CLAW Carnaby: Dishes So Rich You'll Need To Get Good At Sharing

CLAW Carnaby ★★★★☆

By Lydia Manch Last edited 6 months ago
CLAW Carnaby: Dishes So Rich You'll Need To Get Good At Sharing CLAW Carnaby 4
Photo: CLAW

There's a lot to love about CLAW.

The seafood streetfooders have long been a staple on our London's best mac and cheese list, with good — crab meat-laced, golden-crusted — reason. But where you used to have to stalk them across London via their varied residencies and streetfood stalls, there's now a more reliable fix at hand from their first restaurant.

The space is a nice one, all raw brick and clean wooden lines, more utilitarian and pared-back than you'd expect from somewhere with a menu stuffed with lobster and oysters. But they're saving all the decadence for the food, which comes in sharing portions so intensely spiced, salted or cheesed that you genuinely want to share. Crab mac and cheese is easily the star, but the lamb larb dish comes a near second, packing a serious amount of salt-heavy, chilli-heavy richness into what looks like a delicate handful of mince and lettuce. There's a perfect, soft crunch to the batter on the soft-shell crab, and the only dish which doesn't blow us away is a cauliflower steak — not for being less memorably intense than the seafood and meat dishes, as we expected, but for being so fiercely salty we can't finish it.

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Prices are on the decent end of the Carnaby offering, and the short, tidy wine list comes by the glass and carafe — making this an equally easy place to drop into for a bite or to embed for an evening. What we're saying is: going there solely to share a mac and cheese and a carafe of something flinty is not only a legit life choice, it might be the best thing you can do for under £10 a head in Carnaby.

CLAW Carnaby, 22 Kingly Street, W1B 5QA.

Last Updated 14 November 2018