown up and very logical in my restaurant choices!
As I was saying, I heard about Holy Crab, one of the latest additions to Gunawarman, a popular street with tonnes of great restaurants and cafes in South Jakarta, from a friend. It's actually not that new, it opened in March I believe, but as an expat it sometimes takes a while to hear about these things.
Holy Crab, which I realised on arrival is actually called The Holy Crab (doesn't sound quite so good now does it?!) touts itself as a Louisiana style crab shack, and I think it does a fairly authentic job at being just that. Not that I've ever been to Louisiana, but going from what I've seen from the likes of shows like 'Swamp People' and other such Discovery Channel gems, this is what I imagine a crab shack to be! (If anyone reading this actually has a real clue please feel free to weigh in in the comment section) It was really busy, even on a weeknight when we visited, but after a short wait, we got a table, donned our bibs and got ready to get messy.
|Fools error wearing white...better make sure that bibs on tight.|
As you can see, we ordered a fair bit and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here. The first big pro of this place is that the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, which always makes a good start. They welcomed us with happy smiles, and our waitress kindly explained the menu to us - mainly just that everything is priced by the 100 grams and you can choose the spice level of the sauce, mild, medium or hot. Naturally, being British woosies we went with mild for our sauce. Years living in Asia has taught us that even if you think you can now handle spice, the food will always be a step-up on the Western version of spice levels from what it actually states. We've learnt this the hard way and no longer bother taking chances on first visits. As it was, mild turned out to be about right for us, but if you're used to or like your food spicy then definitely go for the medium or even hot.
Crab wise - we chose to have Snow Crab legs, imported from Alaska for 88K per 100grams. They also offer Lobster and King Crab, of course slightly more expensive, and local Mud crab, the cheapest option at 45K per 100 grams. We also ordered some shrimp with corn, fish 'n' chips, and onion rings as a side - go big or go home, we say! Oh and don't forget the re-fillable iced tea and homestyle lemonade!
Our food arrived quickly and the fun part (for us at least) is they tip it out onto the table in front of you. You're armed with a few tools and then it's up to you to get stuck in with your hands. So note...this is definitely NOT the place for clean freaks or a first date. But, if you don't mind getting sauce all over your hands, and probably face too, then it's really good fun and quite a unique dining experience. The crab was really fresh, perfectly cooked, with a nice sweetness to it. The shrimp were also really tasty and the sweetcorn was a highlight for the hubs. He's got a thing about sweetcorn...I dunno. What really makes this meal though is the sauce, it's a wonderful, flavourful and very aromatic mix of cajun spices and garlic. It's quite meaty in texture, and literally finger lickin' good!
After you're done making a complete and utter mess the servers will come and clear the table - there's no dessert served here, but they bring you a plate of orange slices, which is probably just about all you'll have room for anyway!
Have you ever been to this kind of style restaurant? What did you think, do you enjoy being a messy eater or would you rather have a knife and fork?