Crab restaurant didn’t have crabs

The Goonfather recently discovered this restaurant called Crab Shack when he went to attend a seminar at Bestway Building.

He didn’t eat there; he just checked out the menu and filed the info for future use.

It was a Saturday night when the topic came up.

My friends had been hanging out at my place all day and we were hungry. We had been talking about dinner for an hour but no one wanted to make a decision on a place. We joked about driving to Malacca and KL and Genting. But nothing came out of our discussions.

So, finally, I said, “What about Crab Shack?” (The Goonfather had mentioned it to me a few days earlier.)

Blur faces looked back at me. “What’s that?”

Anyway, the Goonfather managed to browbeat everyone into agreeing to try that place by telling them that the beer costs $4.50 a mug or $18 a jug ($16 happy hour) and you can get 6 crab claws for less than 4 bucks.

After half an hour of dilly-dallying which is so typical of Singaporean groups, we arrived at Crab Shack bright and early (8 pm).

They had a hard time keeping the crabs from escaping

The place was empty, as expected, because it’s in the CBD and nobody goes to the CBD on a Saturday night. And, in fact, we were looking forward to it being empty because we don’t like Saturday night dinner crowds.

But it was a little more empty than I had really expected.

We were the only customers in the whole place the whole night.

It was really tough choosing between all the available empty tables

And then the menu came and all was forgiven (for the moment).

For a menu featuring crab, everything’s really cheap. Main courses for less than $10 and appetisers for less than $5. (There are, of course, more expensive items as well.)

The menu was pretty big, too. An abundance of choice. Besides crab by itself, there’s crab pizza, crab pasta, crab baked rice and crab sandwiches, among other non-crab things.

The crab croquettes envied the calamari rings for demanding a higher price

We got really hungry just looking at the menu, so we called the waitress over.

“Can we have the Stone Crab Claw…”

“Sorry, we don’t have that. If you want to order any crab dishes, you have to call us one day in advance to order.”

“Why is that?”

“We don’t keep crabs in here.”

“Your restaurant is called Crab Shack, right?”


“But you don’t have crabs in your restaurant.”

“We don’t keep live crabs here. If you want, you have to order one day in advance and we’ll bring the crabs in.”

“So, is there anything we can order today?”

“You can order all the other food that don’t have crab.”

“Tell me the name of your restaurant again?”

“You can order the crab pizza. We have frozen crabs for that.”

“Never mind. Can we have the fried shishamo?”

“We don’t serve shishamo.”

“It’s right here on your menu.”

“This menu is the old one.”

“Can we have the new menu, please?”

“Sorry, it’s not ready yet.”

It took us half an hour to figure out what’s available and what’s not. Virtually half of the menu was unavailable.

But we did get to eat some crab. We made four orders of crab baked rice and three orders of crab spaghetti marinara (featuring frozen crab).

And then, DJD Porko wanted to order coffee.

“Sorry, all the hot drinks are not available.”

“All of them???”

“We don’t have hot water today.”

What a riot.

I swear I thought I had walked into another dimension in another century, where it’s customary for restaurants not to serve what they advertise.

We stuck around, anyway, because we were too lazy to move.

While waiting for our food, the owner himself came out to speak to us.

Lucky thing he did, or we would have written off the restaurant forever.

The story is that he recently took over the premises and is still sorting out the menu and the logistics of everything. And the hot water machine (or something) had just broken down, which is why we couldn’t have hot drinks that night. And they don’t keep crabs in little tanks like other crab restaurants do because they only serve flower crabs, which die very fast, so it’s not feasible to keep them around and wait for customers to order them.

And he is very sorry for everything but business will be back to normal in a week or two.

He should have trained the waitress to explain all this properly, because her clueless responses had annoyed us.

But the owner was nice and apologetic, so we forgave him everything. He even gave us a complimentary dish of baked scallops, which was quite nice.

The rest of the food was mediocre, though, so there won’t be pictures and reviews.

But we like the place because it’s empty, and the beer and finger food are cheap. (You can’t go too far wrong with finger food, in terms of taste.)

And Morte likes the place because live soccer matches are projected on a huge wall for soccer fans.

But we made the owner play something else that night because the rest of us don’t like soccer and we enjoy torturing Morte. Haha.

22 thoughts on “Crab restaurant didn’t have crabs

  1. Avatar

    lol, you’ll get used to it if you work there long enough, to have to eat that every other OT night.

    their potato salad is the only thing that’s good since they opened nearly a year back…

  2. Avatar

    Hahah that is so surreal!

    There’s a roast chicken chain here called “Red Rooster”. I once walked in and the counter girl said to me, “Sorry, we don’t have chicken tonight.” I was stoned for a while, and then she said, “You can have chicken subs and chicken burgers. We just don’t have chicken-chicken.” ORH! Say so lah! Hahah.

  3. Avatar

    As I was reading, my gut feel says change of ownership and what d’ya know. I was spot on.

    Anyway, I think the boss did the right thing to come out and talk to the patrons.

    I would come back to the restaurant if the great PR/service can compensate the average food.

  4. Avatar

    the original crab shack is at upper thomson road and it’s still there. they have crabs whenever you want and it’s always crowded. i think this branch is called crab shack in the city.

  5. Avatar

    hehe sound like crabby place, for a crabby night, great expectation for crabby desire.

    Seem like had gone there at a bad time… :D

    well wonder if there is a Take #2 for this place.
    Interesting read, nice manager to explain the problem…..

    hmmmm….where is Sebastian :P~ hehehehehe *left hand shell cracker, right hand butter*

  6. Avatar

    Another food post gives me the chance to post an old joke:
    CUSTOMER: Waiter! Do you serve crabs in this restaurant?
    WAITER: Madam, we serve ANYBODY!

  7. Avatar

    xinyun: Er… you work (or worked) at Crab Shack? Kinda sad if the only thing good on the entire menu is the potato salad. lol

    modchip: CBD = Central Business District. It’s only active during work days and work hours. :P

    mooiness: Hahaa… that’s exactly like how we felt! Walk into a crab restaurant and the waitress says, “Sorry we have no crab.”

    I used to love Red Rooster when I was in Melbourne. Pity they don’t have it here in Singapore.

    JayWalk: Wow… you’re very experienced, hehe. Yeah, the boss at least had common sense to do the right thing. And yes, we will go back again, certainly. :P

    Vandalin: Yes, absolutely. Now don’t go spread the word around. We still would like it relatively empty when we next visit! Haha. Just kidding.

    anonymous: You’re right. The boss did tell us about his other branch. But I guess I’d rather eat at the city one cos it won’t be as crowded.

    Ashtar83: Haha, the night wasn’t all that “crabby”. We did enjoy hanging out anyway.

    Wang Wang: Cool. :)

    binary_0011: Well, it IS in the CBD. :P Businesses there don’t get a lot of patronage at night, especially weekend nights.

    Claudia: Have you eaten at the Upper Thomson branch? Are the crabs really yummy? Actually, I don’t really like flower crabs. Too little meat for the hassle. :P

    HaLLoweeN: What… but I didn’t even post any food pictures!

    nadnut: lol. not exactly, either. We didn’t get any crabs. haha.

    Jesta: Haha, good joke. I think I’ve heard of some other variation.

    Jason Ho: Reaaaally! Which dish would you recommend?

  8. Avatar

    nah, i didn’t meant crabby as crappy.

    crabby as in yummy good to eat kind of crabby, crabby attitude like dun mess with me I’m armed with claws, crabby…meaty…oh just feel like sucking on all meaty claws of crabs…and the….yellow brown….sh**** looking goodie stuff! :D~~~
    haha going crabonkas (@_@)

    well conclusion,
    Wonder will there be another trip there to get the real, hontoni
    /( ^_^)/ food blog, where you take pics of crabs and judge the food with comments that matters so gravely to rank as heavenly food or down damned right to hell food.

    Back to dinner….I must be hungry

  9. Avatar

    Ashtar83: Ok, I get what you mean, athough crabby-yummy and crabby-attitude are kinda different. :P I don’t know if I should post any more food pictures. Everytime I do, I get complaints. Hahaha.

    xinyun: Ah, I see. :)

    modchip: That’s funny. :P Don’t you have CBD in the Philippines?

    JokeDiary: I guess it depends on how you define “good”.

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