New Restaurant Alert: Crunchy Crab at Kapitolyo, Pasig
Seafood sandwiches, seafood by the bucket, and unlimited seafood!
16 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) The way Kara Limchiu talks about food is different from how other people do it. A chemical engineer by day, she launches into this interesting discussion about slow freezing and flash freezing, and the consequences of more compact molecules versus widely spaced ones. The co-owner of Crunchy Crab understands food on a molecular level—quite literally—and she uses this knowledge to bring out the best in their restaurant’s dishes.
Crunchy Crab is a little beach-inspired escape hidden at the far end of 16 United, the unnamed but bustling foodie building in Kapitolyo. They don’t freeze their seafood, and everything is so fresh, the crab might as well crawl towards your table.
Chicken Wings, one of the few non-seafood items
Kara explains that their philosophy is to bring seafood to a more mainstream level. "There aren't a lot of restaurants that really focus on seafood, or [if there are] they're really expensive," she says. Sourcing local makes their menu affordable and creating unorthodox dishes from familiar ingredients builds both curiosity and comfort.
Soft-Shell Crab Burger
The most popular item is the well-documented Soft-Shell Crab Burger (P245). It’s a large whole crab, battered, smeared with a summery mango and cilantro slaw, and sandwiched between soft sesame brioche. The seasoning is kept subtle because Kara insists that seafood should be left as is. Skip the Instagram formalities: The selling point of this sandwich is the crunch and it's best fresh.
The Shrimp BLT (P165/quarter pound, P310/half pound, P540/pound) may take a backseat to the crab in terms of visual impact, but its fiery flavors make it hard to ignore. The cajun-spiced shrimps enjoy the same crunchy batter as the crab, but with an extra zing. The bacon is cooked to a chip-like crisp, which makes the texture more resounding.
Fish n' Chips
The tartar sauce wins it for the Fish n' Chips (P160). It’s creamy, but more zesty than tart—the capers and anchovies refusing to be drowned out by mayonnaise. The dory is absolutely tender, flaky, and succulent, with the crispy coat already flaunting a slight tang. It’s easy to ignore the little tub of sauce, but write a note to remind yourself. Kara has even had to start charging P15 per extra sauce order after some customers went overboard.
Crab Bucket (P350/300 grams, P999/3 x 300 grams)
Shrimp Bucket (P165/quarter pound, P310/half pound, P540/one pound)
Sunset Mojito and Bali Rush
Crunchy Crab offers seafood by the bucket, which you can relish in three sauces—the thick and salty Classic Original (the oyster sauce base shines through nicely), the light Mango Tango (which is delightfully sweetish), and the Salted Egg. We’re partial to the mango, which is like a warm whimsical melody in your mouth.
Crunchy Crab’s seafood by the bucket comes in various sizes, but whichever one you get will undoubtedly have you digging and cracking. Fortunately, it comes unlimited for P599—with chicken wings, rice, and iced tea, too—available Tuesdays, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Photos by Jason Mariposa