Casual Dining at The Tuna & The Crab in Galle Fort
We love food. And that’s not a secret. So in an attempt to add more food-related content on our blog, we went to The Tuna & The Crab in Galle Fort. The Tuna & The Crab is actually a combination of both Nihonbashi and Ministry of Crab in Colombo. The ambience is casual and has a fun, laidback vibe. It’s a shame but since it’s inside the Old Dutch Hospital (which is a historical building) in Galle, they are only allowed to have in-house seating. The well-lit space is however dreamy, beautiful and has a cozy feeling to it.
We were there for lunch and had the opportunity to try a variety of their dishes. The Olive Oil and Soy Sauce Sashimi we had first was an absolute winner. It was Zin’s favourite as well. It’s such a fun experience as well to see heated olive oil and soy sauce poured over red mullet sashimi, which gives an incredible flavour to the dish. This amazing dish was originated at The Tuna and The Crab and was reintroduced at Nihonbashi in Colombo.
Our second dish was the Crab Salad in Avocado. Forget about your typical restaurant salad now. This dish was truly unique as the wasabi-infused crab salad was presented in the seed pocked of the avocado. So you got to dig in with your tiny metal spoon and gently work the inner green flesh out of the fruit. Combine it with the fresh, local crab salad and you are in heaven (that may sound like an over exaggeration but it isn’t). The unique texture of the avocado flesh perfectly blends with the fresh, shredded crabmeat. This was Nathan’s favourite!
So…what was our third dish? Ten Sabi Temaki. Originated at Nihonbashi, this is one of the most popular culinary creations of Dharshan Munidasa. Hot tempura prawns, covered in cold, vinegared rice are rolled in a sheet of nori which adds the crunchiness to the temaki. Did you know that temaki is a type of sushi and it actually means “hand-rolled sushi” in Japanese?
Next was the Sashimi Platter, which was made out of local fish, including tuna. The remarkable dish presentation represents a Japanese garden. What a cool idea! It’s all these tiny details which made our dining experience fun and unique. The presentation also builds a connection to Nihonbashi, the leading Japanese restaurant in Colombo and one of Asia’s fifty best restaurants. The fresh sashimi with a hint of wasabi gives a refreshing spicy taste. Local radish is also grated and used as a condiment, a flavouring enhancer. As it’s costly to import authentic Wasabi rhizome to Sri Lanka, the restaurant uses the premade wasabi paste.
We also got to know that in order to prepare the wasabi paste, wasabi root is grated on a shark-skin grater!
Freshwater Prawns we tried were the highlight of our day, as these tiger prawns were locally sourced, usually from the lake in Koggala. Our prawns were cooked in the wok and seasoned with garlic and pepper which added the homely Sri Lankan spiciness to the dish. While cutlery like crackers and seafood picks can be used for these shrimps, we used our hands (yep, Sri Lankan habits). It gets really messy but it’s also quite fun. It’s a casual restaurant so why not have all the fun in the world?
And next…wait, how much did you two eat? We ate a lot. Yep! A lot.
Our Crab Pasta was a simple olive oil pasta with Sri Lankan crab. Did you know that at both Ministry of Crab and The Tuna & The Crab, the local crab served to you is evenly clawed? Yep, no uneven claws, no missing claws. And no small, meatless ones. Again, when you are eating the crab, although it’s smaller than the ones served at Ministry of Crab, it’s hard to maintain the seafood etiquette. Digging in with your hands is perfectly fine. We also had the Ebi Chahan, it’s a Japanese style fried rice made with tiger prawns. We thought this would be a perfect lunch choice, especially for our fellow Sri Lankan friends.
Have you ever had a coffee without actually drinking it? We did. It’s the Coffee Jelly in Condensed Milk we got to try for dessert. The coffee is made at the restaurant. The beans come from Malaysia. Brewed coffee is mixed with gelatin, and cooled down to form the jelly which is then immersed with condensed milk. An incredible end to our dining experience!
One final thing to mention is the finger bowls we were served at The Tuna & The Crab to rinse our fingers. Instead of the usual plain water, the finger bowl was filled with tea, which removes the oil. There are also other Ayurvedic ingredients in the tea, such as Iramusu and Venival. The former prevents the bad smell and the latter is a natural disinfectant.
The Tuna & The Crab is a wonderful culinary combination of both Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi. Not only it’s easier on the wallet, but the restaurant is also more casual and has a chilled buzz to it! If you are in Galle Fort, don’t forget to go there.