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Simple, super-fresh seafood served up in buzzy – if slightly cramped – surrounds. Look to the specials board for the most interesting dishes
You’re never too far from good seafood in Scotland, but Crabshakk is widely acknowledged to set a gold standard for cuisine from Scottish waters, at least in the Glasgow area. You might feel like a lobster in a creel squeezed into its tight, bright Finnieston premises on a busy Friday or Saturday night, but it’s all part of the buzz at a restaurant that delivers an intuitive balance of stylish and elegant dining in an informal atmosphere.
If you don’t manage to get a booking for one of the handful of tables and wooden benches spread across the ground floor and tiny mezzanine, seating at the bar is unreserved, so walk-ups are always a possibility (failing that, you can try sister venue Table 11 just a few doors down). But between the close proximity of fellow diners and the open kitchen, Crabshakk is by no means the place for a quiet, romantic meal.
The menu covers pretty much everything you’d expect of a good fish restaurant – shellfish including oysters, langoustines, scallops and mussels; crab, lobster, squid and sundry seafood, most of which are available either as a starter, or in a larger portion as a main. The daily specials board is where the really interesting stuff is, be it pan-fried halibut with mash, or John Dory with cauliflower puree, monkfish cheek scampi or whole lemon sole. The wine list is compact and well-selected, offering pairings for every dish.
The prices can sting a bit, especially if you have to make do with a spot at the bar. But when it comes to produce, presentation and service, Crabshakk barely misses a beat.