Cut The Crab
Crabs are amazing creatures: hard-jointed exoskeletons, complicated feeding apparatus’, eight – legs and terrifying pincers. And absolutely delicious to eat, in so many ways. With this thought in mind, I found myself along with a friend at ‘Cut The Crab’, nestled in Section 13, Shah Alam.
‘Cut The Crab’, which marks itself as ‘fusion BBQ’, is a relatively upscale seafood place, with focus on simple cooking methods and fresh ingredients. It is a clean, open restaurant, with garden-style seating, a fresh seafood counter and a separate drinks bar, probably meant to conjure a beach atmosphere. It is a relaxed, casual place, quite suitable for makan-makan hangouts. The friendly, attentive staff is all dressed in black. Going on a weekday meant we avoided the crowds.
Their menu is simple, and some items are marked as ‘coming soon’. Being a very new restaurant, some of their items are not yet for sale. You can order off the menu, but it’s always nice to see your fresh seafood prior to cooking, so they have a counter, lined with ice and stocked with a variety of seafood. There were Snapper and Siakap, squid, huge prawns, stingray, and of course, crabs. You could have either flower crabs or mud crabs; the mud crabs are sold alive… and still kicking, too. In fact, one of the critters managed to climb over its glass enclosure and fall to the floor with a loud smack!
Undecided, I asked the chef what he would recommend. He told us he’d do a ‘tasting menu’, showcasing their signature dishes, so we could have the best of the dishes. And of course one of the dishes was crab. We agreed, and took our seats. Pretty soon the dishes came to our table one by one. All the dishes looked colorful and fantastic, with simple but effective decorations.
We had Sweet & Sour Crabs with Mantou Bread (RM30 per crab), Grilled Snapper (RM68 for a medium fish) with Cut The Crab’s own secret glazing, a platter of Rosemary Jumbo Prawns and Spicy Squid (RM30) and some white rice. Do notice we didn’t order lobster; the head chef said they were out of stock.
Stomachs hungry, we dug in. The crabs were the first ‘victims’: cracking open the hard-shells, we scooped and picked out the succulent, juicy meat, and lapped up the sauce, which had the right balance of tanginess and sweetness with a hint of spiciness, with the Mantou Bread. The bread had a slightly crunchy exterior, but the inside was fluffy and sweetish. It went really well with the sauce. The fish was next, and despite my asking, the chef refused to tell what the glazing was (well, secrets are secrets after all).
The fish was cooked to perfection; the meat still tender and flaky, tasting fresh and not at all ‘fishy’. It just compelled us to dip the meat in the spicy cili padi kicap dip, which complemented the natural flavors of the fish really well.
Moving on, we dutifully peeled the shells of the Rosemary prawns, relishing the subtle flavors of the herbs and the perfectly cooked, juicy prawn meat. However I must say I loved the Spicy Squid even more. Cooked incorrectly, squid tends to go tough and chewy, but these expertly cooked rings were anything but. I adored the spiciness, which was verging on the hot side, and thought that it was an excellent contrast to the sweetish squid.
Be warned though (but this might be a good thing actually); when we were told ‘tasting menu’ we thought it’d be small portions. But in fact the portions are huge! But again, this could be a good thing, especially if you’re sharing or going with friends. The restaurant is a bit pricey, so it’s not a place you’d dine at every week. Having said that, good seafood that is cooked well is not really easy to come by in the city, and one could say the prices are justified by the quality of the food. Cut The Crab won’t disappoint you. Just remember to ask for extra empty plates: you’ll probably have a pile of cracked and empty bones and shells by the time you’re done.
Opens: Mon – Sun 6pm – 2am