House of Crabs, Redfern

Friend: Do you want to go to House of Crabs on Monday?

Isaac: I don’t know, man. I went to Sefton’s Playhouse not that long ago.

So, it turns out that the House of Crabs is not a place where illicit activities can be conducted in exchange for money; unless you count extreme glutton as a sin. If so, then my place in the nether realm is already guaranteed

Anywho, I went to House of Crabs and I didn’t leave crabby.


Located on the first level of the Norfolk Hotel; the House of Crabs opened its claws in November 2013.

Naturally, I didn’t hear about the place ’til earlier this year and have been keen to get a hold of some crustaceans.

Here’s a little bit of trivia about me. I’m terrible at organising events for more than one person (Subtext: I’m great at organising dates. Ask about me). Things tend to go wrong every time I try to host a party, a dinner or a Star Wars marathon. People don’t show up, they cancel at the last minute and they insist on watching the prequels.

However, I wasn’t going to be denied this time. No one was going to make a shrimp out of me.


Shout outs to the Nard dog. Please tell me I have at least one other Office fan here.
Shout outs to the Nard dog. Please tell me I have at least one other Office fan here.

I don’t usually talk about the decor but the aesthetics of the House of Crabs was awesome. I loved the use of multiple fonts advertising what they could bring to the table and all the seafood references. The best way to describe it would be that I can totally imagine it setting up shot in Bikini Bottom and being a prominent rival to the Krusty Krab.

Let’s take a look at what they offer:

Lobster fries with lobster gravy, bacon and corn.
Lobster fries with lobster gravy, bacon and corn.

Remember, every day is Fry-day when you’re rolling with me.

The problem with gravy/cheese laden fries is a tendency to become soggy really quickly. Unless you like soggy fries (what’s up FPN!) then this is definitely a problem. The  lobster fries actually retained their crispiness for quite a while and was a great way to get my appetite going. More bacon would’ve been a plus but I think that applies across the food spectrum.

Blackened fish with kale, bean and broccoli salad.
Blackened fish with kale, bean and broccoli salad.

This was my favourite dish of the night by far.

I would attempt to walk on water for this, drop down to the bottom of the ocean and hope there’s some pre-cooked blackened fish swimming around waiting for my arrival.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this for the second post in a row but the salad was amazing. I’ve never had kale soaked in butter before and it immediately made me question all the decisions I’ve made in my twenty three years of living. Have I really been a successful guy considering this is the first time my taste buds have made their acquaintance? Does this invalidate my authority as a food blogger? Do I even have any authority as a food blogger?

Sorry, existential crisis interlude.

The salad on top of the fish went incredibly well with the fish that lay on the bottom of the plate. It was cooked to perfection as it just flaked off with the prod of a spork. Like its salad brother on top, the butter flavour was completely soaked through the tender meat.

The harmony of this dish was incredible, kind of like Mariah Carey singing with Whitney Houston in the 90’s for the Prince of Egypt soundtrack.

It’s time for crabs (note: this message is not endorsed by the Medical Association of Australia).

Blue swimmer crab with Mexican sauce
Blue swimmer crab with Mexican sauce

Yep, I took a photo of my many legged friend inside a bag. Here’s why:

The House of Crabs knows how messy eating crab can get. It’s their specialty after all. The think tank behind the operations decided that the best way to minimise the collateral damage that comes with crustaceans would be paper table cloths, gloves for the patrons and their boiled delights served in bags.

Ok, now to the important question?

Does it float?

Whoops, sorry. Forgot that this wasn’t my secret reality show blog where I do weekly breakdowns of the Real Housewives of Melbourne.

I actually eat crab quite often. It’s a staple at all my large family gatherings (along with lobster and discussions about who put on weight). It’s not a great point of comparison but it’s a start. I thoroughly enjoyed the Mexican sauce, it was spicier than I expected but it didn’t result in me yelling at the waitress demanding more water.

The crab was nice and it was worth the labour involved. I think eating crab is a great culinary analogy for life. If you put in the work (in this case: breaking shells in search of crab meat), you’ll definitely get rewarded for it.

Remixed with cajun sauce.
Remixed with cajun sauce.

Yep, I’m a terrible photographer.

We got two different types of crab and I honestly couldn’t make out the difference. The sauce was obviously different and the Cajun was less spicy than the Mexican. Again, I couldn’t taste the difference in texture or flavour with the meat though.

Not a negative, just more evidence to show you that I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.

Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken

I was really hungry, ok?

This was some premium fried chicken. The batter was very light and well seasoned. The chicken was incredibly tender and juicy.

I ate a lot of the dish because my eating buddies were collectively on the brink of a food coma so I took advantage of their weariness by eating the chicken. Classic Isaac.

But wait, there’s more:

Nepolitan ice cream waffle sandwich with raspberry, almonds and chocolate sauce.
Nepolitan ice cream waffle sandwich with raspberry, almonds and chocolate sauce.

We were actually thinking about going to Messina for dessert until the waitress told us what was on offer.

We shared this between four and we turned it out faster than when the hyenas turned on Scar in the Lion King.

The waffle served as a soft bed in which the ice cream snuggled in between. The addition of almonds is ingenious as it adds a dynamic that a cold waffle can’t add: crunch. Using a hot waffle would’ve melted the ice cream so the nut substitute for the texture was incredibly clever.

It was a great way to cap off an incredibly enjoyable eating experience.

Man, sandwiches have come a long way, huh?
Man, sandwiches have come a long way, huh?

Here’s the TL; DR for all the shellfish people that refuse to share their seafood:

– I still have seventeen jokes about the House of Crabs that will probably never see the light of day…it’s for the best.

– Get the blackened fish.

– Don’t wear something you really like. Bibs are provided but the rest of your body is still exposed to the potential explosion of sauces and other condiments.


House of Crabs, Redfern

Level 1, 305 Cleveland Street

Opening Hours:

Monday to Thursday: 6pm – late

Friday: 12pm – 3pm then 6pm – late

Saturday: 6pm – late // Sunday 12pm – 9pm

House of Crabs on Urbanspoon

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