The Crab Cake at the Oyster Shack Restaurant in Montreal didn’t rank among the best I have had, but it certainly was one of the more unusual.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have been sampling Crab Cakes all over the place for some time now in order to compare and contrast for style and quality. The best thus far, I think, are probably the Crab Cakes at Salty’s in Halifax, while the worst, as yet, were the Crab Cakes at Vineyards in Ottawa. The curious version pictured above actually fell in between the two, but, unfortunately, more toward the not-so-good end of the spectrum rather than the other.
The first, and glaringly obviously thing that struck me about the Crab Cake at the Oyster Shack was the unusual shape. Crab Cakes tend to be, well, cake-shaped, or, at the very least, formed into patties. This one was nothing like any traditional form I have yet encountered. I slightly deformed it taking a forkful, but it arrived as an almost perfect sphere about the size of a tennis ball.
This ball (actually an ‘oblate spheroid’ after the first bite was taken, if I recall high school geometry correctly) was placed atop a bed of sautéed leeks and came with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar, a wedge of Lemon, and a White sauce that I took, at first to be a Tartar Sauce, but instead turned out to be a Tatziki dip.
The Crab Cake was made from real crab meat and it included flecks of scallion, parsley and red pepper in the mix. Unfortunately, the texture was not very good. The meat was shredded way too finely, leaving a pasty result, and I rather think that the sheer size of the balls didn’t help in that regard.
Something of the crab sweetness came through, but the taste was largely bland and actually needed the assistance of the Balsamic Vinegar. I very much liked the leeks, which turned out to be a surprisingly good accompaniment, but the Tzatziki sauce, really did not work well at all.