Don’t expect pretty table linen or cutlery when you eat at Crab Factory, simply because there’s none. The whole setup in this restaurant is focused on being simple and rustic. The exposed brick wall, the utilitarian wooden tables and metal chairs, the exposed ceiling beams give it a functional and practical theme, much like a factory.
The whole idea of this setup is from the owner’s experience of communal dining in Louisiana where the backyard Crab Boil is somewhat like our steamboat or BBQ affairs which usually involve a gathering of family and friends. Upon her return to Malaysia, owner TY Ooi decided to share this Louisiana food culture here … hence Crab Factory was born.
TY Ooi obviously loves her seafood!
The menu at Crab Factory is very simple and ordering is systematic. Choose your fresh seafood, choose your sauce, decide on the level of heat (spiciness) and add on your choice of sides. Prices of the fresh seafood are at market rates and are indicated on the board. Prices are stated based on 500g and 1kg. Take your pick from Meat Crabs, Yabbies, Baby Octopus, Prawns, Mussels, Japanese Snails, Scallops and Freshwater Prawns.
Start with some mild flavours – choose the garlic butter sauce for a smooth start
We tried the meat crabs, yabbies, mussels and prawns – everything was very fresh. Initially I was a bit skeptical of the yabbies as it’s pretty difficult to get nice fresh ones here. As it turned out, they were incredibly sweet and succulent – definitely a hit with us. Likewise, the crabs, prawns and mussels all passed the freshness test with flying colours.
Yabbies were super fresh
Their side dishes are known as “Bag Buddies” because they are added on to the seafood bags. Oh did I mention there are no plates or bowls here as well? Food is brought out in plastic bags and then poured on to the paper-lined tables. Bag Buddies include corn (RM4), chicken sausages (RM4.90), potatoes (RM5.90), enoki mushrooms (RM6.90) and button mushrooms (RM7.90). There are additional side dishes like fried chicken wings (RM16.90), Cajun garlic fries (RM6.90), Pollock fish fingers (RM12.90) and Gumbo (southern soup) at RM12.90. You can also order some baguette slices (RM3.90) to mop up the sauces from your seafood.
We had a variety of seafood served with their garlic butter and signature “Southern Bang” sauces. The garlic butter was aromatic and appetizing but we found the Southern Bang to be more fun and exciting. We tried all the 4 levels of “heat”: mild, medium, holy crab and death valley – the last one being the most lethal. Lethal it was… be warned – the super heat from “death valley” will slowly burn a deathly trail from your tongue down your throat and it took quite a while for the fire to subside!
Here comes the King Crab!
Be prepared to get your hands dirty as once the seafood is poured onto the table, just grab them with your fingers – that’s the only way to enjoy this feast. A plastic bib is provided to protect your clothes. I liked the Creole and Cajun influences of the sauces – a perfect blend of peppery seasonings and aromatic spices that’s addictive yet not too overwhelming so that the natural marine sweetness of the seafood still shone through.
If you want a refreshing style of eating fresh seafood seated at a long table, sharing with friends and family, check out Crab Factory’s seafood feast- it breaks down all barriers as everyone eats with bare hands, licking away at the sauces dripping from the shells.
Have some ‘two step” to go with your seafood – it’s darn good!
Reservations are highly recommended as the restaurant is perpetually busy.
21 Jalan SS2/64
47300 Petaling Jaya
(opposite MacDonalds, right under Professor Uniform)
Opening hours: Mon, Wed & Thur: 3.00pm – 11.00pm
Fri, Sat & Sun: 11.00am – 11.00pm
Closed on Tuesdays
Part of this review was first published in HungryGoWhere Malaysia on 14 April 2914.
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