Central London

Published on May 8th, 2015 | by Clarissa Waldron

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Crabbieshack Pop Up, Clerkenwell

Since becoming a member of the KERB family of lunchtime hunger alleviators, street food vendor, Crabbieshack, has seen its popularity soar as demand for its indulgent crab burgers takes over.

This demand was none-more so obvious than when ImALondoner arrived to Clerkenwell’s The Hat and Tun last week for the preview of Pincer Punch – a collaboration that sees the crab-burger trader team up with the EC boozer for a paired menu next week of deep fried, Old Bay battered soft shell crabs and Tommy’s Margaritas – a Hat and Tun speciality.

On arrival the pub was packed, with many milling around to get stuck in to the Crabbieshack menu. In conversation with Roche Communications, who helped organise the event, we learned that chief chef Douglas Robertson-Ritchie “is a hard man to get a hold of” – such is his busy schedule. Adding a new string to its bow, the team behind The Hat and Tun have thus managed to secure Crabbieshack for just three days this month, allowing Robertson-Ritchie to bring some seaside savouriness to the Clerkenwell gastro pub.

Aiming to recreate the seaside moments associated with its origins in Kent, Crabbieshack will be getting off the streets of London from May 13th to 15th to deliver its delicious soft-shell, crunchy crab burgers to the office workers, locals and tourists in the Clerkenwell area. They often say when setting up a new business to do one thing and do it well. This train of thought certainly rings true in what Crabbieshack offers – the burgers were so deliciously and intricately prepared we couldn’t resist trying more than one!

With five delectable choices on offer, including Leafy sea aster and Tartare sauce, we didn’t know where to begin! Eventually we opted for the Fennel, Almond, Avocado and Harissa version and the Pickled cucumber, Chilli, Coriander and Wasabi mayo choice. The crab itself is satisfyingly crunchy and impressively big, with chunky battered bits poking out of the bun, so at £9.50 each you are certainly getting bang for your buck.

The avocado comes as a spread rather than slices, but is much chunkier than you would expect, adding plenty of bite and texture, while the roasted almonds bring  another level of crunch that can’t be faulted. The pickled cucumber adds tangy sharpness that perfectly complements the fresh, salty taste of the crab, while the mayo is subtle on the wasabi but still adds some necessary sweetness to this variation.

After washing them down with strong punchy Margaritas from the bar we returned for more. Sweetcorn salsa and Lobster mayo was next. In contrast, the lobster mayo was thick and heavy though very flavoursome, but perhaps could be toned back a little to allow the sweet corn salsa to shine. The corn itself was deliciously rustic, giving plenty of bite and texture to an already crispy but tender burger filling.

Nori seaweed, Apple, Cabbage and Spring Onion are all mixed together into one garnish in this variation as opposed to the separate burger ingredients we sampled previously. It results in a lighter, less fragrant topping that doesn’t distract too much from what Crabbieshack do, and do well, and that is offer up fresh, battered, crunchy crustaceans in a soft, fluffy bun that’s a joy to eat.

Sides of Old Bay fries are also available (£3.50). Of course if your appetite is not as big as ours, the crabs can be ordered on their own in a bun without any filling (£7), or you can grab a crab with salad (£7.50).  With such a variety on offer, we’re sure you’ll be popping back for more than just one over the course of the three days. The seating area is relatively small though, so book ahead for between 5:30pm to 9pm if we’ve got you craving these crabs – they’re sure to be in demand.

Douggie Crabbieshack Hat & Tun pop up

http://www.crabbieshack.co.uk/

http://www.thehatandtun.com/

Crabbieshack @ The Hat & Tun, 3 Hatton Wall, EC1N 8HX

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