I am always reading about Tales of a Confectionist’s food trips to Jimmy’s Place in Dickson for mud crab. We finally got together with fellow foodies and our other halves for dinner on a Monday night. There were two styles served with the mud crab – an XO sauce on vermicelli noodles, or ginger and shallots on egg noodles. As it was a Monday night, three crabs were pre-ordered for the six of just to be sure they didn’t run out. A large water tank filled with lobsters and other fishy things sat by the main entrance. It was then that I realised it had been a really long time since I’d dined at a typical Chinese seafood restaurant. I was surprised at how busy it was for a Monday night. The restaurant is spacious and well-lit with two dining areas available.
Our table was equipped with a small bowl of water and lemon wedge for washing sticky fingers and a shell cracker. We were provided with a big bowl of a hot sweet broth to begin with. It reminded me of a bone broth my mum used to make. Great for winter. The plan was to order one of each style of crab, then choose the favourite which would be ordered as our 3rd crab. The first to arrive was the clay pot mud crab with XO sauce and vermicelli. This was at a medium level on a spicy scale and my lips tingled the more I ate. The crab meat was juicy, succulent and so tasty covered in that XO sauce. Although we did receive the whole crab, there’s always never enough crab meat to satiate crab meat cravings. And it was rather annoying having to do all that hard work cracking the shells to get so little meat.
There was a lot more vermicelli hidden at the bottom. I loved that all the sauce had soaked into the vermicelli providing such a delicious hit of saucy chilli goodness. And the longer it was left in the pot, the saucier and spicier it became!
The next mud crab was served with ginger and shallots on thick egg noodles that had been slightly charred. The sauce was very thick and a little gluggy. I love thick noodles but these were slightly disappointing as they had an odd texture. They were denser than I usually like my noodles and didn’t have that spring back when chewed. They also squeaked a little against my teeth. Odd right? Maybe it was just me.
Tales of a Confectionist calls the crab’s pincer the ‘drumstick of the sea’ and I have to agree. By far the best part of the crab with minimal effort in terms of shell cracking. Cooked to perfection!
After all crabs were consumed, sago in coconut milk was brought out for everyone. I believe the sago and broth provided were complimentary (perhaps because we ordered three crabs?) All crabs were charged at market price. Three crabs between the six of us turned out to be approximately $45 per person. Service is typical of a Chinese restaurant – a little rushed, no chatter and very straight to the point. I was surprised that little crab forks weren’t provided to help scoop out the crab meat. I don’t really like getting my hands dirty while eating – peeling prawns, cracking crab shells etc so I think I did pretty well for this crab feast. I do secretly wish there was an option for shell-less crab meat to appear…
I’m told Jimmy’s Place serves the cheapest mud crab in Canberra and they are pretty tasty. The only problem with only eating crab is that it’s not filling enough, so we all had Nutella pizza at Walter G’s a few metres away…
Jimmy’s Place is open Wednesday to Monday for lunch and dinner.
Value for money 7.5/10
FPJ score 23/50
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