The Holy Crab
The Holy Crab is a Lousiana-inspired seafood franchise from Indonesia which is also their first location in Canada. The Vancouver owner and chef is Henri William, and franchise owner Albert Wijaya and wife Steffi are also here from Indonesia to help get this location started up. The emphasis is on a communal experience and bring family and friends together.
If you're new to the whole seafood boil trend in BC then how it works is you order the seafood by weight and pick a sauce to go with it. They have two sauces to choose from, garlic pepper and their signature Cajun sauce which is available in a range of spiciness levels from mild to super spicy aka "Holy Moly!" The food arrives in reusable metal tubs and is placed on the table which has wax paper on top. You can choose to keep the metal tubs if you prefer not to eat off the table. Shelling equipment is provided to make it easier to eat crabs and lobster! Disposable gloves are also available but be prepared to get messy even with them!
The sauce is put on top of the seafood. You'll need to marinate the seafood yourself if you want an even distribution. We are use to seafood boils where everything is well mixed together already but this style works too. We actually put some of the sauce to the side to dip the Cajun fries! We really enjoyed the sauce here more than other seafood boil restaurants. We tried the Cajun as medium & "holy moly" spicy, and garlic pepper
Our server, Ewan, was extremely detail oriented without being bothersome to the group. Our waters and sodas were always refilled when it reached half way, and our bucket of shells were frequently swapped for clean ones! The nice part was the manager came by to check how our experience was with the food and service.
If you're coming to take photos, let them know in advance you want a spot with lighting. We were sat on a side of the restaurant that was dim. We had our tripod to compensate for the low light conditions.
They take reservations online. You can see all the time slots they have available! Save yourself the trouble of possibly waiting and book a table!
The restaurant is really clean looking, including the washroom. It's important that a restaurant like this feels clean as we're eating seafood off a table. There are sinks located beside the bar to convenient clean your hands!
It's refreshing to see something other than ramen open up in the West End.
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE HOLY CRAB:
Our overall experience was great and we would definitely come back with friends. The star of our meal was the Dungeness crab. We were all wow'ed by the fact of how fresh this was the second we bite into it. We've eaten a ton of crab in our lifetime and this is one of the most memorable experiences. If they can keep that quality of freshness consistent we are always going to be back with friends! Our only pet peeve were the clams. They were pretty small and flavours didn't seem as fresh as the shrimp and crab. If there are any dishes you love at The Holy Crab and think we should try it next time, feel free to contact us!
- Clams were on the small side
- Mussels were average in size & flavour
- Great tasting Louisiana style seafood boil
- Very fresh dungeness crab & shrimp
- Service was great.
- Food came out quick!