Crab Market

Crab Market


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Emirates Financial Towers, 15th Floor, North Tower, Dubai, DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Road
Visit the Website +971 4 564 5525
Area: DIFC

If you love seafood that’s delicious without breaking the bank, in a place where the cocktails are made with as much love as the food and accompanied with tunes by the likes of Destiny’s Child…oh and did we mention views of the Burj Khalifa? Then Crab Market is about to smash onto your radar.

The location is unassuming. So much so that our taxi driver mistakenly took us straight to the plush Jumeriah Emirates Towers rather than the more reserved Emirates Financial Towers a few blocks away in DIFC. Once at the right towers we grabbed the lift up to the 15th floor and were welcomed by the most impressive fish market set up we’ve seen in a while. Fresh lobster, crab, sea bass, oysters, shrimp, tuna, black cod and prawns take pride of place on ice displays or if you prefer, pick your dinner from the tanks that could easily pass as art installations. This is an extraordinary first impression, and this is all before you’ve barely walked through the door, looked at a menu or even seen your table. Bravo!

Once we are through the doors we decide to take a left and check out the bar before we’re seated for dinner. It’s pretty dark in here, maybe some would say ‘atmospheric’. One look towards the windows that line the back walls and all becomes clear…the lighting is to add emphasis to the stunning view: Burj Khalifa and the Downtown skyline. And the view isn’t the only impressive thing in this bar, the giant metallic red ceiling fans complement the array of leather furnishings perfectly but what makes this bar really stand out is the cocktail menu. Priced at a reasonable AED50 (£10) the Crab Connection (Prosecco, elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon, orange vodka, rose essence) and the Cucumber and Lychee Cooler (gin, lychee liqueur, fresh lemon, fresh cucumber and soda water) are a dream for those who prefer their cocktails on the sweeter side but for something with a bit of drama give the Smokey Contessa (Gin, aperol, sweet vermouth, oak smoke) a whirl.

The cocktails are so good that we ordered a second round to take with us to our table, which was back past the market display and through to the restaurant area. The look here is different to the edginess of the bar, although some of the leather look is carried over, it has more of a pastel feel, a more relaxed vibe, with the options of sofas to sit on while you eat – which is exactly what we did.

As we were here for a review, we got to enjoy a set menu rather than a la carte, which means you get way more variety and can avoid the long stare at the menu deciding whether you’re about to make the wrong decisions.

We were having such a good time we’d almost forgotten that we still had food to eat. So, when the first batch of dishes arrived we were blown away by how pretty everything was. The cauliflower, parmesan and truffle carpaccio filled a huge flat plate and is quite possibly the most flavoursome cauliflower has ever tasted! Round one also included the deliciously creamy bruschetta with stracciatella & bottarga, fresh and beautiful salads in the shape of green asparagus, arugula, spinach and radish and warm seafood salad with tomatoes and potatoes. But the winner of this round was the ‘Classic Tartare’, a platter of four tartare options: scallops and papaya, tuna and avocado, salmon and mango, langoustine and pomelo. We could have ordered this option at least five times over…tangy, fresh and tasty, with each separate tartare bringing a different kick to the tastebuds but somehow complementing each other at the same time.

We were still revelling in the joy of the very generous starters when the mains arrived. A rich ravioli with burrata and black truffle, deliciously simple jumbo prawns and one of the house favourites: Kamchatka crab legs. As a lover of seafood the perfectly cooked prawns and crabs were on an even keel with the tartare platter in terms of excellence, light to the bite but deliciously filling too.

But there was more food to come in the shape of two exquisite desserts: a chocolate mousse with hazelnuts and a mango panna cotta with lychee granite…and after sharing both I don’t think I could now order the one without the other. Separately, the two desserts are a must…together they are genius. The light, pallet-cleansing flavours and texture of the mango and lychee followed by the rich, striking flavour of the mousse really is a sensation for the senses.

A three-course meal for two with two cocktails each will come to around AED600 (£120) which is hard to believe when the food and drink is this good. So good, we’ve already booked a table to visit again.

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