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4/5

The Fat Crab

53 Haig Road, Colombo 4

  • Call 727777755
  • Open 5-7 PM (wine and beer), 7 -10:30 PM (dining), Weekends also open for lunch (12:30 PM to 3 PM)


The Fat Crab on Marine Drive is well known for their seafood.



The Fat Crab is one of the few crab-centric restaurants in Colombo. It's been over three years since our last visit to this place, and our experience this time was every bit as good as the last one. 

The Crab

Aside from crab, almost everything in their menu is seafood-based and the rest of the dishes are comprised of different meats like lamb, chicken, and beef, and also a few vegetarian options. 

One does not simply walk into The Fat Crab to have anything other than crab, which is why we decided to opt for two of their most popular crab dishes - Spicy Negombo Devilled Crab (Rs. 3600) and Garlic Butter Crab (Rs. 3600).

If you haven't already been to The Fat Crab, ordering a crab-based meal here involves two steps.

1. Pick the size of the crab [medium - 350g each (Rs. 2800), large - 500g each (Rs. 3600), extra large - 800g and upwards (price depends on the weight of the crab)]

2. Pick the accompaniment option/carb

They usually use frozen crab for small and medium-sized crab based meals, but if you're getting an extra large sized crab, or make a special request, they make it from a batch of fresh crab (don't go for it unless you have some extra cash to spend). 

As for the accompaniment of our Spicy Negombo Devilled Crab, we chose the Crusty Kade Paan, Dhal, Butter and Pol Sambol.

Let's talk about the crab first. Fleshy, succulent and absolutely flavorsome, The Fat Crab uses export quality lagoon (mud) crabs which are grown in numerous lagoons in our island. Therefore, you actually get a very good amount of crab meat, instead of just shell. 

Oozing with a strong spicy hit from a blend of pepper and chili flakes, the seasoning in this dish was a sublime experience of pleasure for our taste buds. There was a proper balance between spicy and sweet elements, and a subtle sour kick running through, while the added capsicum and carrots were flavorful components in the overall flavor.

It wasn't overly sweetened by a ton of sauces, so it's definitely not the average 'devilled' dish that one would normally come across in Colombo's many, many Chinese restaurants/bars. 

You know you've got the right curry when you use all of your carbs to sweep through every inch of your plate, which is what exactly happened with our dhal curry. Licking your plate in a public place is bad table manners, so we gulped down every ounce of this deliciously creamy, well-spiced dhal curry with our kade paan. Here you actually get a whole paan gediyak, so there's plenty for everyone. The pol sambol was a delight too - spicy, with a hint of dehi ambul (freshly squeezed lime). 

Featured here is the Garlic Butter Crab accompanied by Vegetable Fried Rice and Stir-fried Kan Kung. Garlic always makes a great combo with seafood, and this dish right here wasn't any exception. The crab was soaked in an insanely buttery, hearty and garlicky sauce which made for an explosion of flavors that we enjoyed in every mouthful. 

With a solid smattering of thinly sliced carrots, spring onions, and freshly crushed pepper, the vegetable fried rice wasn't oily and tasted quite good. 

The Fat Crab serves up a range of mocktails, juices, and also beer and wine. You can BYOB here for a corkage fee of Rs. 1000, and if you're getting tonic, it costs Rs. 225 and upwards. 

We tried The Crab Snapper (Rs. 575), a mocktail concocted with raspberry syrup and ginger in a glass full of lime slices. Be sure to stir it up before you drink it because otherwise, all you'll taste would be the sweetness of the raspberry syrup, while the flavor of ginger is lying in the bottom half of the glass. It was a refreshing drink, and not overly sweet, with tiny hints of lime and ginger nicely seeping through. However, we found it little too pricey for Rs. 575. 

Service & Ambience

We didn't encounter any problems regarding the service here. The waiters knew their way around the menu, gave recommendations according to our preferences, and quite efficient. They take around 20 minutes to prepare the dishes, which is acceptable as well.

The interior here hasn't changed a bit since our last visit. It's the same wooden tables and chairs, with the wall full of vintage movie posters. The view from here is of course spectacular, because you can catch glimpse of Bambalapitiya coastline, a few trains that pass by, and quite a bit of sea breeze, as well as a lot of natural light. 

Conclusion

Crab cannot be enjoyed properly if you're keen on keeping your table manners, which is exactly why The Fat Crab has a motto that says “No fuss – Make a Mess.” So take that advice, use your hands all you want because there's no one here to judge you, and bask in this seafood goodness. It's probably not the first choice that comes to your mind when talking about crab, but it's definitely a less-expensive and good alternative option to satisfy your sudden crab cravings.


TIP

“No fuss – Make a Mess.”

Address

53 Haig Road, Colombo 4

Directions

Heading from Kollupitiya, go south on Marine Drive. You'll pass the Bamba rail station and Majestic City (Station Road). It's the fourth street after that.

Contacts

E-Mail Website

Report Inaccuracy

Open 5-7 PM (wine and beer), 7 -10:30 PM (dining), Weekends also open for lunch (12:30 PM to 3 PM)

Cuisine

Sri Lankan

Price Range

More than Rs.1500

Dish Types

Seafood Crab

Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
4
Quality Rating
4
Service Rating
3
Ambience Rating
3
User Reviews
S
1

1/5

0

sperera

On August 9th, 2019, I placed a takeout order at The Fat Crab in the morning for 6.30PM pickup and paid almost Rs. 30K with delivery fees for two giant Crabs (1KG+). The order was not ready till 7.30PM and received, only a partial order and some claws were missing from the crabs. Once contacted the manager, he was very apologetic and promised that he would make things right. Three days later, I am yet to receive even a single call or even a text message.
The Black Pepper Carb tasted like dipped in a ready-made Chinese brown sauce. The Over Cooked Sri Lankan Murunga leaf Curry crabs were quite dry, and meat has turned into fibers.
I would not recommend The Fat Carb and its poor customer service.

S
1

1/5

0

Sleepingstation

L

Disappointing!!! waste of money! Not to be repeated
After reading excellent reviews, we were promptly outside at 6pm. Restaurant opens at 6:10pm.
We were seated at a table and then asked to get up from there as it was reserved! Not a problem as food was supposed to be the best in Colombo.
Location: Sea-view (if pre-booked). railway track with train passing every 30-40 minutes( for us it was twice). Electricity went off thrice in our 1.5 hr stay.
Food: manager introduced himself and we were impressed. I wanted to order 1 extra large crab from fresh ( for both of us to share) but as my wife wanted individual ones we took advice of the manager and ordered 2 large. I queried whether these would be fresh or from frozen. He explained one can hardly notice the difference between fresh and frozen ones. On his advice, we ordered 1 Sri Lankan curry and 1 spicy Negombo sauce devilian crab.
Dishes came in 30min. Crab size appeared small with not much meat. Meat was stuck to the bones and would not come out! Pick was not given until I asked for it. Negombo was very tasty (well, the mixture was great, but hardly any meat) but Sri Lankan curry was horrible with loads of gravy probably 200times more than what is as required- not tasty at all.
We observed most diners were ordering fresh extra large crabs and as we were struggling to get meat out we asked one of the waiters as to why we had been dissuaded to order the fresh one. He replied these were 1kg = 9000 Sri Lankan rupees. But we never suggested that we would be unhappy with the price. He referred us to the manager. Manager came who was very dismissive and tried explaining that these crabs which we had ordered were 500g each and was not sure why we were complaining of meat stuck to the bones.
Anyway we finished food with rice gravy dal and bits of crab meat.
Just as we were leaving, my wife noticed trays of crabs (other diners’ orders) coming out of the kitchen. These were ‘large’ looking and she asked one of the waiters what size were they? He confirmed they were large. So surely ours were medium. However, we were then reminded that ours were not fresh. Fresh or frozen, surely 500g should look similar!
Moral of the story: please do your homework before you to such places and don’t waste 7950 rupees on rice, bread and gravy. Better try another place !!

19th April meal at 7pm.
We have had crab yesterday at Taj - Shack restaurant- heavenly

Regards

J

S
2

1/5

0

Shehan Don Talagala

As the previous user said, it's way overpriced for the average quality they offer. Much better value can be had at The Ocean (Kingsbury) or The Lagoon (Cinnamon Grand) and obviously with significantly better quality.
The wait staff are pushy and always trying to jack up the bill. This gets worse when they see a group of foreigners and will keep pestering you to order the more expensive items like lobster. It's a total tourist trap.

S
1

1/5

0

sperera

On August 9th, 2019, I placed a takeout order at The Fat Crab in the morning for 6.30PM pickup and paid almost Rs. 30K with delivery fees for two giant Crabs (1KG+). The order was not ready till 7.30PM and received, only a partial order and some claws were missing from the crabs. Once contacted the manager, he was very apologetic and promised that he would make things right. Three days later, I am yet to receive even a single call or even a text message.
The Black Pepper Carb tasted like dipped in a ready-made Chinese brown sauce. The Over Cooked Sri Lankan Murunga leaf Curry crabs were quite dry, and meat has turned into fibers.
I would not recommend The Fat Carb and its poor customer service.

S
1

1/5

0

Sleepingstation

L

Disappointing!!! waste of money! Not to be repeated
After reading excellent reviews, we were promptly outside at 6pm. Restaurant opens at 6:10pm.
We were seated at a table and then asked to get up from there as it was reserved! Not a problem as food was supposed to be the best in Colombo.
Location: Sea-view (if pre-booked). railway track with train passing every 30-40 minutes( for us it was twice). Electricity went off thrice in our 1.5 hr stay.
Food: manager introduced himself and we were impressed. I wanted to order 1 extra large crab from fresh ( for both of us to share) but as my wife wanted individual ones we took advice of the manager and ordered 2 large. I queried whether these would be fresh or from frozen. He explained one can hardly notice the difference between fresh and frozen ones. On his advice, we ordered 1 Sri Lankan curry and 1 spicy Negombo sauce devilian crab.
Dishes came in 30min. Crab size appeared small with not much meat. Meat was stuck to the bones and would not come out! Pick was not given until I asked for it. Negombo was very tasty (well, the mixture was great, but hardly any meat) but Sri Lankan curry was horrible with loads of gravy probably 200times more than what is as required- not tasty at all.
We observed most diners were ordering fresh extra large crabs and as we were struggling to get meat out we asked one of the waiters as to why we had been dissuaded to order the fresh one. He replied these were 1kg = 9000 Sri Lankan rupees. But we never suggested that we would be unhappy with the price. He referred us to the manager. Manager came who was very dismissive and tried explaining that these crabs which we had ordered were 500g each and was not sure why we were complaining of meat stuck to the bones.
Anyway we finished food with rice gravy dal and bits of crab meat.
Just as we were leaving, my wife noticed trays of crabs (other diners’ orders) coming out of the kitchen. These were ‘large’ looking and she asked one of the waiters what size were they? He confirmed they were large. So surely ours were medium. However, we were then reminded that ours were not fresh. Fresh or frozen, surely 500g should look similar!
Moral of the story: please do your homework before you to such places and don’t waste 7950 rupees on rice, bread and gravy. Better try another place !!

19th April meal at 7pm.
We have had crab yesterday at Taj - Shack restaurant- heavenly

Regards

J

S
2

1/5

0

Shehan Don Talagala

As the previous user said, it's way overpriced for the average quality they offer. Much better value can be had at The Ocean (Kingsbury) or The Lagoon (Cinnamon Grand) and obviously with significantly better quality.
The wait staff are pushy and always trying to jack up the bill. This gets worse when they see a group of foreigners and will keep pestering you to order the more expensive items like lobster. It's a total tourist trap.

C
2

2/5

0

chamzangeleyes

Went there yesterday for dinner,was a quiet nite wz few ppl,we ordered a murugaun crab wz bread….a large (which is enough for 2 as per the staff)& 2 strawberry mojito when it came to the table….it lookd really small…and a loaf of bread(i didnt go there to eat bread)so we orderd a another large……it was the same……the crab is really overpriced, 3200 per large potion….which is clearly not enough for 2…and the juices n cocktails r over priced to….675 for a strawberry mohito(mind u it a virgin)finally d bill came to around 8500….and its wz a service charge too.which i think is clearly a rip off……crab was tasty……but portion size needs real improvement……i will not go ther……again……or recommend……its not all worth d price u pay for a small spider crab……

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