If there’s one food group I love more than anything else, it’d be seafood, in particular, crustaceans. And of all crustaceans, it is admittedly the crab that I enjoy most. Part of the joy comes from having to work for it; I love cracking through the tough shell that protects the sweet flaky flesh, especially the gratification of pulling out the meat of a crab leg, in one piece. While crabs are available all year round in Australia, the peak season runs from January to April in Queensland and NSW and from May to August in NT.
To celebrate crab season, The Morrison’s Crab Carnival is back this year and will be running from 30th March until 24th April 2015.
Embracing all things crab, you’ll be delighted to find that crabs are even featured on the beverage menu. Crabby Mary cocktails offer a spicy blend of Ketel One Vodka and bloody mary favourites, garnished with celery, chilli, pickles and fresh Alaskan crab claws.
Crab taco happy hour will also run every day, 6 – 7pm, giving diners a taste of chef Sean Connolly’s delicious snow crab tacos for just $5 each (normally three for $18). The tacos, cheekily advertised as carb friendly, is snow crab, chardonnay vinaigrette, salmon caviar and fresh chilli served in baby cos lettuce. The light flavours allow the snow crab to really shine, and the kick of chilli and caviar adds just enough savoury appeal.
Snow crab rolls (three for $19) consist of juicy snow crab with creme fraiche, lemon and coriander, encased within a soft fluffy (Breadtop?) bun.
I much preferred the texturally exciting soft shell crab burgers ($24 with duck fat chips) with green goddess dressing; at the media tasting, these were served in the form of irresistible sliders, and I may or may not have had quite a few 😉
The crab and corn chowder ($55 for two) is a feast for the eyes; the claypot is filled with a fragrant broth, golden in hue from the saffron, plump blue swimmer crabs are entangled with chunks of corn and potato. We lather slices of sourdough with Pepe Saya butter and mop up the remaining broth – it is divine.
All in good fun, chef Sean Connolly partakes in a crab eating competition. Like a scene from Man vs Wild, he effortlessly wrestles the plate of mud crab, twisting and pulling apart legs and even demonstrating to the other contestants how the crab claws can be cracked open with a single smash on the table edge.
On 7th April, 7pm, diners had the opportunity of going head to head with The Morrison chefs in eating a whole Cajun spiced crab in the fastest time possible ($20 entry fee).
It only seemed fair that we were treated to plates of chilli mud crab (market price) afterwards. With bibs and wet towels, we’re all hands on deck, flinging the mildly chilli tomato-based sauce to all corners of the table. It’s a relief we’re each provided with our own cracker and pick sets, the crab waits for noone!
There are also crab races on 2nd and 16th April, 7pm, which involves a bucket of hermit crabs, a big table and a sweep!
The Crab Carnival only runs until April 24th, so get cracking!
The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room
225 George Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9247 6744