A very popular little West End restaurant serving excellent quality fish and shellfish from west Scotland in relaxed, stylish surroundings.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Booking is essential at this tiny restaurant with an enormous reputation. Produce is almost always sourced from the west coast of Scotland, with suppliers apparently suggesting which produce the chefs should take that morning, rather than the other way round. Add to that a cute dining room, streaming in natural daylight, where modern nautical-themed features blend with natural elements such as driftwood tables and reclaimed sandstone, as well as a really excellent wine list, and it becomes clear why this stylish spot has been packing them in like – you guessed it – sardines, for years. Lots of simple dishes allow the flavours of the produce to shine through – huge, succulent scallops served in sizzling, salty anchovy butter, or tender squid in a light tempura batter. Specials change daily and could include starters of cockles with salsa verde and samphire or a John Dory main with seafood paella. You may need to opt for side orders, as portions can be small. Smack-bang in the beating heart of oh-so-hip Finnieston, Crabshakk manages to be sophisticated yet relaxed, with an emphasis on food, not formalities.
- High point: Top-quality produce and sourcing policy
- Low point: Can be uncomfortably small
- Notable dish: Seared scallops with anchovies
Never wanting for new neighbours in fashionable Finnieston as stylish restaurants continue to open there with remarkable frequency, Crabshakk – one of the first in a wave of gastronomic arrivals to the area, established 2009 – continues to catch a faithful clientele. It’s heck of a hard to get a booking at times (though they seat walk-ups at the bar subject to space), and there’s barely enough room to swing a lobster, either in the narrow ground floor or upstairs on the tiny mezzanine. But take the bait and you’ll be back time and time again, for head-turningly good-looking seasonal dishes fresh as the tide. The menu isn’t broken down into starters and mains, just dishes small-to-large, leaving space for improvisation – crab cakes for instance come in batches of three or six, or for much the same price as the latter you can get the whole crustacean. The daily specials board, brought to your table, displays catches of the day and can feature anything from queenies – gorgeous little scallops, served still sizzling in in the pan in garlic butter – to a monkfish cheep scampi with homemade ketchup or wild sea bass served on a bed of mash. Creamy vanilla panna cotta ith thin slices of juicy Yorkshire rhubarb proves chefs here are masters of fresh fruits of the sea and land alike.
- Provides: Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Relaxed tunes
- Capacity: 52
- Largest group: 12
- Open since: 2009
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 7
- House wine: £19.95 per bottle
Reviews & features
Take Three: The three ages of fish restaurant9 Jul 2009
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