Claw pop-up is on a mission to return the crab to British plates

A Claw crab burger

A Claw crab burger - Credit: Archant

Unique pop-up diner Claw has reinvented the classic burger, in its mission to return the humble crab back to British plates – and they’re serving them up in an old-school Dalston pub.

The Three Compasses

The Three Compasses - Credit: Archant

Environmentally the concept makes sense. There are so many crabs caught in England, but most of them end up getting exported.

Add to this the fact the meat tastes a lot like like lobster – which is five times as expensive, but not five times as nice – and it’s not surprising that Claw’s founder Fabian Clark secured the Virgin’s Foodpreneur 2015 street food prize.

Using traceable and sustainable fresh crab sourced from Start Bay in South Devon, the imaginative signature burgers with a spicy twist include samphire and kimchee.

Just like crab, Samphire is another overlooked British ingredient, as the sea vegetable grows abundantly on shorelines, and its crunchiness contrasts perfectly with the soft crab flesh.

Crab burgers at Claw

Crab burgers at Claw - Credit: Archant


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My favourite burger was kimchee, with tongue-tingling crunchy cabbage of my favourite ferment giving the burger a real kick.

I can’t say with any authority what the octopus burger was like because my teenage sons wolfed it down within seconds before I got a look in – but I can only imagine that was a good sign.

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Crispy arancini rice balls as an accompaniment come with a tartare type of sauce, and other side dishes include a lovely fresh coleslaw and a macaroni cheese with, yes, you’ve guessed it, crab.

It’s great to go somewhere that my pescatarian son can devour everything on the menu.

The pop-up has taken up residency in The Three Compasses until January.

Off the beaten track at the back of Ridley Road Market, the place has welcoming staff, and is dimly lit with dark red walls, dark oak furniture and black leather seats, and was totally buzzing when we visited on a Friday night with a DJ playing funky, upbeat tunes.

The Claw concept is totally original, and although I’ve never been a huge fan of any type of shellfish, I’m loving Claw’s crab in the spiced up burger form.

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