The Crab Factory

The Crab Factory Claimed

Let's get Crab Crazy!

Average Reviews


The Crab Factory

Despite being a tropical island we unfortunately don’t get to enjoy the best seafood before it’s shipped off to other parts of the world. However, in recent times quite a few restaurants have popped up bringing with them a plethora of crustacean inspired dishes served in every possible way. Adding to this growing hype is Taj Samudra’s own “Crab Factory”.


Housed within an extension of Taj’s infamous Navaratna the Indian-inspired interiors spill out in to this restaurant that is only open for dinner at the moment. One has the option of sitting outdoors on the walkway overlooking the lawn and a glimpse of the Indian Ocean, or indoors in the dining area which can seat approximately 30 people. A lot of restaurants and cafes take no heed on the music playing in the background but we must make special note of the brilliant playlist of classics and soft new melodies that were quite nostalgic to listen to while we enjoyed a meal fit for a king.


Taj have super nice staff and they exude hospitality, but on a busy Saturday afternoon were a bit slow. Manjuka who served our table though was super polite and even apologized for the food taking a bit longer than expected. We also noticed how meticulous and careful he was when handling cutlery and crockery, and when serving guests.


The menu at Crab Factory is fairly simple with lots of different preparations of seafood from around the world. For its namesake we decided to try everything “crab”. For starters we chose the Mud Crab Cakes which were told are quite a favourite, however the first dish to arrive at your table is a portion of Crab Cutlets which come complimentary. As much as it was a nice gesture, it was also a great opener for the meal. The cutlets and the crab cakes both had similar fillings with lots of crab meat spiced just right with paprika and onions.


For mains one can choose from mud or lagoon crabs and also choose the size of the latter ranging from 500g to the extra-large 1kg+ ones. If you aren’t a crab fan, then Jumbo Prawns, Cuttlefish or Lobster are also an option. Once you have chosen your seafood, decided on the size of it based on your appetite, next is to pick your sauces. The choices are endless with Black Pepper Coconut, Sri Lankan style with Murunga leaves, Dutter Garlic, Singapore Chilli, Thai Red Curry, and Crab Makhani, Tandoori, Chettinaad, Kerala and Goa all featured on the menu. No matter what you choose, it is served with complimentary basket of freshly baked roast “paan” (bread), kiri hodhi (lightly-spiced coconut milk gravy) and pol sambol (coconut chutney). Seeing that it was traditionally Sri Lankan accompaniments, we decided to stick with the close to home preparation with the Murunga leaves.


Now the secret of the Murunga leaves is to cut the “heatiness” of the crabs but it also serves to bring a distinct aroma and flavour. The pol sambol is freshly ground in a hand-held mortar and pestle which Manjuka artfully executed and brought to our table. We also had a visit from Chef Jayalath who dropped by to make sure all was in order.


When eating crabs, an apron, crab cutters and lots of patience is a must. But in the end it’s all worth it when you savour the perfectly done crab meat. So taken up with the presentation, we actually asked if the crab shell could be taken home as a memento of a great meal and greater experience.


To cool off the amazing meal we had a Blue Dragon and Taj Beauty off the mocktails list and liked the tangy lemon flavour of the blue food colouring infused “dragon”. After feeling completely stuffed but satisfied with all that crab it was time for dessert. Still with hot chilli burns on our tongue we thought the best dessert would be a nice White Chocolate Mousse which didn’t disappoint. The mousse was the right consistency and wasn’t too sweet. Taj also takes hospitality a step further with offering free chocolates to everyone at the end of the meal.


Overall Crab Factory offers another unique experience like most of the Taj’s restaurants and is a welcome addition to Colombo’s ever-growing food scene.


So here’s our rating…


Location *****          (Everyone knows the Taj and there’s ample parking!)

Ambiance ****          (Nice interiors especially the various paintings of crabs!)

Service ***                (Service was courteous but pretty slow!)

Food ****                  (A lot of attention to detail!)

Overall ****


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