Ever since I went to the famed Boiling Crab in LA I’ve wished there were more crab boil joints in Sydney. I love House of Crabs but I was super excited to hear about O Crab opening in Chatswood and dragged the boy and bonus addition of Baz (HEY BAZ!) for lunch on their opening day.
But first some complimentary house made bread with a houmous and olive oil dip.
The O Crab Seafood Chowder (Lunch special $10), arrives piping hot with a jumble of mussels, prawns and cubes of salmon lurking in the depths. The broth is rich, creamy and just perfect for this cold snap Sydney has been experiencing recently. We tear off chunks of the crusty bread bowl to dip into the broth, fighting over the remnants and wish that it was a never ending bowl.
I’m always keen for Buffalo Chicken Wings ($10) and while the meat was tasty enough they were a tad dry and I was sad that they weren’t covered in the usual sticky buffalo sauce or that there wasn’t ranch or blue cheese sauce to dunk into.
And then a bucket of cutlery and bibs are placed on our table and we smile knowing that soon it will be HAMMER TIME!
It’s all about the crabs! So pick your crab of choice- Blue Swimmer ($25/crab), Snow Crab ($25/cluster) or Mud Crab (Market price, atm it’s $95/crab) and then pick your sauce of either Ultimate Original Old Bay, Garlic Butter, Justin’s Special Chilli or you can have it Steamed Natural which comes with ponzu dip. The crabs come out in plastic bags and you can dump the contents onto the butchers paper lined tables but we chose to keep them enclosed so we didn’t lose any of the precious sauce.
The kitchen sent us out a complimentary bag of Snow Crab in Justin’s Special Chilli Sauce, we’re not sure if it’s because we’re their first customers on opening day or if it was a mistake but woohoo free crab! Our hearts sing with happiness when we tear open the bag and thwacked at the legs with our hammers before extricating the sweet sweet flesh. The chilli sauce isn’t off the scale burning but just the right amount to set your lips a-tingle. And that crab meat! It’s just so beautiful, so perfect and fresh!
I was super happy that the Blue Swimmer Crab in Justin’s Special Chilli Sauce was pretty fleshy as blue swimmers can usually be a pain to eat but these guys were awesome and made working for your food that much more rewarding.
The Snow Crab in Garlic Butter is fan fricken tastic, as is anything in garlic butter really and we couldn’t help but dunk everything in sight into the rich garlic butter. This was insanely tasty and it is just so satisfying seeing if you can manage to get the flesh from an entire crab leg all in one juicy piece!
We also had Prawns in Old Bay (500g/$30) and as much as I liked the tangy sauce, the prawns didn’t quite stack up as well against the beautiful fresh crabs.
Oh and we also ordered a side of Shoestring Fries ($7) and even though they look more like normal fries we’re happy that they’re golden and crunchy and perfect for swiping at the garlic butter sauce.
O Crab has a pretty tasty looking list of cocktails on the menu and one side of the restaurant looks set up as the perfect location for after work drinks. I will definitely be back because I want to try the rest of their menu which runs from burgers to ribs and mussels and crab rolls!
There’s not much signage to the restaurant but basically if you’re coming from Chatswood station, turn left and left again at The Steam Engine coffee joint, make your way past the queues at Tim Ho Wan, down Railway Street past ‘Eat Street’ where Mamak is, cross the lights and look for a brown horse on the right. O Crab is located in the building and up the stairs to the left of the horse!
Suite 2/9 Railway St
Tues – Thurs: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – late
Fri – Sun: 11am – late