Back in August, my friend Meg took me to The Boiling Crab’s new claims to fame in the CBD. She had gotten a voucher for a free snack there, so she invited me to join her for dinner. It was simply a fun unassuming night. Little did I know, their marketing team reached out to me later that night and sent an invitation through my email. Billy came with me the second time around and we were completely stuffed by the end of our meal. They served us so much food, which gave me a more complete experience with the restaurant and its food. Needless to say, we indulged!
The Boiling Crab
Hailing from Seadrift, a town in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas, The Boiling Crab brought Louisiana-style seafood to the spotlight in 2004. Since then, it has opened more than 20 locations in the US, all the way in Shanghai, China. Now, it has gone “down under” to Australia, racking in popularity as it newly opened its second establishment in Tattersalls Lane in Chinatown, Melbourne CBD.
Location & Ambiance
The Tattersalls branch in Chinatown is the one I visited. To get there by tram, hop off at Bourke Street stop. The 86/96 or any other trams running along Swanston Street will do just fine. Once you’re there, it won’t be too much of a walk to reach The Boiling Crab restaurant. However, if that’s not your scene, they have another chain over in Glen Waverley.
Coming there the first time, I was quite surprised by how much space there was – enough to accommodate more than 100 people. The walls are quite flashy, covered in neon signs, which gives the place a fresh catch vibe reminiscent of Seadrift’s origins. You’ll probably believe me when I say that you’re eating Louisiana crayfish cooked by the fisherman who caught them himself on his boat.
Menu & Service
They offer a straightforward website for locating their menu. We may select proteins, sauces, spice levels, side dishes, and fried dishes on there. The side dishes, fried dishes, and beverages are optional; however, if you order any proteins you’ll need to choose a sauce and spice levels.
I would also like to give a special mention to the waitstaff who made our experience so much more enjoyable with their insight into the history of the establishment and how best to enjoy the food. They are all very professional and take pride in their work, which is immediately evident. You will be noticed by them even from a distance, and they go out of their way to be accommodating.
Food & Beverages
The food order comes in waves, I don’t know if they do it on purpose, but it kind of builds up the excitement for us.
First, they gave us some bibs, gloves, & shell crackers to start with. And when they delivered our drinks, it had a voucher hidden at the bottom of the cup. We’re free to use it straight away, or we can keep it for our next visit.
Then came the side dishes, followed by the main spectacle: all the seafood boils that came in huge plastic bags. Apparently, that’s how traditional seafood boils are prepared, in giant pots of seasoned broth and served in plastic bags to preserve the flavors. We dug in right away, hands and mouth.
I’d like to highlight my second visit here because as a mud crab aficionado, the first visit was a wee bit of a disappointment because it was a sad piece of skinny mud crab.
But the second time, we were spoiled with a big mixture of seafood boils, including king crab legs, lobster, prawns, clams, mussels, octopus, sides of corn & potato, fried scallops, and soft shell crab. Just writing these down makes me hungry.
Boston Lobster & King Crab Legs
The lemon pepper sauce slathered on the rice was definitely a treat, although the King Crab Legs were no better than the mud crab because it wasn’t as meaty as I’d expected. The fried scallops, fried calamari, the clams, and the mussels are the deal breakers. I’d come again for them.
As for the boiled prawns and octopus, I’d prefer them grilled, but my partner seems to enjoy them nonetheless.
The original & the lemon pepper sauce are both cajun sauce-based, so they are more on the salty side. But if you don’t mind garlic, you’d love the whole shabang sauce. Fun fact, these sauces are shipped from the US.
Their spice level is pretty legit. We tried the highest level of spice in one of our boils and it brought us a lot of heat, but it was nothing we couldn’t handle.
If you’re looking for a great seafood restaurant with delicious food, attentive service, and plenty of space to enjoy your meal, then The Boiling Crab in Tattersalls lane is the place for you. I would definitely come back again to try their signature Crawfish dish – apparently, no other seafood boil places in Melbourne serve it. The only downside is that they don’t offer delivery services, but overall this was a great experience.
- The Boiling Crab Melbourne CBD
- 12-00 PM – 9:30 PM
- Type : Restaurant
- Cuisine : American
- Price : $$
- Alcohol : Yes
- Dessert : No
- Indoor Capacity : 100+
- Outdoor Capacity : –
- RSVP : Walk in Only
- Waiting Time : 15-20 minutes
- Toilet : Yes
- Wifi : Not sure
- Vegan / Vegetarian : Not main dish
- GF Option : Not sure