Wells Crab House | www.wellscrabhouse.co.uk
A cosy supper for two is a pre Christmas treat for Sarah Hardy
Where did you go?
My husband and I went to Wells Crab House, an independent restaurant right on the quay in this pretty seaside town.
What’s the vibe?
This is a friendly place, with a real nautical theme! Expect wooden tables, a stripped wooden floor, banquette seating and a fresh, calming decor – with the odd cheeky crab on the walls.
Who’s in the team?
Husband and wife, Kelly and Scott Dougal, own and run the place with passion and pride. Kelly is front of house, while Scott bosses the kitchen. They opened the restaurant in 2016 and it has really gone from strength to strength, with a loyal following.
What do we need to know about the menu?
Seafood is a speciality, with crab and lobster always on the menu. Much comes straight from the quay next door. There are wonderful platters, daily specials, plus meat options (with meat supplied by Wells butcher Arthur Howell ) and vegetarian options, too.
What’s the price range?
Cold appetisers are £4, starters are from £7, mains are from £15, and desserts are £7.
Himself went for a lightly curried mussel broth with turmeric and a slice of sourdough (£8) which was gently flavoured, with just enough heat for interest. I tried something from the specials board, the chowder (£8), which was good and hearty and also came with a slice of sourdough, perfect for mopping up every last creamy morsel!
Other options included venison carpaccio, spiced cod fishcake and a crab and beetroot pâté. And the couple next to us were tucking into oysters with gusto. I say no more!
A pheasant, Guinness and red currant casserole caught my eye but I couldn’t resist local sea bass, served with lemon crushed new potatoes, fine beans and a creamy clementine hollandaise (£18). It was a generous portion, delicately cooked, and the citrus infused sauce was yummy.
Himself had another dish from the specials list – a Thai satay king prawn curry, with black rice, red onion salad and paprika and garlic naan (£18). There was a lot going here, lots of exciting textures and sweet and sour tastes. They do a different curry most weeks here and they are always interesting – with great fish involved, too!
I have, in the past, had their garlic buttered lobster with various trimmings, which is delicious, and the platters are highly recommended.
My husband has that really annoying habit of wanting to share a pudding which you have to attack with relish to make sure you get your fair share. I was allowed to choose and went for an apple, pear and cinnamon crumble with plenty of creamy custard. It was a good portion, certainly enough for two, and was much enjoyed!
What about dietary requirements?
There’s a personal touch here so all requirements are easily catered for.
Tell us about the drinks
The drinks list is very comprehensive, with a lot of thought and effort put into sourcing some unusual finds. The gin menu is extensive and includes just about every Norfolk gin plus two gins made exclusively by Black Shuck in Fakenham to the couple’s own recipe. I tried the newest, Essence, which includes coconut and chilli so it is both smooth and fiery! Great stuff.
The wine list has much to please and I enjoyed a glass of Cintila from Portugal, a decent fruity white,while Sir went for one of his favourites, a bottle of Dewhopper from the Moon Gazer stable, another great Norfolk product.
Anything else we need to know?
The cocktail list is a thing of beauty.
Wells Crab House is pretty much all that Feast loves – a small, family-run independent restaurant, specialising in local produce. Much comes from the sea and brought to shore on the nextdoor quay. It’s unpretentious and all the better for it!