Crabshakk

Hitlisted
Crabshakk
1114 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8TD
  • Telephone 0141 334 6127
  • Bar open Tue–Sun noon–midnight. Closed Mon.
  • Food served Tue–Sun noon–10pm. Closed Mon.
  • Average price £24 (lunch); £24 (evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website www.crabshakk.com

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Eating & Drinking Guide

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This review is taken from the current (2014) edition.

Crabshakk is probably Glasgow’s smallest restaurant – night after night punters squeeze into a handful of tightly packed wooden tables or sit on black leather high stools at the bar drinking champagne, eating oysters or langoustines – all freshly caught that day, as is all the fish served here. Noise levels are high with chattering diners, upbeat young staff and the clattering of pans from the tiny open-plan kitchen. The staple menu never varies but it’s the ever-changing handful of daily specials that entice you back over and over again – try pan-roasted halibut sitting on top of a piquant chorizo paella, the fish bold enough to not be overwhelmed by the powerful Spanish flavours. Crab claws, mussels and scallops all feature along with an impressive fish and chips, creamy smoky chowder and their own fish club sandwich – the fish changes daily and could be salmon layered with cod on lightly toasted doorstop bread, a hefty slick of mayo and some crisp leaves adds the finishing touch. Don’t skip pudding, a slab of sticky dark chocolate cake and a dollop of sweet double cream is worth popping in for alone.

  • High point: Fresh fish and changing specials, everyday.
  • Low point: Too tight and bright for some
  • Notable dish: Fish Club Sandwich
  • Private dining: Up to 20 covers
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Nothing
  • Capacity: 55
  • Largest group: 12
  • Open since: 2009
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 4
  • House wine: £19.50 per bottle

Reviews & features

Take Three: The three ages of fish restaurant

9 Jul 2009

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Comments & ratings

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12. Mister Stan4 Sep 2013, 10:15pm5 stars Crabshakk Report

Ate lunch here today. Two of us shared a number of dishes tapas-style... crab cakes, mackerel, queenie scallops, chowder and more... all very well cooked and seriously tasty. The service was excellent, the white wine was cold and crisp, and the atmosphere so welcoming that we stayed for a few beers afterwards. Totally buggered up my working day! I was very impressed. I'll be heading back for lunch again..

11. Sarah795 Nov 2012, 11:56am5 stars Crabshakk Report

The service in the Crabshakk deserves a rating of its own - wonderful service which really added to our overall experience! The food was also delicious, when the crabcakes for our starter arrived we did think 3 was a little stingy but once tasting them they were very filling and definitely less is more! We also had the squid which was very well cooked, not at all tough and complimented well with a soy and coriander sauce. Our main of fish and chips was far better than your average fish supper, light crispy batter and succulent chunks of fish again cooked to perfection - great value for less than £9. The other main of steak was easily the best steak i have tasted this year and for a seafood place that's no mean feat! Yes its pricier than other seafood restaurants but you truly do get what you pay for, go during the day and you will have more elbow room but to be honest once you taste the food you wont care where your sitting!

10. simplestu1 Jun 2011, 2:11pm4 stars Crabshakk Report

Been meaning to go to the crab shack for some time and I was not let down!
Scallops where perfect but £7.25 for 3 scallops??
Now the fish and chips looked good I am not a fan of deep fried anything but my partner had it and said it was good.
I followed the scallops with crab cakes taste texture nailed it with them
4 stars for the crab shack

I will be back

9. Useful Idiot22 May 2010, 5:32pm Report

I like this place. Note = like, not love. Great staff, fantastically designed dining room...but the prices... THE PRICES!

£18 for 6 grilled langoustine. £10 for a bream salad that consisted of one small bream fillet and some sweated fennel.

Seriously - wise up Crabshakk. There is only so long you will be able to get away with this before people stop returning.

In its defence, the fish and chips (£8.95) looked good.

8. MoW10 May 2010, 1:37pm Report

Visited the Crab Shakk on Sat and although I have no complaints about the quality of the food (albeit small portions and no decent side dishes to match), I consider that the seating leaves a lot to be desired. To pay in excess of £60 and be expected to sit on a stool smacks of disregard for customers' comfort..

Also be aware that a large glass of wine is 175ml

Will I be back? I doubt it unless they improve the seating.

7. Mr K24 Apr 2010, 3:41pm4 stars Crabshakk Report

Have been to Crab Shakk twice and I can honestly say I was very impressed. The ambiance of the place has a cosmopolitan feel. The staff were great and the food was top notch and although the portions not huge, still great value for money. You want huge portions go to your local chippy!

6. jo77 Apr 2010, 1:54pm4 stars Crabshakk Report

Would happily go back here again. I was very impressed by the atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff (who were top notch). Nice buzzy atmosphere. The kind of place you'd be quite happy to come to own your own, sit at the bar and chat to the staff or come with a group of friends. The food was good. Would agree that the menu could possiblly have a bit more variety but you get the impression that people keep coming back despite this so it can't be a bad thing.

5. Sparky2431 Mar 2010, 4:46pm4 stars Crabshakk Report

Have been more than once and will return.

Only quibbles:
Prosecco by the glass: always flat.
Red wine often warm, really warm.
Chips are rubbish.
Staff are often a little cavalier and presumptious w/r/t seating which I understand is limited but upon booking "a table" have often been given not very good seats at the bar. Whilst quite happy to sit at the bar most of the time but if I phone over a week in advance to book "a table" I want a table, especially when dining out for special occasion e.g. birthdays etc.. (which we were).

4. clare&james31 Jan 2010, 1:38pm3 stars Crabshakk Report

Great looking place with a lovely ambience. We tried 3 places on this street this month and it was a plesant experience. A little over priced with 3 halved langostines £12? They were made fresh in front of us at the bar though so the theatre was appreciated. This is a nice place to eat if not a little pricey for simple seafood and a liimited menu. Worth a visit.

3. Maurine Duffy23 Oct 2009, 3:02pm4 stars Crabshakk Report

what a geat place to eat if you can ever get a table.
Great quality food, serivce and atmosphere. My only gripe is the price that they charge for the quantity of food they give you. I felt as though i could go grap a burger somewhere else even after two wonderful courses.
worth a try folks, and i'll defo be back (even if i do eat before i go).

Keep it up!

2. LilyP2 Aug 2009, 6:11pm4 stars Crabshakk Report

A quality seafood joint was missing from the Finneston offer, so this is a very welcome addition to the area. I have eaten here three times now, and can recommend the simple and sympathetic treatment of fresh seafood. Squid are roasted or fried, and scallops come in an unctuous anchovy goo that deserves to be mopped up with bread or chips. Most dishes are more like generous tapas than main course size, and if there are two or more of you, getting a selection to share seems to be the way to go (do get the crab cakes, more importantly get enough crab cakes). If you are hungry sorts, it won't be cheap, and it is clearly possible to really push the boat out with lobsters, oysters or a very grand Fruits de Mer platter that was quite an impressive sight at the next table. It may take me some time to scare up an excuse to be that extravagant.
In terms of the menu, there are some limitations. It would be nice to see a little more imagination with the sides. Skinny fries are OK, but nothing cries out for a variety of potatoes like fish; how about some fat cut chips and patats bravas? Similarly, a selection of salads would introduce more vivid flavours and colours to the mix without compromising the laudibly unfussy approach to the fish. It would also help to ensure a better balance of protein, carbs and veg on the table. Puddings seem a bit notional at the moment. On the first visit the panna cotta was bland rather than beautiful in it simplicity; on the second we opted to skip the puds and stroll to the Kings Cafe for an ice cream.
The decor is stylish, but it does not entirely overcome the limitations of the space. In particular, there are too many seats where you feel uncomfortably perched, exposed or just generally a bit in the way. That said, there is no shortage of customers, it has a good atmosphere and the staff are lovely. I am optimistic that this will become a thriving permanent fixture in my part of town.

1. ama3 Jul 2009, 12:08pm3 stars Crabshakk Report

Visited Crabshakk for lunch yesterday. Was really impressed with the look and ambience of the place. Also the staff were really friendly and helpful. I excitedly ordered the whitebait, since I always enjoy it when abroad and rarely see it on menus in Scotland. Was expecting the familiar piled-high bowlful of crispy wee fish. So was pretty disappointed when it arrived and there were only about ten wee fish on a massive plate with a few bits of salad. For £6.95 too! Don't get me wrong, they were really well-cooked and tasty, but the portion size was such a disappointment. It wouldn't have filled a hole in your tooth!

My companion's crab cakes were also tasty and, more importantly, generous in portion.

Do I have unrealistic expectations re price/ quantity?

I'd give Crabshakk another try since it was such a nice place, but I'll be a bit more careful in my ordering next time!

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Average rating 4/5 from 10 reviews of Crabshakk.

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