Fried chicken. Crab boil. Corn bread. Chilli dog. Crab burger.
If that sounds good to you, I suggest going to the front room of The Public Bar for Miss Katie’s Crab Shack for a potentially messy but delicious meal. I visited with Thanh and Alastair last weekend for an early dinner and we made a MESS. Fortunately – as you’ll be able to see from the photos – the tables are covered in newspaper, and for good reason.
The main mess culprit was the crab boil ($24) – a whole blue swimmer crab, served with corn cobs and smoked kranski, all sitting in a pool of garlic butter.
We were also given bibs, mallets, and about a thousand napkins. Put the bib on and leave the embarrassment at home because they are required. The crab was delicious but so messy.
In addition, we also had the Chesapeake crab burger – a 100g blue swimmer crab cake, fresh slaw, herb mayo, dill pickles and a toasted sesame bun ($14). The bun was toasted just right – not too much and not too little – and I liked the freshness of the salad with the crab cake. And the big dill pickles were a bonus.
The fried chicken served with ranch ($16) was good, all crispy coating and juicy meat. If you like, you can add a Belgian waffle and maple syrup for an additional $5.
We also ordered cornbread ($2 a piece), which was soft and fragrant and very useful to soak up some of the crab boil garlic butter.
(A red light was turned on above our table at this point, hence the strange colour of the following photos…)
We went back for another round of food, ordering a chilli dog to share – hot dog, chilli con carne, cheddar cheese, sour cream and hot sauce ($12). It was a good chilli dog.
And finally we couldn’t leave without a big serve of thin crispy French fries with blue cheese sauce ($6).
Dinner was delicious, though the crab boil was so messy to eat that I’m not sure I’m game enough to order it again. Also, just managing expectations – if you’ve never been to / past The Public Bar, it’s a pubby pub and not a gastro pub. The tables are high, there’s a pool table in the middle of the room, and the loos are a bit grotty.
But the food gets a yes. There’s a couple of items on the menu we didn’t try, and we’ll definitely be back to eat the rest.
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Miss Katie’s Crab Shack
The Public Bar
238 Victoria Street
West Melbourne / North Melbourne VIC
Phone: 03 9329 9888
Web: Miss Katie’s Crab Shack on Facebook