The Fat Crab on Marine Drive is well known for their seafood. Especially crab.
The menu at The Fat Crab is almost entirely seafood, as one would expect. But they've got meat options as well, with the addition of the Mongolian barbecue. The seafood options are very extensive with a particular emphasis on the shellfish (y'know, being named The Fat Crab and all). The Mongolian menu is considerably smaller, but they've got cuttlefish, prawn, chicken and beef barbecue as well as fried rice options. They aren't really cheap at around Rs. 1500 - Rs. 2000 per head, but compared to alternatives like Ministry of Crab, this place is easier on the wallet.
We got the crab curry with kade paan (Rs. 1900). This comes with a considerably large crab, a loaf of fresh kade paan (bread), pol sambol and parippu (dhal curry). All in all we were quite happy with the entire fare.
The crab, while not the largest we've come across, had a ton of meat in it and the curry had a great balance of spices. You know you've got the curry right when you're willing to eat just the gravy and bread.
The accompanying dishes were equally satisfying with creamy parippu and a gedara style pol sambol, which we wished there was a bit more of. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of crab because eating it is such a messy affair, but this was worth it.
To test out their Mongolian menu we went with the full selection Mongolian fried rice (Rs. 1495), which comes with chicken, beef, cuttlefish and shrimp. We don't have very many places with good Mongolian cuisine in Colombo, but this tasted brilliant. From the rice, to the meats, to the seasoning, everything was on point.
The long grain fried rice wasn't overly oily, cooked to the point where it's ever so slightly sticky with the flavour of the oyster sauce and sesame oil coming through well. The seafood and meats in the rice were also just right in terms of both flavour and texture. The portion size though, wasn't very large. Enough for one but at Rs. 1500 it has to serve two.
Ambience and Service
They've got a very simple wood structure set up, which works well with the back drop of the ocean. We were here for lunch so there's plenty of natural light and quite a bit of sea breeze, which can be both good and bad, since it'll blow away your napkin quite often unless you tuck it into your pants. Another tasteful touch is the wall of movie posters they've showcased. There isn't much relevance but it's a pretty cool touch.
We had no complaints when it came to the service. The food came to the table faster than we expected. The waiter was friendly and had good knowledge of the menu.
If you're looking for good seafood and crab in Colombo, The Fat Crab is a solid choice. It probably won't be the first place that comes to mind for a Mongolian meal but Genghis BBQ does it as well as anyone we've tried.
Take the advice on the menu and follow their motto, “No fuss – Make a Mess.” Crab cannot be enjoyed if you are pernickety about table manners.