Debbie had read an excellent review of the Crab Shack on the beach at Teignmouth, so it was very much a part of our agenda for the weekend, and after we had been to Easter Sunday mass at the delightful Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Patrick (you can see my photos of the splendid interior here) we wandered down to the seafront to find it. We had booked a table because reservations are essential. The weather had been sunny when we went into church but had taken a downturn by the time we came out, and now we were dealing with a very strong wind, an overcast sky and a hint of rain. The sea was crashing against the seawall and the flags down at the front were being blown hard. With our typical planning, we did not actually know precisely where the Crab Shack was located, so we started at one end of the front, walked along past the pier to the back beach location, went past the lifeboat station to get on to the back beach itself, and then walked along the beach back towards town, and we found the Crab Shack in an excellent location on the corner of the back beach overlooking the harbour.
We were early and our table was available so we took our seats amongst the flotsam and jetsam which serve as decoration in such a suitable and stunning way, even in the toilets.
The staff were all very friendly from the moment we stepped in and we were made to feel more than welcome. We both enjoy crab and we eat a lot of fish and shellfish, so this would appear to be a perfect restaurant for us. In fact, it exceeded our high expectations. They have their own boats (La Vagabonde Des Mers and The Royal Escape) which they use to catch all the shellfish they serve, so they know exactly where it is sourced. I decided to have the crab soup and crab sandwich duo, opting for brown bread, and adding a portion of chips. Debbie went for the bucket of crab and lobster claws, which also included some lobster tails because they were low on claws, and another portion of chips. The bucket of chips which they brought to the table was way too much for the two of us, though we did manage to eat them all anyway, because it would be a shame to waste such good food. If we thought the chips were good then the seafood went off the scale.
My crab soup was a wonderful consistency, not quite thick enough to be a broth and nicely substantial, was very smooth to taste, with the hint of a sharp edge to the delicious crab flavour. The crab sandwich was sumptuous, overflowing with crab meat and on very tasty bread with a crunchy crust. The crab meat itself was also full of flavour, firm without being hard, and neither too dry nor too wet. Debbie’s bucket of crab and lobster was very well cooked, simple and nicely done, with a wonderful flavour to the meat. Our meals were from their lunchtime menu but we both thought they were a more than sufficient proper meal, and we knew we would not need to eat in the evening. After all that we did not need a pudding, but we carried on regardless. Debbie had the gin and tonic cheesecake and I went for the chocolate brownie with clotted cream. Now, we have been to a number of restaurants over the last year who seem to excel at starters or mains while their desserts come across as being almost an afterthought. That was not the case here and the puddings continued the high quality of food on offer. Our bill was also brought to us very soon after we asked for it, so no waiting around once everything was finished.
That is not to say that we wanted to leave, but we had to get on the road home. We could very easily have stayed in such a wonderful atmosphere all day, and we can only imagine that taking one of the outside tables in the summer must be a pleasure. I do want to return to this part of the country again this year and when we do we will certainly be booking another meal at the Crab Shack.
Anyway, do not just take my word for it – you can see the Crab Shack featured on the Hairy Bikers on BBC2 on 19 April at 1900.
We went into the pier on our way back to the car and played on one of the 2p coin drop machines. £1 worth of 2ps kept us going for some time. You can also see more of my photos from the day here.
We had a brilliant time whilst we were down in Devon and you can read about it in my other blogs from the long weekend :