We had a family dinner at The Crab Shack in Wellington on our last night at the North Island, and the restaurant had a beautiful view of the coastline especially in the evening. Even though we thought arriving at 5.30pm was early enough to guarantee us a table (it usually is), the place was packed and many people had reserved a table beforehand. Nevertheless, we thought the wait was worth it as we enjoyed most of the dishes even though its signature dish fell short of expectations. Location-wise, The Crab Shack was easily accessible, and although it was one of the numerous restaurants located on the wharf, it was easily one of the most popular as well.
– General Review –
- Service: 8.3/10
The Crab Shack was very packed and we had to be put on the waiting list even though we arrived at 5.30pm on a Friday night. Unfortunately, we couldn’t book a table since reservations were only accepted for groups of 10 or more. Staff were friendly, patient, and professional, even though they were very busy. The restaurant also accepted both cash and card, and the coat hangers were a bonus especially in winter.
- Servicescape: 8.7/10
The restaurant was large and pretty spacious with plenty of seats (mostly bar stools). The Crab Shack was bright as well, and even though it wasn’t as warm inside as I expected it to be, it had a casual and comfortable atmosphere. The seafood restaurant was a popular dining option for most occasions including date nights and birthday parties, and catered to a wide range of demographics, although most diners were young adults and adults. The Crab Shack also seemed like a family-friendly restaurant, yet a perfect place to head to for drinks with your mates.
- Non-smoking area: Most seats are indoors and smoke-free.
- Vegetarian dishes: Not many vegetarian options available.
- Price range: $$$ (NZ$24 – $40 for most main dishes.)
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
– Food Experience –
1) 500g Mixed Scoop of Mussels & Clams:
Really enjoyed the mixed scoop, and the mussels and clams tasted really fresh and chewy, although the tastes were pretty homogeneous. The white wine sauce wasn’t too thick, incredibly fragrant, and the minced garlic went really well with the seafood. 500g almost seemed too little to share among the five of us.
2) 1kg Blue Swimmer Crab:
To be honest, I was disappointed with this dish since I had really high expectations for one of the restaurant’s specialty dishes. Despite specialising in crab dishes (and all other kinds of seafood, apparently), I thought that the crab meat tasted pretty bland, and even though the meat was soft, it was quite difficult to detach from the shell. On a positive note, the portion was great for sharing, and the chili-garlic butter was aromatic without being overpowering, and probably gave the dish what little taste it had.
3) Crab & Clam Fettuccini:
The Crab & Clam Fettuccini was probably the star of the night and my favorite dish here. The fettuccini was cooked to perfection, and the crab and clam were fresh without the fishiness. The presentation was lovely, and I immensely enjoyed the bell peppers, which were soft and added a pop of color to the dish.
4) Cajun Catch of the Day:
Fish was really fresh and tender, although the portion itself was tiny. Seemed like more than half of the dish consisted of the chipotle slaw and potato hash, while the fish was served as a side instead. Nevertheless, it was quite tasty, although not exactly a good value for money.
5) The Welly:
I loved the burger, and the chips and creamed corn dip were fantastic. The crumbed fish fillet was crispy on the outside and extremely tender on the inside. Paired with the shack tartare, some lettuce and tomato, and we have a burger that’s worth a try.
Contact number: +64 4 916 4250
Website: The Crab Shack
Operating hours: Mon – Wed: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Thurs – Sun: 11.30am – 10pm
Posted by: V