13 June 2020
By Bryan Smyth
The much anticipated Summer months have finally come around, and with them, the most exciting time of year for shellfish lovers, crab claw season. As restaurants prepare to reopen their doors this month on the 29th, here are the best restaurants in Ireland to visit for some delicious crab claws this Summer.
Known by many as Bandon’s best for delicious crab claws, is Poachers. Hauled locally along the coast of West Cork by Yeoman O’Neill in Kinsale, the claws are then brought back to the restaurant to be cooked and cracked by the Poacher’s team. Priding themselves on unpasteurised and fresh crab, it is no wonder they are a customer favourite. The restaurant has been part of both the Michelin Guide and the Bridgestone Guide since 2008.
One family restaurant that is renowned for their crab claws and has in recent years been awarded a Bib Gourmand from the MICHELIN Guide Ireland, is Morrissey’s of Doonbeg. The ocean to fork story for the Morrissey’s crab claws could not be more local. From the time they are caught in the sea until they reach the diner’s plate, the crab claws never travel more than 5km. Simplicity is what makes their claws so special. Their famous garlic butter is the key, made up of just three ingredients; Garlic, Parsley and Premium Irish Butter. With the perfect crab claws, must come the perfect homemade bread. Morrissey’s bake three different kinds of bread on the premises as their signature claw accompaniment. A four generational family business since the 1900s, Morrissey’s have perfected their crab claws.
Another family restaurant in which people travel far and wide for their claws, is East Café Bar. East is little sister restaurant to the famous King Sitric in the quaint village of Howth. Local fisherman Peter Lynch catches the crab and brings it straight from the boat in the harbour to the café door on Howth’s east pier. The crabs are then prepped in-house, cracked, shelled and ready to be cooked. Also served in garlic butter and with brown bread, it didn’t take long for the crab claws to become one of East’s signature dishes. Since COVID-19, they have launched a takeaway menu service, including their delicious crab claws.
Overlooking the harbour in the beautiful village of Roundstone Co Galway, is O’Dowds. It is another family restaurant that has been in business since the 1900s and is known to be the oldest pub in all of Connemara. Their much-loved Roundstone crab comes locally from the Aran Islands and can be ordered from both their restaurant and bar menu. The claws are sauteéd in garlic butter and come with lemon wedges. A beautiful place on the island to enjoy some crab claws.
Klaw by Niall Sabongi – Temple Bar, Dublin
It’s all in the name of Niall Sabongi’s crab and oyster restaurant situated in Temple Bar. Sourced from the owner’s very own wholesale seafood company, Sustainable Seafood Ireland, freshness is guaranteed. Klaw is known for its crab shack dining experience, where an array of crab dishes can be found. Whole crab, crab claws, crab on toast and even a crab BLT, are some of the interesting options you may find on the menu in Klaw. Niall also runs The Seafood Café, sister restaurant to Klaw. With seafood as their speciality, it’s no wonder the crab claws are so sought after.