Crabshakk's a great little place. New England meets New York via the Isle of Lewis in Glasgow. On my first visit here, my dinner dates were very late and we were all going onto a Fashion Show. By the time they arrived, I was making good progress through a bottle of white wine. Ambitiously they ordered another. After wolfing down lobster and chips, most of the next bottle was still left... and we had to go. What's a chap to do? To spare the ladies embarrassment I tried my best. In hindsight, consuming a bottle of white wine in minutes is not big and it's not clever. It hit me about half way there in the taxi, as we pulled up outside the Art School I couldn't have told you my name. I was flying.
So I've been itching to come back for a proper paced sit down meal ever since. Then last night the opportunity presented itself, in a rather bizarre way. Grith, pronounced 'grit', over on a visit from Denmark, picked this up in Oddbins after going berserker in T.K.Maxx.
All raspberries and orange blossom. A few years back, passing through Gigondas, I noticed it reeked of orange blossom. The town actually smelt of it's wine. Weird. This was a good bottle, still young, with the unmistakable taste of the soil. Yes, Grith's wine was gritty. Nice. But beware Vikings bearing gifts. From some sort of Blackberry contraption this emerged.
A reminder of my great prowess at prediction and gambling.
No getting out of that, so I offered to buy lunch at Crab Shakk in settlement!
The wine list is short and quickly gets pricey. This was the cheapest bottle on the list and did the trick.
I can go for years without eating an oyster then suddenly crave them like nothing else on earth will do. At the moment it's intense. Oysters and me are having one hell of an affair. I can't get enough of them. They're always on my mind, when will I next see them, taste them, have them? "Maintenant" they whisper in my ear.....
God that was good. The girls had squid tempura and crab cakes. Both excellent. Light crunchy batter, tender squid and small but intense cakes full of crab meat.
Next up we ordered whitebait, fish club sandwich and sardines on toast.
A few Sundays ago perched at the bar here, eating oysters of course, there was some confusion as to what whitebait actually is? Rarely over £7 a kilo's the answer, so frankly this was a measly portion. They were good, as good as baby herrings and sprats get, just wish there were more. Nothing scrimpy about the fish club sandwich.
A triple decker of hot and cold smoked salmon, crab and pollock. With very nice fries on the side. Happy Viking.
"Wait a minute....you're not a sardine!"
Chef dropped one of only three sardines left and gave me this langoustine in compensation. It was delicious. Succulent, sweet, perfectly cooked. The sardines were spot on too. I love sardines but I'm not allowed to cook them anymore. Something to do with everything smelling of fish for a week afterwards...which, in fairness, it did.
Panna cottas for desert. Very correct but not quite sweet enough for me. The coffee was great. Good attention to detail. Nothing tarnishes the memory of a good meal so swift as shit espresso.
So that's Crabshakk. The best bet I ever lost. Angela, front of house, is impressive. It's cramped but that just adds to the buzz. And, whitebait gripes aside, the prices are frankly incredible for fresh Scottish seafood.
Go, go, go. But please leave a space at the bar, just big enough for one man and his current obsession... I'm missing the little iodine scented rascals already.
Crabshakk, (NOT: Crab Shakk or Crab Shack).
1114 Argyle Street,
0141 334 6127