When someone first mentioned the Crabshakk in the West End of Glasgow to me my first vision was of me sitting by the sea in a restaurant called Crabshakk in Maine, America (dressed like JackieO, Naturally). Looking ever so chic in a postcard perfect setting while cracking crabs with mallets as the sun set on another idyllic day in paradise. Erm…Yeah the Crabshakk Glasgow style is nothing like that – but awesome none the less.
As Mr Geek is profoundly allergic to even the smell of fish (weirdo!) I had to rope my sister-in-law into an exploratory trip. When we decided to visit on a random Tuesday night I thought I better make a booking, I am a bit of a control freak and don’t like turning up places on spec. When the girl took my booking for 7pm and said that she might need the table back for 9pm, I am not going to lie I scoffed and thought ‘yeah! coarse hen on a Tuesday night – wishful thinking’. Well it turns out she was absolutely right the place was heaving from the minute we walked in to the minute we left. So I would say this is a booking essential kind of venue.
The restaurant its self is tiny and you have to be very comfortable eating close to other people. We were lucky enough to eat on the mezzanine level where it was a tiny bit more spacious, downstairs however you need to have no concerns with personal space to eat there. The vibe in the restaurant is very fish shop chic – you pass the large white Bar/ Kitchen area as you come in the door. There are lots of white tiles, reclaimed wood & little stools everywhere. The heat in the restaurant was outrageous so beware when choosing your outfit it’s HOT. My biggest niggle tho with the decor was the seriously uncomfortable little metal stools. With the heat and painful chairs I was ready to head for the hills before the mains even arrived.
Thankfully in spite of how uncomfortable I felt the food was incredible. A word of warning there are literally 2 non-fish dishes on the menu which for me was perfect but not so much if you are not in a fishy mood. To start with we decided to share a small plate of natural Scallops and a small plate of grilled Langoustines. Each serving was of 4, the scallops were beautiful plumb little gems. With the Langoustines I was prepared to do battle with the little suckers – snapping off heads and the like but they were cleverly presented cut in half so you just had to pop the white meat out.
I went with a main from the specials board of Monkfish Cheek Scampi served with Shakk Tomato Sauce and Fries. I asked for a portion of the made in-house Garlic Mayo on the side. The portion was massive – 5 large pieces of light, flaky, tasty scampi and a pile of skinny fries which were pretty great. The mayo for me tho made the dish, it was bloody marvelous!
The dessert section of the menu is not particularly appealing to my tastes, there was panna cotta, ice cream, ice cream with fresh fruits..etc. In the end I went for the made in-house chocolate cake which the waitress quite rightly described as a brownie like texture. This was served with a beautiful light and creamy banana ice cream. The cake was heavy and dense and the first few spoonfuls were like heaven, then it got really heavy and started to taste quite floury. It’s a great dessert but I would maybe recommend splitting the dish with someone else.
After dinner we wandered across the road to the lovely Kelvingrove Cafe for a little post dinner drink where I sampled one of my fav favourite cocktails an M&L – yum!
A fantastic little west end eatery which I will definitely visit again…if I can find someone other than Mr.Geek to go with.