The Rum And Crab Shack, Exeter

The Rum & Crab Shack, Exeter

Nestled amongst some rather picturesque Almshouse ruins, The Rum And Crab Shack is situated at 15, Catherine Street, Exeter, EX1 1EU.

I was greeted by Scarlett and shown to my table where Steve was already there waiting for me. Our table couldn’t have been in a better position. A corner table where we had views over the ruins to the side and to the front we had the main hub-bub of Catherine Street. Such a great spot to do a bit of people watching (and I love people watching!) whilst we perused the menu.

The Rum And Crab Shack is a welcome addition to Exeter’s already buzzing scene. What’s great is that it follows a different vein. It’s specialty is fresh “crab from here and rum from over there” and I for one have been excited about the opening from the first moment the news broke that they were coming to Exeter.

I met up with Chris McGuire who is one half of the duo that are the brains behind the original St Ives. He said that they looked at various cities before settling on the Exeter Catherine Street site. It seemed to be the right step on from St Ives. Not too big and not too small. We chatted about the current foodie scene in Exeter and how we both felt that it was an exciting time. What’s more exciting is that the Rum And Crab Shack is doing something completely different to any other restaurant in town. A menu crammed full of fresh seafood with a predominantly crabby theme but other choices are available. Fish finger sandwiches, spatchcock Ting Ting poussin, cajun blackened fish, lobster mac and cheese…the list goes on!

I mentioned to Chris that I had been eager to try their own distilled rum, Dead Mans Fingers. So the cocktail list was opened and two cocktails came our way plus a tot of their specialty rum with ice and a wedge of lime. Let me talk about the Dead Mans Fingers rum first.. On the nose it smelt of vanilla and cinnamon. To taste it was so smooth and perfect for sipping. They have recently started supplying the Eden Project and St Austell breweries have started stocking it in some of their pubs too. The cocktail choices were recommended by Chris himself. The Dead Mans Grip and a Dark And Stormy. Both wonderfully mixed by Al and presented beautifully for our enjoyment. They certainly got the juices flowing and I was eager to order.

We ordered popcorn shrimp to share. King prawns coated in a beautiful spice mix and deep fried to produce these beautifully crisp parcels encasing succulent prawns. A mayonnaise dip on the side if you fancied a little dunking action. A perfect amount as an appetiser especially as we knew what was to come.

We decided on ordering the Jumbalaya. A rice based dish similar to paella made with king prawns, chorizo and shrimp. This was to go alongside a locally caught whole crab served with bread and mayonnaise. Steve and I like to order food that we can share so we put everything in the middle of the table, asked for a couple of plates and got stuck in. I have to admit I had never had a whole crab before despite being a massive crab fan so it was something new and exciting. Scarlett pointed out the utensils we would need to crack and pick our crab and said “dig in”. That’s exactly what we did… Ripping off legs, cracking and digging to extract the meat. It’s messy business but so much fun. You feel like you are going back in time to our hunter gatherer days. I loved the whole process from start to finish and the crab was so sweet. A welcome new experience. I will definitely be ordering that again when I return.

The Jumbalaya was delicious too. Brimming with shrimp and king prawns with a slight kick of heat in the seasoning. I can see why it is one of the most popular dishes on the menu.

Although we were struggling for room I fancied something sweet to finish. Scarlett recommended a special ice cream sundae with vanilla and rum ice cream, whipped cream, marshmallows plus rum soaked raisins. Oh my goodness… You have to leave room for this dessert! It was amazing and plenty enough to share.

The Rum And Crab Shack is well worth a visit. Open for coffee, lunch, cocktails and dinner. I know they plan on holding live music nights in the very near future which will be a welcome extra for the city.

 The Rum And Crab Shack is open as follows;

Monday – Thursday 10.30am – 11pm
Friday – Saturday 10am – 11.45pm
Sunday – 11am – 10.30pm

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