Vanessa: For those of you who are local to the Redfern/Surry Hills area, you may be aware that atop The Norfolk resides “ House of Crabs” . The décor and fit out emulates a southern-style seafood shack and the restaurant boasts some of the best “boils” of crustaceans and seafood varieties. Now I fully appreciated that the idea of donning a plastic bib, gloves and eating food with your hands straight out of a boiler bag may not appeal to everyone but it is certainly a novel experience that is worth a try for any crab and seafood lover.
House of Crabs puts on an annual “Endless Bags” event which is an all-you-can-eat feast of blue swimmer crab, prawns and muscles within a two-hour seating. The mantra is simple..the boils will keep coming every 8 minutes until you say stop! Priced at $100 per head, you may initially feel it is a little steep, but once you realise you can literally feast on kilos of seafood in two hours you are likely to change your tune.
I was joined by Mr M that night who is always up for a bit of a messy eating challenge. We settled in and listened as our friendly waitress explain the process to us whilst also presenting us with a large serve of garlic bread. As I mentioned above, it is really is simple, every table is served the same “boil bag” at the same time every 8 minutes. Each round features a different type of sauce. So if you are a little bit on the slow side you could find yourself with a back log of bags..equally if you are particularly skilled with eating hot food with your hands at lighting speed you could find yourself waiting for the next round.
I do apologies in advance for the quality of the photos, as you can see, nothing about this experience was pretty!
First bag off the rack was a blue swimmer crab in creole butter. The crab is steamed to perfection with the butter smothering every ounce. I always find eating crab somewhat challenging, even more so when it has been plucked from a steaming bag of buttery goodness and when there is time pressure!
Next we were presented with a boil bag of muscles. These were my least favourite of the night, mainly because I’m not a fan of muscles at the best of times. If you are, then I imagine you would be impressed by the generous quantity of muscles contained within each bag. Mr M was a big fan of these and polished off two bags.
The last bag on rotation that night were prawns and these were a winner. Easy to manoeuvre, bite sized and very tasty with the smothering of sauce. It is a nice mid-way alternative to diving in and tackling the claws of a blue swimmer crab.
We managed to get through 5 bags between us before waiving the white flag to surrender. We were full, messy and desperate for a refresher towel (which they thankfully provide!)
I would suggest prior to diving into the Endless Bags event, checking out the menu at House of Crabs to get a feel for the many different sauce and seafood options they offer. It is definitely a fun, novel and messy experience (as you can see in the below picture) and perfect for a gathering with open-minded friends.
Endless Bags is run annually so be sure to keep an eye out for the event next year!
*For Foods Sake dined as guests of Dixon Hospitality. All opinions however are our own.