Walking along Arbat Street we stumbled across a little sign that showed a cute crab – After 15 days in Russia we were quite sick of meat and the three of us trotted down the stairs to the second level to have a “crab” seafood dinner. This little restaurant had about 15 tables – seats maybe 50 – 70 people comfortably – clean bathrooms and very friendly service with English Menus. They specialize in Seafood – Prawns – Oysters – Crabs.
Pricing isn’t bad at all – The seafood is served in a cold platter but depends on which platter you pick – The prawns arrive hot – get the Russian ones they are big with plump Roe! – The whelk with potatoes is delicious and arrives hot, the scallops are a bit small but hot and tasty – well seasoned – the mussles are excellent and arrive piping hot and a generous amount. We went there 2 times – First time we got the platter to share for three people maybe it’s because we are asian or we just eat little and we couldn’t finish it.
Second time we ordered ala carte which turned out to be more expensive with less food so get the platter! Giant Crabs are very expensive in Thailand which can go for over 1000 roubles for 1 piece in the supermarket and here it was about 1800 roubles for a whole plate.
In many high end restaurants they serve these giant crab legs but are salty – over here its very meaty and not salty at all. I’m most impressed however with the prawns – the roe is bright and very plump and very delicious – you can taste the sea with every bite.
The have a few choices for soup, on the first visit we have the bisque which was ok but not something to order again. However on our second trip we ordered the milk crab soup and it was absolutely delicious. Milky, creamy crabby with a hint of spice. It was very very good.
We also ordered the little prawns that arrived in a small metal bucket. It was the same as those you get in the platter so i definitely recommend getting the platter as it is alot cheaper.
They recommended us a drink / lemonade – cucumber, mint concoction was just refreshing and actually really nice. We had 3 jugs as it wasn’t overly sweet and somehow the got the balance right with the cucumber lemonade and basil. Great way to balance the meal.
Upload pictures on instragram and you get a 5 percent discount. Which you can go with their free wifi. Their servers are very friendly and very nice even with limited english. It’s rare to fins such nice servers in Russia in my opinion and they really went the extra mile to help out. Definitely one of the best places to come. It’s located around the middle of Arbat street, next to a Kid’s restaurant. There’s only 1 seafood restaurant that i saw in Arbat street so not hard to find.
Life’s simple… Freshly steamed crab, dig out all the yummy brown meat, some chicken stock, garlic, carmelised onions, black pepper corns and some salt. Pour everything back in the shell, arrange artfully or in my case not so artfully on a white plate. Garnish with dill fronds and serve… Dig in….. YUM!!!
First, you tick off what you want from their menu, and then they serve it to your table with a hot pot bubbling in the centre. They actually offer other ala carte items which are actually equally yummy, but we didn’t order any..
Having a sunday family feast, us being well, Chinese, we like to have something ferociously boiling, even during the hot weather… HOTPOT! Now, there are so many varieties of hotpot around, but this one is a traditional family favorite, it’s a simple hotpot but their meats come adorned with some sort of a marinade which is maybe fermented bean paste and an egg. I really don’t know what they put in it since i’ve tired to replicate it so here it is.
You get a choice of their fermented pink tofu and bean sauce which is indescribable but so delish. You flavour it with more garlic, lime and chilies to your liking or you can opt for a soy sauce.
It’s hearty, salty, flavourful, (due to the copious amounts of msg no doubt) even i get a rash afterwards it’s well worth it. Not much to say but all chinese after we’re done with the meat and veggies and all that’s left is a soup pot full of boiling stock and marinade, we would pop in bowlfuls of rice to make like an instant congee and either keep with for breakfast or eat it off… Cheers!
Clearing out my picture files and i stumbled upon many records that i forgot to write about. Coming from asia where we are surrounded by beautiful beaches and great seafood i never expected to experience one of the best seafood meals in SF. After an hour in que (we were the last ones) we finally got a table. It was a great experience, everyone sat at the counter bar and in front you can look at all the fresh seafood and drool and imagine what you would order when you finally got to sit down. What we ordered:
1) Sea Urchin – I was so lucky it was the last one and me and the last guy shared half of this humongous guy…. It was the best uni i ever tasted in my life… I still dream about it back in Thailand.
2) Crab Salad – It was fresh veggies which is nothing new in a salad but the amount of crab meat stunned my friend into silence. They just grabbed handfuls and placed it on the salad. I mean it’s crab….. It was fresh, sweet, firm chunks! Delish… You cannot imagine…
3) Clam Chowder – Very Rich, creamy and good for dipping in the bread. Bread was cold but oh well we were there for the seafood.
4) Half a Dungeness Crab – This crab was a huge guy, in Asia crabs are big but this guy was probably from giant land. My friend who was a crab lover sat quiet after 2 weeks of complaining about western food finally shut up and just ate and ate.
5) Half a dozen oysters – All mine.. All mine. I forgot what i ordered but they were salty, juicy, and yum.
I dont think you can explain much about how seafood tastes like, i think it’s different from Thailand where everything is cooked and piping hot. Eating cold fresh seafood really is a luxury and i appreciate just basic seafood and undressed. Just enjoy it the way nature intended it. Fresh and yum. PS: They open at 11am and last orders at 4.30pm if i’m not mistaken.