Restaurant Review : Crab Factory @ SS2, PJ

In case you’ve not heard, there’s a new seafood place in Klang Valley that’s worth checking out. CRAB FACTORY. As a major seafood fan, I have personally been to Crab Factory 3 times already, but just never got around to blogging about it until now.

Crab Factory : Original Louisiana Boil bears the concept of a typical American backyard BBQ with seafood cooked in a Southern American cuisine of Creole and Cajun style. Along with the whole concept of just digging in your food with your hands for some finger-licking goodness.

In my last (and third visit), I got to chat with Founder, T.Y. on her journey to Louisiana, USA and enjoying the culture of backyard crab boil, coming home and convincing her family and friends to let her give this F&B concept a try.  Over a period of time spending months in researching and experimenting with different recipes and finally perfecting the menu of what you see today.

When you try the seafood yourself, you wonder why this place doesn’t exist earlier? We’ve all been way too familiar with the typical Chinese style seafood (chilli crabs, anyone?) or Western seafood (Lobster Thermidor). The arrival of Louisiana Boil,  Cajun style seafood was a welcomed addition and one that I cannot get enough.

 

Where Is It?

Crab Factory is actually only a single outlet, at the moment, located in SS2 in Petaling Jaya. T.Y. indicated that they’re looking into opening a new outlet in another location in KL City Centre, which should be announced soon.

*Image Source : PlacesandFoods.com

For now, you head to their restaurant at SS2, which is at SS2 square, the central SS2 location. The shoplot is situated opposite McDonald’s, corner lot, downstairs of Professor Uniform.

In case you didn’t know, T.Y. is dubbed “The Professor Kid” because she is the oldest kid of the family-owned Professor Uniform business.

 

Ambiance

I first heard and read about Crab Factory initially from food blogger friends. They’re always the first to discover and write about good food, right? Pictures and reviews I read have been very positive. Since I love seafood, Crab Factory automatically and very quickly got on my list of restaurants to try.

Crab Factory - Ambiance

I really like the industrial look of the Crab Factory’s decor. Cement flooring, exposed brick walls, cement wall art with bicycle tires on the wall. There are boards around 2 walls of the corner shoplot, where the prices of the seafoods are displayed. From yabbies to prawns to different types of crabs to lobsters and other side dishes, you’ll start drooling even before looking at the menu.

I especially like the design and materials used to form the “Crab Factory” name at the end of the restaurant.

The kitchen is way hidden from view at the back, with a small service window accessible by the wait staff. You don’t really get to peek at the preparation of the seafood, but rest assured the food that’ll be served on your table will be worth it.

There are minimal seating in this one-storey shoplot restaurant. Tables are pushed together to form longer communal seating and moved around with metal chairs depending on the size of the party. The first time I went to Crab Factory was around 3pm-ish on a Sunday. Being tea time (neither lunch nor dinner) the restaurant was rather empty. The subsequent second and third time I was there was weekend dinner, which I learned the hard way, that you should call ahead to make reservations.

I had to hang around for a 30 mins to 45 mins wait the second time there, because smart ole me didn’t make a reservation!

Crab Factory - Hammer, nutcracker and bibs
Hammer, nutcracker and bibs

Every table is lined with oil absorbent paper, as a placemat and errr….. serving plate table. You get your usual affair of crab hammer and nut cracker for your crabs, a stack of napkins and plastic bibs.

Crab Factory - Bibs
Put on your bibs!

You’ll really need to put on your bibs, and standby for some messy eating that’s about to come.

 

Menu and Prices

Crab Factory - Menu1001
Wooden boards of market price for seafood by the gram

The wooden boards around the restaurant shows you the various market prices of the seafood for the day. While it’s a little unclear in the picture (sorry about that), the seafood comes in choices of 500 grams or 1 KG options.

Just to give you an indication, freshwater prawns were going for RM 59 (500g) / RM 110 (1kg), mussels for RM 44 (500g) / RM 83 (1kg), scallops for RM 96 (500g) / RM 182 (1kg), Australian yabbies for RM 88 (500g) / RM 168 (1kg) and Slipper Lobster at RM 59 (500g) / RM 112 (1kg).

As for crabs, they go by pieces ranging from Meat Crabs for RM 89 (3 pcs) to to the more expensive King Crab at RM 229 (1 pc).

With wooden boards displaying the market prices for the seafood around the restaurant, you’ll still need to refer to the menu to decide.

Crab Factory - Menu
Crab Factory – Menu (Click to enlarge)

The menu above is clickable to view enlarged version. But here’s the gist of it… (3rd image from the left):-

  1. Choose Your Seafood – choice of King Crab, local crabs, lobster, slipper lobster, yabbies, amaebi, freshwater prawns, regular prawns, Japanese snails, baby octopus, mussels or scallops
  2. Sauce It Up – Normal Sauces (Zesty Lemon, Garlic Butter) or Spicy Sauces (Jamba Jamba, Signature Southern Bang) where you can choose between 4 levels of spiciness (Mild, Medium, O’ly Crab, Death Valley)
  3. (Optional) Add On Your Bag Buddies – chicken sausages, potatoes, corn, button mushrooms, king mushrooms, enoki mushrooms

You have a healthy amount of side dishes to choose from as well, with prices ranging from RM 4 to  RM 26. All from the fine selection of regular sides like fries, chicken wings, and some Southern / Cajun dishes like Gumbo, coleslaw, chicken and waffle and more. You can also get a choice of different dipping sauces at RM 3.50 for your meal.

In case you’d like some carbs in your meal, you can always opt for their seafood pasta dishes, priced between RM 27.90 or RM 33.90.

Crab Factory - Menu 001
“Big Bang Theory” Group Deals (RM 868)

The menu includes highlights of their specials, such as (1st image from left) Happy Hour combos; as well as “Big Bang Theory” Group Combos for 8-12 pax.

Yes, the Group Combo deal at RM 868 may sound crazy expensive, but if you refer to the market prices per gram for the seafood on the board, and you do a simple calculation of your order, and if you’re in a big group, the deal might make more sense.

Crab Factory 006
Mountain Goat bottled ale

Even the Mountain Goat bottled ale was a hit with the Hubby. It seems they also serve this at Taps Beer? I’m not sure, not a beer drinker.

 

Crabtastic Crabs!!!

I love ma seafood. Having the Crab Factory seafood was something different from the usual Chinese seafood restaurant style cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too.

Crab Factory 001
Seafood comes served in a bag, no plates or cutleries

The seafood are cooked in a plastic bag, in the sauce that you’ve specified.  Wedges of lime are strewn on the table (to squeeze into your seafood, or to clean your hands after meal). There are no plates here. No serving plate, no individual eating plate. No cutleries as well, so you eat with your hands. Get all in there with your hands and sauce and all. Real messy eating.

The waiter explained to us that you can pour the seafood on the table where everyone just digs in. We didn’t do this. We unrolled the bag, dipped our hands in to grab the food and just ate out of the bag. Retaining the sauces soaking in the seafood the whole time.

Below are images accumulated from my last 3 trips to Crab Factory.

Crab Factory - Freshwater Prawns (RM 59 for 500g) in Spicy Sauce, O'ly Crab level
Freshwater Prawns (RM 59 for 500g) in Spicy Sauce, O’ly Crab level

One of the first dishes we ordered in my first visit. I love spicy food. I love Spicy seafood. So, I went crazy and ordered the Freshwater Prawns in their Signature Southern Bang, Spicy Sauce. From 4 levels of spiciness, I didn’t want to go too crazy (I still wanna be able to taste the seafood) so opted for 3rd level of spiciness, “O’ly Crab”.

It was AWESOME!

It’s spicy. We were all sweating and sniffling while eating it. I would describe it like a lemon sambal sauce. Most Malaysians, if you can handle your spicy, would really like this. I think this is the perfect spiciness without it being over-powering. I was warned by another friend that their Level 4 spiciness, Death Valley, is truly killer! So, I’m staying away for now. Although I love super spicy and would love to try it, I doubt my dinner party would appreciate it.

T.Y. told me after that the Death Valley spicy level is actually tolerable with a good kick. Order it with an add-on of corn, for the sweetness balance. Made a mental note to try that next time.

Crab Factory - Meat Crabs (RM 159 for 2 pcs) also in O'ly Crab sauce
Meat Crabs (RM 159 for 2 pcs) also in O’ly Crab sauce

As you see, I really really like the Level 3 Spiciness, Oly Crab sauce. The lemon sambal is just too good. Ordered it with crabs as well.

Crab Factory - Crabs in O'ly Crab spicy sauce
Crabs in O’ly Crab spicy sauce

A little close up shot of the crab claw… Yummeh…..

Crab Factory - Canadian Scallops (RM 96 for 500g) in Garlic Butter sauce
Canadian Scallops (RM 96 for 500g) in Garlic Butter sauce

To balance off that spiciness, we also ordered some seafood in Garlic Butter sauce, of course. In one of those trips, we ordered the Canadian Scallops, which is really tender and juicy and perfectly cooked. One of the trips, we ordered another crab in Garlic Butter sauce, which also brings out the sweetness of the crabs.

The best thing about Garlic Butter sauce, it’s so creamy and delicious. Both times I want to drink all the leftover sauce in my mouth, it was so good. I didn’t of course, it’s too sinful, too fatty, too unhealthy. But I still think about it. *drool*

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Crab Factory and Rekindle coffee and cakes for get-together dinner & belated bday with Ms @chilipadireg #crabs #belatedbday #catchup

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In our trips, we also ordered some side dishes to munch on. When I eat some sinful, greasy and spicy food, I always need to balance it with some greens. Other than hush puppies or coleslaw, I almlost always order the Fried Okra on the menu.

Crab Factory - Fried Okra (RM 9.90)
Fried Okra (RM 9.90) in choices of Cajun / Garlic

You get a choice of Garlic or Cajun flavour. It’s actually really good, with a light batter, seasoned with Cajun cayenne pepper.

Crab Factory - Southern Fried Chicken Wings (RM 16.90)
Southern Fried Chicken Wings (RM 16.90)

The chicken wings were alright. Although I think there may be too much seafood and meat on our tables. We should’ve just focused on seafood and keep the other meats away.

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Awesome crab late lunch at Crab Factory @ SS2, PJ. Was really delicious and awesome decision to come here, indeed. #crabs #seafood #latelunch

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When Winnie is eating seafood, Winnie is a happy camper.

 

There are not enough words to describe the euphoria I’m in when I’m enjoying some good seafood. So, here’s some photographic proof!

Crab Factory - Yabbies
Check out those yabbies
Crab Factory - Messy eating
Told ya, it’s some messy eating

Every time I’m there at Crab Factory, I get into some serious messy eating. Even with the gigantic plastic bib that covers my whole torso, I manage to get sauce and bits of seafood on my lap (that’s not covered), all over my hands and some on my forearm and elbow. It’s all good though, but I warn you to remove your jewelries and watches before digging in.

 

Conclusion

Come with friends, family, everyone. Crabs are meant to be a communal dish, to share, to get all messy, to enjoy!

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As promised by @geoffhead_kl a week ago. Getting my crab fix for late lunch. #crabs #seafood #latelunch

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And the messier the better, me thinks.

It means you’re truly digging into your seafood, cracking the shells, digging in to the meats and just plain enjoying good food with good company.

I truly enjoy seafood with good friends – to flinch and squint and lean away when someone is handling the crab hammer or nutcracker – love it!

Crab Factory - Aftermath
The aftermath of our messy Crab Factory feast

Crab Factory - Aftermath

I always walk away from Crab Factory completely satisfied with my seafood fix. Good crabs, excellent spicy sauce. Good selection. Good Food.

And it takes quite a long time for me to clean up after that at the sink. Cleaning all the way up to my elbows and digging any residue seafood off my nails. Awesome!

My only complain is that the prices can be a little on the pricey side.

Crab Factory - Receipt
RM 570+ for 4 pax

As I keep forgetting to snap a picture of the receipt each trip, here’s the only one I have in my archives of the receipt of our first trip there. Where we ordered way too much food for 4 pax. Technically, we were good with the order. But the O’ly crab sauce Freshwater Prawns was so good, we ordered another 500g serving.

No regrets! It was awesome!

Would definitely go back again and again when a non-Chinese seafood craving strikes in future!

 

Contact Info:-

Crab Factory : Original Louisiana Boil
Add : 21, Jalan SS2/64, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel : +60 (3) 7865 5850
Website : www.crabfactory.com.my
Facebook : www.facebook.com/my.crabfactory
 

 

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