The closest thing to a crabshack that I know of in London is the Big Easy – a restaurant serving food from the American south, with a strong emphasis on BBQ and seafood. I’d wanted to go for a while and finally got around to it last year with a friend and her boyfriend (now fiancé). There are two locations, Covent Garden and King’s Road, and we thought it would be easier to get a table at the King’s Road branch.
I was a bit early so sat at the bar for a while enjoying a cocktail (they have an extensive cocktail menu) and then when our table was ready went downstairs into a huge cavernous room.
Looking very stylish
The Big Easy has daily specials – I was a bit disappointed we weren’t there on a Tuesday when I could have had unlimited shrimp for £18.95. But the main menu had a lot of choice all of which was very appealing if you like lobster, crab, shrimp, or any kind of barbecued meat. They also have burgers, fajitas, steak, salads and soups like clam chowder. It was more American than a lot of restaurants I’ve been to in America!
I love lobster and knew from the outset that’s what I wanted; my boyfriend had a burger as always and my friends had unlimited ribs – I think it was a Monday which has an unlimited BBQ “and a brew” offer so they had ribs and chicken and a drink included. There was an awful lot of food on the table!
One thing that is worth mentioning is that you get a disposable plastic bib – actually pretty necessary if you’re eating ribs with your fingers or dripping sauce from your lobster. The waiter came up behind me and tied it around my neck before I even realised what was going on – and the effect was hardly flattering. So I wouldn’t say this is necessarily the best place to go on a first date, though it is fun, and the food is certainly good!


The restaurant has live music as well, which sounds great but we were the closest table to the stage and towards the end of our meal a performer – I think it was a saxophonist – started up. I would have enjoyed the music more if he hadn’t been two feet from my ear and it meant my friends and I could hardly hear ourselves speak!
I think the Big Easy has quite a following; you can even buy their own brand of sauces to take home. This isn’t cheesy American and it’s not a quiet restaurant but proper, smokey BBQ southern food with the atmosphere to match.