St James Crabhouse & Kitchen
St James Crabhouse and Kitchen is Brisbane’s first traditional crab house and it can be found nestled in a line-up of shops under the Story Bridge at Kangaroo Point.
The funky dining space at St James Crabhouse is cosy and light-filled, with room for 36 diners, exposed concrete ceiling strung with with bare gold lightbulbs and a stunning wall of street art overlooking tables on one side.
Punters should be very prepared to get messy here, in the most delicious way, with crabs served as is tradition in North America’s crab shacks, in a plastic bag complete with sauce.
Tables are set with butcher paper and diners get bibbed up by waiters and provided with plastic gloves and plenty of serviettes as part of the fun pre-school style procedure so be warned to leave the glad rags and boring table manners at home.
Provided are finger bowls, more bags for the discarded shells and crab-eating implements - everything you need for a crab-eating adventure - and then there’s just the choice of crab, sauce and accompaniments to be made.
The crab at St James is carefully sourced, fresh and top quality, including the Red Claw, which is transported live from North Queensland. On the menu are a choice of Alaskan King or Snow Crab, Australian Blue Swimmers or Jonah Claws, as well as Queensland Prawns (all served in plastic bags) with a choice of sauce including the highly recommended New Orleans Cajun, Singapore Chilli, Citrus Beurre Blanc, Baltimore (old bay, garlic and butter) or Newport Marinara.
In addition there’s the option of a hearty 1kg bowl of South Australian Mussels in either Singapore Chilli or Newport Marinara Broth. All are served with a crunchy fresh baked baguette, perfect for mopping up the delectable sauces afterwards.
Meanwhile Daily Specials (which vary according to availability) include Spanner Crabs, Crayfish/Red Claw, Mud Crab, Moreton Bay Bugs, Lobsters and Oysters.
Before tucking into the luscious crabs, there’s a range of delicious Starters such as Sizzling Garlic Prawns, palate-cleansing Watermelon and Feta skewers, Crab Cheese Chilli Poppers and a lengthy list of Sides includes Cabbage Slaw with Apple and Pine Nuts, Mixed Greens, Grilled Corn on the Cob and the must try Shoe String Truffle Fries.
For those after something else than crab, St James also has plenty to offer with US faves such as Pork or Beef Short Ribs, Char Grilled lemon pepper marinated chicken with ranch sauce, a vegetarian option – The Brooklyn Stack - and a St James Classic Cheese or Original Burger.
Even accompanying children have some kids-friendly menu options of Chicken Tenders or Pork Spare Ribs with shoe string fries.
And keeping to tradition for dessert there’s American Brownie or Key Lime Pie with whipped cream.
Drinks-wise, St James Crabhouse is fully licensed, with two carefully selected varieties of Stone Wood – Green Coast Lager or Pacific Ale – on tap and available by the Schooner, as well as bottled Jasper Ale, Asahi, Corona Extra or Blue Moon.
There’s also Somersby Pear Cider and Apple Cider from the Granite Belt Cider Co (part of the Stone & Wood Co).
The small perfectly formed wine selection includes the exclusive-to-St-James 821 Sauvignon Blanc and the Secret Stone Pinot Noir both from Marlborough, NZ, as well as a Cape Schanck Pinot Grigio from Mornington Peninsula and Wolf Blass Private Release Shiraz from SA. Wine is served by the 150 or 250ml glass or by the bottle.
House water is by Antipodes, sparkling or still, and comes by the 500ml or 1l bottle and otherwise there’s coke, coke zero or lemonade.
Need to know – St James Crabhouse does not take reservations and so, due to its compact size, it’s recommended that evening diners come earlier in the week to avoid having to wait for a table or, if coming on a weekend, be patient. It’s well worth a wait!
Nice to know - Takeaway is also available. Multiple staggered sittings are on the cards for evening dining.
St James Crabhouse & Kitchen
5/22 Baildon St