What could be better than a massive plate piled high with bright orange crab claws, ready to be crunched with cutlery, the meat within sticky with sauce and ready to eat? It’s a Sydneysiders little slice of heaven, that’s what it is. Here’s our definitive list of where to get messy in Sydney with the best crab available.
Crab restaurants in Sydney
Mud crabs are the new dining status symbol. Forget lobster – either you can afford to shell out on the fleshy crustaceans (that usually go for $140-odd dollars a kilo) or you can’t. And when a restaurant is boasting hefty little pinchers that weigh in north of three kegs your cash will disappear faster than a dirty dog on bath day. Happily, all the bright orange, heavy-clawed beauties at Queens Chow, the restaurant inside Merivale’s latest glamour pub, only just tip the one kilo mark, which makes ordering one exxy, but not unspeakably pricey if you’re in the mood to treat yourself.
Want to drop some serious dough on the fruits of the sea? This no-holds-barred-spend-big-with-service-and-wine–to-match Canto-palace is the place to do it. Get a crab. The big tanks hold sweet, fleshy mud crabs waiting to be deep fried and served on a bed of salted chilli and green onion. Or go the Singaporean-style black pepper crab, cooked in butter and fragrant with a mountain of fresh black pepper.
At this homage to the American seafood shack above the Norfolk it works like this: 500g lots of mussels, clams, prawns or crabs are boiled up, placed in a plastic bag, doused in the sauce of your choosing – our pick is the mild Cajun - and delivered to your table. The massive king crab legs provide the greatest yield but if you prefer to eat local, go for the fresh blue swimmer crabs instead.
If the price of a mud crab at your local is more high-end seafood than your budget allows for, we have three letters and one word for you: BYO crab! That's right, this Malaysian restaurant will let you purchase your own mud crab from your fishmonger of choice and they will cook it for you for $20. You can have it Singapore chili style, in a dry curry or cooked with dried shrimp and curry leaves.
This waterfront, seafood establishment in Glebe may be best known for its dedicated oyster menu (currently there are fifteen to choose from) but you can also order up a whole mud crab (approx 950g) wok fried with black beans, ginger and chilli, or a salt and pepper version with snow peas and shallots for $110 a pop.
If you never made it to this famous Surry Hills seafood restaurant when it was located above the gently scuzzy Triple Ace Bar, there's no need to fret. Harry's has a new location just up the road so you can splash out on a seafood dinner any time you feel the urge to smash some crab.
With its delicious smells, watching someone prepare Singapore chilli crab can be a torturous experience when it’s almost dinnertime. Fortunately, chilli crab is not difficult to make and this demonstration, followed by your hands-on attempt to replicate it, only takes two hours. The prize for your patience? At the conclusion of the class you get to sit down to an enormous feast of crustacea and add “can prepare crab” to your kitchen CV.