A seafood shack has found its way onto the cobbled streets of Temple Bar. Let us rejoice! It was all far too shellfish, where previously these little shacks were kept far from the city, reserved only for those dwelling by the sea.
Located on Crown Alley, Klaw is the latest venture by Niall Sabongi, chef/entrepreneur behind Rock Lobster at Dundrum Town Centre. Klaw is here to bring us landlubbers fantastic oysters, lobster, crab and prawns in a relaxed, fun and casual setting.
Visiting Klaw on a wet Tuesday evening, I brought along a friend as my date armed with TheTaste.ie vouchers; promising a lobster roll and a glass of prosecco each. When we arrived we immediately found Klaw homely – its size is small but welcoming and cosy. It’s long and narrow, no bigger than a fisherman’s quarters (I realise that makes no sense in terms of size – don’t mind me, I’m keeping with my marine theme and questionable puns) Although it’s cosy, the place doesn’t feel crowded. The décor is simple with subdued lighting, marine accents, customer doodles and large bottles of Tabasco sauce.
Sabongi definitely knows how to maximise space, as every corner of Klaw is utilised, complete with open kitchen for all to see; which is something I really love. In fact, if you would like to use the bathroom, prepare to pass by the kitchen staff and say hello on your way there.
The staff were very cool and really seem to enjoy working there. Soraiya in particular looked after us really well and made sure to have a chat with everyone.
We started with torched oysters; one with slivers of bacon, the other with spinach and parmesan. They were delicious, and something I had never tried before. The most I’ve had are raw or grilled but torching them creates a different taste. If you’re new to oysters it’s good to start with the torched instead of diving right in. My friend Paddy will tell you…it was his first oyster and he was a fan. In fact, he’s friends with all the shellfish:
Next up we had the crowning glory of Crown Alley – the Klaw lobster roll. A soft brioche bun packed with succulent lobster meat dressed in yuzu mayo served with a pickle (or gherkin, whatever’s your style.)
Every bite was as good as the last! The standard price for the roll is €14, which some may find steep, but if you’re eating a sandwich with top notch ingredients in the centre of a touristy area in Dublin, I don’t see an issue with shelling out the cash! Ha! Puns.
After the lobster roll, the good times kept rolling. We shared a half pint glass of fresh juicy prawns, served with marie rose, toasted garlic bread and doused everything in lemon juice. I thoroughly enjoyed getting messy and pulling puny prawns apart while Soraiya ran to my aid with a fresh pile of Klaw napkins.
Ready for more oysters, we ordered two pints of Guiness and Achill oysters, dressed in Bloody Mary sauce and Nam Jim dressing. Klaw offers a couple of different kinds of oysters depending on your taste, and prices start from €2. There is also a handsome looking seafood platter so you can try everything, crab dishes and a small selection of desserts.
The Bloody Mary ones are good, and the salsa has a bite to it, but the Nam Jim style is the real winner here. Fresh Asian flavours with plenty of coriander/cilantro made things light, fresh and tangy.
I’m currently in the states and started in Boston where I had some amazing lobster, but a return visit to Klaw is on the cards when I return. Looking for weekend eats inspiration? Why not grab a shellfish loving pal, get down and dirty and work your way through the menu in one of Dublin’s buzziest areas. Try the lobster roll and the Nam Jim oysters!
For more information hit the crew up on Twitter. They love their fish emojis.
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