The Boiling Crab opened its doors in Australia (or the land down under) on 12 March 2021 and chose Glen Waverley in Melbourne’s mid-east as the location for its first restaurant. Having visited in April 2021, about a month after the restaurant’s opening, I can safely say that the restaurant still has a good level of hype and is still busy with guests and queues. In brief, the seafood was nice and tasty, depending on which ones you select, and I am thinking of coming back again.
We arrived around 6:00 pm at the restaurant. We informed the person at the counter, who was quite nice, how many people were in our party. We were then put onto the waiting list and spent around 20 minutes walking around the main shopping strip before getting an SMS that our table was ready. The text message mentioned that our table was only going to be saved for the next 10 minutes. (I also recommend that you also click on the link and press the button on their website that informs the restaurant that you are making your way).
Once inside, we certainly got the American vibe to it. Americans love to overwhelm. I felt the décor was certainly overwhelming with all manner of sea related paraphernalia hanging on walls and ceiling. There were sharks, ‘shrimp’ and lobsters dangling around. I mention ‘shrimp’ with quotation marks, because Australians don’t ever say ‘put a shrimp on the barbie’, we just call them prawns.
We were seated on a table and a plastic/paper table covering was placed on the table as we took our seats. We were then informed that we just needed to press the buzzer to have someone come to our table. (I wasn’t sure if the buzzer was working, since we tried it a few times and it didn’t seem to work. And no, I wasn’t pressing it every 1 or 2 seconds, probably max 3 times about 1 minute apart.)
The menu was weird due to the weight measurements that they chose to use. Most of the prices and weight were based on lb or pounds. Unhelpfully or helpfully there was a sign near the counter that stated that 1 lb or pound was the equivalent of 450 grams. (You would have to squint to see it on the back wall.) The prices started to look high already since I can’t say I am any good at conversions, because pounds was less than half a kilo. While $24.90 for one kilogram of prawns sounded really good, $24.90 for one pound of prawns had me thinking twice. My tip to the restaurant would be to just have everything in grams and kilograms and just forego the use of pounds. It just cause more confusion, because I am more familiar with grams and kilograms than pounds.
There were a number of menu items we wanted to try. We thought that we had to try their crab, since we were at a place called The Boiling Crab. So we opted for the Brown Crab from Scotland. (It was probably the wrong choice and we should have gone with Blue Crab from Australia. I’ll tell you why in a second.) We also got the Fried Rockling Basket which came with fries. My wife pointed out that the mussels were pretty expensive at $20 a pound, so we went for the prawns at $24.90 a pound.
When selecting the seafood, you have to do three things: 1) choose its sauce from Rajun Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Sauces or the whole she-bang for an extra $3; 2) choose the spiciness from four levels; and 3) add whatever other side you want from corn, sausages, potatoes and eggs.
We chose Rajun Cajun sauce and sausages for the Brown Crab, lemon pepper seasoning for the fries, and Lemon Pepper sauce for the prawns. Due to the company, we chose mild for all dishes for the spice level.
The Gumbo looked really interesting. It seemed to be popular in the restaurant, as I saw it being ordered frequently (since we were close to the counter where the food came from the kitchen) but adding it to our list seemed a bridge too far.
Before our food arrived, we were given plastic bibs with The Boiling Crab logo to wear. Plus, we had our own containers to make lime and pepper sauce, some scissors to cut the shells on the crustaceans, and some gloves to deal with the soon-to-be-mess.
We were given our prawns first. About 2 minutes later, we were given the Fried Rocking. Finally about 10 minutes after that, we got our brown crab. Both the prawns and brown crab arrived in plastic bags with the chosen sauces and spices. We could have poured the prawns and crab onto the table like some people, but it looked pretty messy so we decided to keep the seafood in the bags.
The prawns were really succulent. I really enjoyed the texture and the buttery lemon pepper sauce. It was the standout item of the night. Given we had gloves, I had no problem peeling the prawn shells. I enjoyed dipping the prawns in the buttery sauce before eating them. Really happy with it.
The Fried Rocking and fries was equally delicious. I liked the bread crumbs on the fish, which was cooked really well. The fries were crispy and soft on the inside. They were good fries and weren’t bad. This came with a nice tartar sauce.
The brown crab had heaps of roe inside, a seafood lovers dream. My wife being one of them really liked the roe. I am not much of crab fan, because I find that getting the meat is a lot of work for not much reward. (My family love buying lobsters and crab, so I am not unfamiliar with it and eating it.) Overall, I thought the crab meat didn’t hit the mark probably because it was frozen and then shipped from Scotland and boiled in Australia. The roe was okay, but I don’t normally get excited about it. The sausages that were added didn’t do much for me either, in that there wasn’t anything distinctive about them other than being plain pork or beef sausages. The sausages were just nice to have.
In the end, we had amassed a pile of prawn and crab shells around our table. Lucky we had the bibs, because it protected us from the mess, and the gloves, which kept our hands clean-ish. My wife went through all the extra gloves and I managed to survive with just the initial pair.
The cost of our meal was as follows: Brown Crab at 0.660 kg at 64.30/kg was $42.44 + sausage was $6.50 with their Rajun Cajun sauce. The Fried Rocking and lemon pepper seasoned chips was $18.00. Shrimp was $24.90 per pound. Soda was $5.00. In total we paid AUD$107.59, because we were hit with a public holiday surcharge of 10% (which we only found out on the day) and a credit card surcharge of 1%. It is interesting to note that anything that is by weight is measured in kilograms on the receipt.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I would come again. The prawns and Fried Rockling were worth it. I really enjoyed them. We finished everything we ordered. Next time, I want to try their crawfish and lobster legs since they seemed to be popular in the restaurant.
I visited the restaurant on 25 April 2021.
The Boiling Crab is located in Melbourne’s southeast in Glen Waverley and is across the road from The Glen Shopping Center on the ground floor of 52 O’Sullivan Road, Glen Waverley VIC 3150. You can’t miss it:
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