Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack – Covent Garden

Saturday hubby and I decided to visit Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crab Shack in Covent Garden. With our impending US trip in less than 3 weeks we decided we needed to acclimatise our palates to American Fare. Plus we absolutely love BBQ, Seafood and American cuisine – this place had all 3.

 

We booked a table via TopTable.co.uk for 4pm, when we turned up we were promptly shown to our table. Note: if you have a big butt, lots of shopping or just puffy clothes the tables are tightly packed and you could end up dragging people’s dinner off their tables, or your clothes through their actual dinner. I was lucky that the table next to me was empty – not that I have a big butt mind (see my running posts as proof!)

 

The décor inside was great, very well designed and very in keeping with the crab shack feel, nice touch were the neon lobster signs in cages hanging from the ceiling. Music was a rousing mix of bluegrass, jazzy Americana, not too loud but enough to get your toe tapping.

 

I’d already spent a constructive afternoon before we booked looking at the menu to decide which cocktails to try, I’d whittled it down to 3 and started with the Margarita Slushie that consisted of Cabrito 100% agave white Tequila, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Briottet orange liqueur, lime & white sugar. The tequila had quite a kick, but this was a nice refreshing start.

Hubby started with a Big Easy Larger, which was actually Scottish even with the name Harviestoun Schiehallion.

 

For food we decided to share some Deep Fried Voodoo Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce to start. The sauce was red and this confused me, couldn’t tell what it tasted like as was too scared to try too much in case it was spicy 😉

The prawns were good – juicy & tasty, a great way to start.

 

For main we decided to go seafood, as we do BBQ meat a lot, but we love Crab & Lobster too, so we opted for the Lobster Bake consisting of Half 1½ lb Lobster, Peel ‘n’ Eat Jumbo Shrimp, Mussels, Crab Claws & New Potatoes cooked in Garlic Sauce, and hubby had Crabshack Combo consisting of Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp, Crab Claws, Mussels, Clams & New Potatoes cooked in Hot ‘n’ Spicy Sauce. We also ordered a side order of Mash & Gravy – just because!

At this point I also ordered my second cocktail – Boozy Juice Calle 23 100% agave white Tequila with Watermelon juice, fresh-pressed at the bar.

 

When the main dish turned up it was a little overwhelming and I was worried I wouldn’t even make a dent. I shouldn’t have been concerned!

Lobster Combo

Lobster Combo

The Jumbo prawns were MASSIVE, the two in the dish would have been a meal in itself. Everything tasted great.

The plastic bibs came in handy given the amount of claws we had to crack.

Phill needs protection!

Phill needs protection!

 

This dish was very reminiscent of paella, but it had new potatoes and it may have been good to offer rice as an option. The potatoes were the only thing I left.

 

 

We demolished the main course easily. Waiting staff were good at emptying the shell bowls, as we filled them to brimming!

 

When it came to dessert the menu was a little limiting with not a lot of choice, but this was a perfect excuse for cocktail number 3.

X-rated shake Grasshopper comprising of Mozart Dry chocolate spirit, Edmond Briottet mint liqueur, milk & chocolate ice cream.

This was delicious but it pushed me offer the edge from being pleasantly full to stuffed and I couldn’t finish it.

 

At just over £100 for a starter, 2 mains + a side, & 3 drinks each it wasn’t bad value. If I hadn’t had the cocktails it would have been super value, but not as fun!

 

Definitely plan to go back as there were lots of other exciting dishes to try – I have my eye on the Taste-O-Rama!

 

Note: if one of your male party need the toilet they may be gone for some time, apparently it’s halfway to china or something 😉

 

Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crab Shack is located at 12 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA

Telephone 020 3728 4888

For reservations only – email coventgarden@bigeasy.co.uk

 

Opening hours
Monday to Wednesday
Restaurant 12 noon – 11.30pm
Bar bites until 12am

Thursday to Saturdays

Restaurant 12 noon – 12.30am

Bar bites until 1am

Sunday 12 noon – 11pm

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BAR BBQ ON ICE Review

A day off on Monday saw hubby and I at a loss for lunch. A quick twitter and pop up london search lead us to Bar BBQ on Ice.

Nestled behind Liverpool Street Station next to the Broadgate Ice Rink, BAR BBQ ON ICE is London’s latest pop up restaurant. The menu, inspired through travels to Memphis, promises to bring authentic flavours of smoke and fire alongside craft beers and great cocktails plus something for the kids.

I was excited, as you now probably know I love BBQ & meat! I was also surprised to find that there was an ice rink behind Liverpool Street.

We took quite a convoluted route around Liverpool Street station to find it due to the Cross Rail works blocking the road, but once we did we were promptly seated and looked after.

We decided to share some dishes, so we went for the BBQ Tray – which consisted of Sliders, Ribs, Slaw, BBQ Beans, Chilli, Hotdog & house cut chips; Chipotle-Maple Chicken Wings & Moonshine Shrimp.

The shrimp were amazing! Cooked just perfectly and they came with a nice bloody mary dip. The chicken wings were succulent, couldn’t really taste the chipotle very much. The BBQ tray was substantial, ribs nice and soft, there was just too much for me to eat my share so I skipped on the slider, I didn’t really like the hot dog.

It all comes served in cool metal crockery lined with printed greaseproof paper.

BBQ Tray

BBQ Tray

BBQ Tray & Moonshine Shrimps

BBQ Tray & Moonshine Shrimps

The atmosphere was quiet for a Monday lunch, but they had a few tables full. I guess BBQ meat is not everyones go to meal for a Monday lunch time – certainly did the trick for me.

Even though it’s just a pop up the detail to the decor was well thought out. It was a bit strange eating with wooden cutlery – guess it saves on washing up! The floor of the structure is extremely ‘bouncy’ so you find yourself vibrating whenever someone passes your table.

It was a great find by hubby, and reasonable given the portions. I’d go again, still need to try the Mac n Cheese. Have I ever told you about the time I ate Mac n Cheese for 3 meals in one day….???

Since publishing this post I discovered that Bar BBQ on Ice is only around until the 28th February, so best get there while you can.

BROADGATE ICE RINK
exchange square
broadgate
london ec2a 2bq
0203 011 1185
INFO@BARBBQONICE.COM

Rock Lobsta @ Mahiki – Soft Launch Review

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I’ll admit that I am no culinary reviewer, but thought I would give my views on our visit to Rock Lobsta @ Mahiki last night.

Hubby managed to bag a table for 19.45 last night as we have a new found love for lobster. They had great pre-dinner customer service, phoning to confirm reservation, and re-iterating that this was a soft launch so our patience and understanding would be appreciated.

We arrived early so headed downstairs to the cocktail bar for an aperitif. I had never heard of Mahiki before, hubby tells me this could be the bar Prince Harry got kicked out of, I haven’t googled to confirm or deny this info. The bar is quite a strange concept for Mayfair, I was expecting more sophistication rather than a full on cheesy tiki affair. What can I say I loved it!

Cocktails were reasonably priced, although at that early hour could benefit from a happy hour to draw more people in, and all cocktails are served in novelty vessels such as heads, shells etc!

The restaurant was situated up a floor. We had a nice table in the corner, although the table was a little too high for my short stature, and the lighting a little too ambient.

We were served promptly from a friendly waiter.

Initially we ordered two snacks for starter Soft Shell Crab & Lobster Corndogs, and a for main course we were going to share a whole Native lobster with extras of salad & dripping chips. Whilst our starter came we debated as to whether a whole lobster would be enough to share, so relented and ordered another Half lobster just in case.

The starters were delicious with the soft shell crab beating the corndogs.

Our main courses came out separately, but the waiter was very apologetic and kept advising that it wouldn’t be long. I finished the half before the whole came out, but this was not a major issue. The chips didn’t seem very dripping like, and our salad turned into greens. Not major issues given it was a soft launch, and hubby really liked the Greens so that was an extra bonus.

How was the lobster? Fantastic, if a little small. It had a nice smoked chilli butter which made it so tasty. We are relative lobster novices so never sure if we get the most out of a lobster, unlike the lady on the table next to use that sucked every last bit!

We were full from all the savoury so didn’t try a dessert.

As it was a soft launch the bill had 50% off food, and this made the meal good value, had it been full price I probably would have been disappointed as you can get Lobster for £20 at Burger & Lobster, whereas they charge £32 for a lobster.

Always surprises me that you only get one claw, but guess they have to make the corndogs out of something 😉

I would recommend it for the experience and atmosphere. Really attentive staff and good grub. I hope it does well!

STK London – Anniversary Meal

For our 2nd anniversary we decided to try STK at the ME hotel on The Strand.

The hotel and restaurant are part of The One Group who are also the owners of The Cosmopolitan, where we stayed for our honeymoon in Vegas, so it was an apt choice to go for our meal.

We reserved around 2 weeks in advance and could only get an early sitting of 6pm, with a 2 hour time limit for the table.

The hotel is quite understated from the outside, so not easy to spot, but sits on the island between Aldwych and The Strand, so not too difficult really.

The restaurant is very stylish, with a dark and glitzy look. A nice selection of booths and tables, with ample space, so you don’t feel like your all squished in together.

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Our waiter was very attentive and took great pride in telling us how lively the place got later, with dancing on the tables when the DJ cranked up the volume. Seeing as we had to leave by 8pm this was a cunning ploy to pique our interest and maybe try for a later sitting next time.

We ordered a Cocktail for me, Oh L’Amour, and Beer for Hubby.

For food we chose the Chateaubriand to share, Lobster Mac & Cheese and Parmesan Truffle Chips. The main also came with Foie Gras and Spinach. The meat was cooked perfectly and there was plenty of it, so much we took home a doggy bag! The mac & cheese was delicious, and chips super tasty!

With my steak I had a glass of white wine and hubby a glass of Malbec.

Hubby had spotted a Cheese & Champagne restaurant earlier in Coventry Garden, so he already had dessert sorted, so I opted for the Cold Chocolate Fondant. It was amazing! The base had popping candy in it, and the orange sauce was lovely.

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At every course the waiter had some interesting fact to share about what we were eating or drinking, and was a great host for the evening, always ensuring we had enough water etc.

The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable. Food was perfect, and not too unreasonable for central London.

We have seen how lively The Cosmopolitan got as the evening drew on, so can only imagine what STK London could be like after dark.

Only negatives would be the distance to the toilets – around 4 flights downstairs. And the fact that the service charge doesn’t go just to your waiter/waitress, but to the restaurant. This isn’t a big surprise, it was more the fact that they point this out on the bill, which almost guilts you into adding extra to the 12.5% already on your bill.

We would definitely go back to try some of the other items on the menu, especially their great choice of cocktails.