Dig your claws into this: St. James Crabhouse & Kitchen
Tegan Tucker | On 07, May 2016
In a market saturated with American burger shacks, ribs, gourmet hot dogs and pimped out donuts, St. James Crabhouse & Kitchen is here to fill a gap that has been surprisingly absent from the Brisbane food scene.
Lawyer and admitted lover of seafood, Gideon James, is behind Brisbaneâ€™s latest hotspot, a crab house where customers can expect not only well-priced and delicious food, but also a gleefully messy experience. Having opened their doors at Kangaroo Point in early April, St. James has received lines out of the door, with the restaurantâ€™s Facebook page rising in likes and garnering attention left and right. The attention is well-deserved, and has not come without hard work and attention to detail. According to Gideon, he and his associates spent up to eight months in the space prior to opening, mastering their menu and refining the product to ensure they can offer the best available.
TCI was finally able to make our way there this week, deciding to avoid the dinner rush and visit the restaurant for a leisurely lunch. Unlike the small amounts that are often deliveredÂ when ordering crustacea from a menu, the bag of assorted crab, crayfish and mussels that was served was able to easily feed two, accompanied with a freshly baked baguette to swipe up the mouth-watering sauce of choice and polish off your meal. Having only minimal knowledge, St. James wasÂ a crash course in the range of tastes that crustacea have to offer, with the special assortment of the day of great way for starters to experience this range. For those who arenâ€™t fans of crustacea, St. James also has a drool-worthy burger and ribs menu.
In addition to being a great feed, the experience at St. James is a fun one. Wearing gloves and a bib, you get to go hands-in and dig into your food like your mother always told you not to… and itâ€™s as enjoyable an ordeal as you would expect it to be! For those looking for a new date destination, St. James is definitely the perfect option. Itâ€™s fun, and tasty, and the hands-on experience provides more entertainment than your usual wine-and-dine. Maybe check that your potential date isnâ€™t a vegetarian first, and as advised by our server, if one of you is getting the garlic sauce, both of you might want to!
It is daunting walking into a new experience like a crab house, where you are handed various utensils and encouraged to dig in. However the staff at St. James are more than happy to provide any assistance needed, and do so with wide smiles on their faces. We were served by an eager and warm waiter who gladly walked us through the menu and gave us a lesson in the wide range of crustacea on offer. While it isnâ€™t the most important aspect of a restaurant, being served by someone who clearly enjoys what theyâ€™re selling themselves, and is as excited as you are for your first experience eating at the place is definitely the icing on the cake.
With the rapidly growing popularity of St. James I expect a number of similar restaurants will appear on the scene soon, however this is not a fad that is easy to jump on, and mimicking the hard work put into St. James will come at a hard task for any hopefuls. Meanwhile, Gideon James plans to continue to lead the way and broaden the Brisbane eating scene, and is set to open a second crabhouse in West End soon. For now, you can find the first St. James Crabhouse & Kitchen at Kangaroo Point, waiting to provide you with good food and a great time.