A few weeks ago, my Mum and I travelled down to Devon for a few nights of refuge by the sea. Whilst we were putting together our loose itinerary, Mum mentioned a restaurant called the Crab Shack close to where we were staying that she had been to in the past.
She recounted fond memories of drinking crisp cold Picpoul de Pinet whilst feasting on fresh seafood overlooking the sea. I instantly booked us a table.
On the day of our booking, we were blessed with perfect blue skies and sunshine – the ideal weather for lapping up seafood by the ocean. After weaving our way along the waterfront, we spotted a vibrant orange wall with “Crab Shack” painted on its side.
We’d arrived and it was far from ‘shack’ like…
Located a hop, skip and a jump from the sand, the seating area outside was heaving and led to the calmer light and airy indoor restaurant.
The décor was simplistic but with gentle uses of character throughout. The exposed brick walls and beams were painted white – perfect for opening up the small area with pops of colourful ‘fishy’ artwork and driftwood on the walls – constant reminders that we were in a fish restaurant. I’m obsessed with these paintings and would like some for my house please…
I also loved the clever use of boat ropes and fishing wire nets as lampshades to elevate the restaurant’s design!
On arrival I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t space to sit outside. However, as soon as we were shown to our table I realised that the restaurant had been cleverly designed to ensure diners can enjoy the outdoor views of the beach from inside.
The brightness from outdoors is carried through in the thoughtful decoration, which makes you feel like the restaurant is a cool oasis from the busyness outdoors without sacrificing the view and buzz. The Crab Shack VIP area if you will…
Food and Drink
We sat down and I very quickly started to devour the menu. To ensure the freshest, best sourced produce, The Crab Shack change their menu daily depending on the catch of the day, so I couldn’t pre plan what I wanted to order (I do that a lot..).
I loved that there was such an array of choice on the menu in terms of seafood options and price. You can go all out with an extravagant seafood platter at £55pp and a bottle or two of wine or, enjoy a great quality Teignmouth crab sandwich and a beer for just over a tenner. It appeals to the masses, which explains why it was so busy on a Wednesday!
We ordered a bottle of Albariño, the perfect crisp white wine to accompany delicate fish, and soaked up the menu.
And the view…
We decided to share a couple of starters.
First up was pan fried crevettes (£11.95) swimming in a chilli, lemon and strong smoked paprika sauce which we greedily mopped up with the side serving of fresh bread.
Then, seared Brixham scallops (£12.95) served with grilled peach and a caper, shallot and pink peppercorn vinaigrette.
What a pretty plate that is!
However tempted we were by the Royale platter (£160), we decided to rein it in and go for individual mains.
I opted for the whole monkfish tail (£27), which was roasted with lemon and garlic and served with a juicy mango and chilli salsa. I also ordered some chips ‘for the table’.
It was divine and the mango and chilli salsa cut through the richness of the lemon, garlic and the “meatiness” of the fish wonderfully.
Mum ordered the dressed crab (someone had to have crab!) served with new potatoes doused in butter and mixed leaves. Her verdict? The crab was succulent and flavoursome and the buttery potatoes really hit the spot.
Jane went for the steak of Brixham turbot (£28) sat on a bed of samphire and asparagus finished off with a thyme and pancetta butter, which she said she thoroughly enjoyed.
Although she did help herself to a few of my chips…
Each dish received a 10/10 from us and although they were a little on the pricey side, we weren’t disappointed by the quality, flavours or portion sizes.
The service at The Crab Shack is the only area where I would say there was room for improvement. There was nothing wrong with the service but there was also nothing special. In such a small, intimate restaurant it would be nice to see service and hospitality that goes above and beyond and leaves more of a lasting impression.
I really enjoyed our lunch at The Crab Shack and would 100% recommend it to anyone who is in the area and is a lover of seafood.
The location is picture-perfect – you can literally hear the lapping of the sea from your table – and I love their promise to use the freshest and best quality seafood from the most local sources as possible – why wouldn’t you when you’re literally steps away from the sea? Other than the slightly underwhelming service, this was just the lunch I’d hoped for and well and truly settled my fish craving until I can next return…
Do you love feasting on fresh seafood by the beach? Book your table at The Crab Shack in Teignmouth, Devon NOW!