The red king crab – a native of the northern Pacific Ocean – is hailed as seafood royalty, and unfortunately, is hard to get your hands on in the UK.
However, located just behind Selfridges on Wigmore Street in London, lies the Fancy Crab. A low-luxury restaurant that brings the ocean’s most prized crustacean into the heart of the city.
Having received the 2018 award for Best Designed Casual Dining Restaurant, I wasn't sure what to expect but was surprised on arrival to be greeted by a large display of nautical themed paraphernalia lining the entrance way. The restaurant spans out into a luxurious yet restrained dining hall that doesn't make you feel instantly uncomfortable to be wearing trainers yet sets the tone for a carefully executed evening of glorious food. With low-lighting, exposed brick, paper menus and a series of classical artwork with a crab motif, the Fancy Crab manages to create an ambience that hosts both a relaxed evening and a suitable setting for the eloquent array of dishes that float from the kitchen.
Welcomed through the doors, we were seated in one of the booths that line the main dining room and ordered a glass of wine from the extensive list while we let our eyes wash over the incredible menu. Turn the menu over, and the story of how the Fancy Crab came to be was revealed. For just three months of each year, from September through December, in the Arctic Ocean's coldest, deepest, and most formidable waters, the red king crab is caught and is immediately cooked in seawater and frozen to preserve the delicate meat, and the quality of flavour certainly carries through to every plate.
Our meal started with a bowl of fresh guacamole that was prepared in front of us at our table. Wanting to get the full flavour of the restaurant, we ordered the Premium Platter. For £36 a large silver platter of mussels, crab claws, clams, Jersey oysters, tiger prawns, shell-on Atlantic prawns, scallop ceviche and octopus carpaccio arrived served alongside delicious squid Ink crackers and condiments. A dry ice display was produced once the platter arrived, bringing a touch of entertainment and mystic to the meal. To accompany our plate, we ordered several side dishes, all designed to complement the king crab, and we certainly weren't disappointed. The fresh green beans, in particular, were seasoned beautifully, I could have eaten a platter of these alone!
To round off our succulent sea meal, the pudding the menu provided us with the perfect after dinner pick-me-up. The deconstructed lemon tart, in particular, was the perfect mix of sweetness from fresh berries with the tartness of tangy lemon and the crunch of meringue. Overall, a delightful mid-week meal and one that I would love to repeat any day of the week.
For more information or to book a table, visit Fancy CrabLast modified: June 10, 2021