Restaurant Review : Shell Out @ Kota Damansara

Awhile ago, I read about the new Lousiana Boil seafood joint called Shell Out at Kota Damansara.

I’ve tried Crab Factory (read my review here) several times and love the food and concept. So, to find out that there’s another joint serving the same type of food, I had to give it a go.

 

Where Is It?

Shell Out is located in the shoplots around The Strand in Kota Damansara. Or Dataran Sunway, Sunway Giza, etc if that’s what you’re more familiar with the name.

To be honest, I’m not very familiar with the Kota Damansara area at all. While I have been to The Strand only a couple of times, the area still confuses me a lot. So, thank you to Waze GPS for helping me get there.

 

Ambiance

Crab Factory has a hupster-ish kinda feel, with exposed brick walls, bicycle wheels decor on the wall, etc. Shell Out is a little different.

Shell Out - Ambiance

Shell Out has a more raw kinda ambiance, with basic tables and chairs, with an elevated area for more tables, and booths seating.

The kitchen and service area is at the back, while the walls and windows around the restaurant showcases a bunch of  marker pen graffiti.

Graffiti on the walls (*Image Source : Shell Out Facebook Page)

You can request for marker pens from the staff and add your own doodles on the wall, window, table and what have you. While the owners thinks this creates some personality and warmth to the joint, I’m personally not a fan of messy doodles everywhere.

I called to make the table reservation for my group a couple of days in advance. I wanted to make sure I  got my seafood fix without having to queue on the day itself. I suggest you call to make your reservations too, as the restaurant can get quite full.

When we got there, they misplaced my reservation!

I was really upset about this, considering I made my reservation so early. The manager came out, looks a little stressed, spoke to some staff and managed to find us a temporary booth (for 8 of us) to sit down until a bigger table opens up. I was glad that at least they didn’t turn us away, but find a way to accommodate us anyway. Well, we drove all the way there, it would be really disappointing if I didn’t get to dine that night.

True enough, as soon as we placed our order and drinks arrived, a bigger table opened up for us. Yay!

Shell Out - Dinner Guests

Along with my dinner guests, there was a total of 8 of us, which is perfect number for over-orders. I was excited to be able to order a bunch of stuff from the menu to sample everything.

We’re given plastic bibs that says “Life Is Too Short To Be Serious. Let’s Eat” on them. While the plastic is not too durable (mine tore a couple of times), it’s handy that you can always request for a new one if you damaged or dirtied yours.

 

Food Menu and Pricing

Shell Out - Menu
Shell Out – Menu (Click to view enlarged copy)

The menu was just confusing enough for us to get assistance from the wait staff.

They were kind enough to walk us through how to order.

  • Step One – What’s Your Catch? Here you pick what kind of seafood you’d like. There’s a wide enough variety of crabs, king prawns, scallops, crawfish (yabbies), clams, mussels, lobsters and more.
  • Step Two – Pick Your Sensation. You select the sauce from Original (Lousiana Boil style) or Malaysian style. If this is your first time trying this cuisine, the waiters (and myself) would suggest you go for the Orginal style sauces. Seems they’re spicier and has a nice lemony spice kick compared to the Malaysian sauce.
  • Step Three – Spice Up. You get to choose how spicy you like your sauce. Selection from Mild, Medium and OMG.

As I said, I was happy my dinner group was large enough for us to order a bunch of different dishes. From crabs to clams to octopus, we also got to sample different sauces.

The menu also includes some side dishes like fried white bait, chicken wings and nuggets, potato wedges, onion rings, garlic bread, coleslaw and more. For drinks, there’s the usual suspect of soft drink (in a can), green tea, juices and beer.

Shell Out - Side Dish
Onion Rings (RM 8.90) and Sweet Potato Fries (RM 9.90)

Side dishes came first and we all started munching.

Shell Out - Seafood bags
Shell Out – Seafood bags

If you’re not familiar, Lousiana Boil seafood are boiled, and then mixed with the sauces. As with Crab Factory, they’re served in a plastic bag, and poured out on your table, lined with plain white (mahjong) paper. No tableware, no cutleries. You simply eat with your hands.

Shell Out - Seafood - Crabs
Crabs XL in Shell Bang (Market Price) (RM 81.80)
Shell Out - Seafood -
Bamboo Clam, Lemon Pepper (RM 20.90/500g or RM 33.90/1kg)
Shell Out - Seafood - King Prawn
King Prawn, Butter Garlic (RM 43.90/300g, RM 55.90/500g, RM 98.90/1kg)
Shell Out - Seafood - Clams
Clams / Lala, Curry Curry (RM 26.90/500g, RM 39.90/1kg)
Shell Out - Seafood - Crawfish (Yabbies)
Crawfish (Yabbies), Black Pepper (RM 50.90/500g, RM 98.90/1kg)
Shell Out - Seafood - Crabs
Crabs XL, Lemon Pepper (Market Price)

We started with the usual 1 order for each of the above seafood. Once we got to sample the seafood and different sauces, we added more. We had extra serving of the King Prawn, Crabs and Clams (lala).

The seafood was nice and fresh. The clams (lala) was especially good for me, as I’m a huge huge fan of lala. I can eat them everyday, every meal. This was one seafood item that wasn’t in Crab Factory. So point goes to Shell Out.

Also, Shell Out has a much wider selection of sauces to choose from.

After sampling the different sauces, I have to say that the Shell Bang, their signature mixed sauce, is definitely worth a try. You should also try their Lemon Pepper and Garlic Butter sauces. As for spiciness level, because we’re Malaysian like that, we went for their OMG level, which is supposedly the spiciest, with chilli padi. Unfortunately though, I have to report that it wasn’t really that crazy spicy that you’re sweating and all. The sauce could definitely be a lot spicier.

Shell Out - Bill

Considering we ordered so much seafood for the 8 of us, this was expected.

The bill came up to a little over RM 1000 for all the seafood that we had. From crabs to crawfish to bamboo clams, we had a lot!

 

Conclusion

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Needless to say, we created quite a mess at our table. This was the aftermath of all the seafood and sauces left from our “attack”.

Shell Out, Kota Damansara_Featured

Throughout the dinner, I couldn’t help but compare it to Crab Factory, as it was the only other similar concept I know in town, and have tried.

Seafood wise – Shell Out has better selection. They have clams (lala) which Crab Factory don’t have. But the latter does have Fresh Water Prawns, which was really nice and tasty that I remember fondly.

Sauce wise – Shell Out again has more choices. The Curry Curry flavour has such a local flavour and goes very well with some of the seafood. Must try! But the OMG spiciness level wasn’t quite as spicy as I’d like and didn’t fare up to the spiciness level of the sauces in Crab Factory.

Price wise – I would say they’re both about the same. When it comes to delicious seafood, and you eat them as much as I do, the bill can rack up a hefty amount.

Overall, I really like Shell Out and the food. Ambiance might not be too fancy, but hey – you’re there for the food. So all gritty and hands dirty and just stuff your face and dirty your hands with seafood and sauce. So raw and I like it.

See Also : Restaurant Review : Crab Factory @ SS2, PJ

Give me seafood any day and as I’ve said before, I’m a happy camper.

Would definitely come back to Shell Out again. In fact, I’m drooling thinking about it now. In fact, I think I just might make another plan to go with a different group of friends again. Let’s hope this time, they won’t screw up my reservation again.

 

Contact Info:-

Shell Out Seafood Restaurant
Add : 16-1 Jalan PJU 5/15, Dataran Sunway Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel : +60 (3) 7497 1137
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/theshellout