Last Thursday night my friend Rosemin and I had no idea what we were walking into. Loud music, a mechanical bull, and an all around fun vibe, Claw has to be one of the liveliest places in town! Located in the heart of Dubai on level 2 of Souk Al Bahar, this crab shack transports you out of Dubai and into a good ole' southern tradition.
We sat down at our comfortable table in the corner (right next to a small stage) covered in a classic red and white checkered table cloth. As we gazed at the boisterous crowd, I thought to myself, what a GREAT concept. It was refreshing to see a place with a casual aesthetic where jeans and t-shirts are the norm. A well needed change form all the higher-end DIFC joints, Dubai is now finally catering to it's residents who appreciate value for money as well as a trendy bar scene.
The other memorable item from the appetizers were the crab cakes. Made the way they should be with jumbo lump crab meat, these pan seared patties were an especially tasty treat. The chipotle mayonnaise it was accompanied by needed a little more heat or perhaps even a corn relish or mango salsa to give it a fresh touch.
We went at it without a care in the world, and although I had crab juices dripping down my arms and probably some in my hair, I enjoyed every minute of it. The succulent crab meat had just the right amount of seasoning and paired with the drawn butter, lemon, and corn on the cob, this was my crab heaven!
Another popular menu item were the Baja Fish Tacos. Beer battered and fried then served up in a soft tortilla shell with the regular fixings it was a fiesta of flavors in my mouth. I only wish there could have been extra fresh guacamole and perhaps a dash or two of hot sauce (other than Tabasco) which would have completed it for me.
My guests were also intrigued by the sizzling fajitas which you could hear and smell throughout the restaurant. This is another one of those nostalgic food items I used to enjoy way back in the high school days, and have seen recently making a comeback! The quality of the meat was outstanding from the juicy chicken pieces which were perfectly charred to the beautifully cooked tender pieces of steak. Served with the standard accompaniments including fresh salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, and the soft corn tortilla shells kept in the warmer, all that remained was the assembly.
My first pick was the Key Lime Pie, a southern favorite with origins linking it back to late 19th Century Florida. It's a light but tasty dessert, and stood out as the best option after such a filling meal. The graham cracker crust was crumbly enough to stand up against the tart and creamy filling.