Being the one year anniversary of the Mud Crab restaurant on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield, since it had its concept change from restaurant, Felicini, Digest Sheffield decided to find out how it’s coming along.
The restaurant, owned by Neil Lawrence and Ged Lynch (no, not the musician), came about when the pair, who own several other restaurants around Sheffield, Cheshire and Manchester under the company name Nose Ltd, saw an opportunity to launch the Australian and American style restaurant when they thought Ecclesall road was oversubscribed with Italian restaurants.
Jenny Kershaw, who has worked for Nose Ltd for the past two years, explained the transition from the Felicini brand to Mudcrab and how the idea came about:
“The directors choice of the Australian and American theme is from the experiences they’ve had in both countries. Particularly a restaurant in Chicago called Ed Debevic’s which Lawrence apparently thinks serves THE best burger”.
Ed Debevic’s restaurant has even had that much impact on the menu that Mudcrab claim to have “The second best cheeseburger” second to the Chicago restaurant.
Although Jenny argues that Felicini was a great restaurant she thinks that it was time for a change and a perfect opportunity when they opened last year, she said:
“I think the concept change was a good transition to make because the concept of Mudcrab is an up and coming trend of restaurants and it’s becoming a more popular cuisine throughout the UK”.
This transition certainly does seem to have been a success, with the company replacing another two of their restaurants in Didsbury and Manchester with the Mudcrab brand.
Digest Sheffield tries it out!
So my first impression when entering the restaurant was good. The place was in good nick, in a good location and had a lovely vibe about it. Sophisticated enough for adults but not too uptight for families or too posh for students. The waiter was attentive and we were seated straight away and very politely. Good start.
When reading the menu I was a little unexcited with the choices available, could just be personal preference but nothing particularly stood out. But as the burgers had been recommended by Jenny, I decided to take her word for it and opted for the burger with peanut butter, the ‘Recently polled; New York’s best selling burger’ coming in at £12 and my friend ordered the ‘Custom built burger’ coming in at £9.25. We both also added bacon for an extra £2.50 and the cocktails sounded very appealing but as I was driving had to give them a miss!
Again, the waiter is very polite, takes our order and the food comes out in a good amount of time and I have to admit, the presentation looks spot on from a glance. Loads of thin crispy fries and a big burger, accompanied with all the condiments. When opening the burger, I’m a bit disappointed with the lack of peanut butter, but trust that they know what they’re doing and don’t want to overdo it on the peanut butter front. The meat in the burger itself look a bit ‘unmeaty’. More like three thin patties of meat piled on top of each other to make the size of a normal sized burger but again, I have come here with an open mind and don’t feel particularly unhappy so far.
When tasting the burger, the bun is tasty, savoury-sweet with a hint of sesame and they have got it just right with the amount of peanut butter and surprisingly it does go very well together. The fried egg is perfectly cooked, hard, but a gooey and runny yolk.
However, I am right about the burger looking ‘unmeaty’. It is a good burger but would expect more from a ‘best selling burger’, it almost needs to be ‘juicier’ as it seems to lack a bit of substance.
But all in all, with the melted cheese, onions and perfectly cooked smoked bacon, the burger wins me back with its overall taste and the chips taste as good as they look.
Our meals and two drinks came to a total of £25 which I felt satisfied paying.
All in all, I am impressed with the Mudcrab restaurant, particularly its ambiance and I am satisfied with the food. However, I feel that if they are going to claim they have the second best cheeseburger then they will have to up their game when it comes to the meat.