Self-professed gym nut and gaming enthusiast.
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Published May 18th 2013
Update March 5th 2014
This place has closed down.
A crab, a shrimp, and a chicken walk into a bar
Dr. Juicy Jay's Fried Chicken and Crab Shack is where you need to go if you want to sample some real tasty Cajun cuisine. Boasted as Melbourne's first authentic crab shack, this little outfit is nestled on the corner of Victoria and Connell Street, right next to Queen Victoria Market.
When you step into the "shack", the dim lighting and music quickly sets the mood for your meal ahead. The space is shared with a bar, and you can't go wrong having a nice cold beer to knock back with some southern food. Dr. Jay's menu is small but rich, consisting of traditional boiled crab, succulent shrimp, and crispy fried chicken among other items.
After the few of us placed our order at the counter, we literally sank into the soft couches at the corner of room. Songs from Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and The Blind Boys of Alabama helped settle us in as our food came soon after.
The shrimp and the fried chicken came first, and boy did they look good. There was a satisfying crunch and snap as I bit into the flesh, and the garlic butter coated the ample amount of shrimp perfectly. This allowed the natural flavours to come through while adding a hint of garlic goodness to it.
The fried chicken came with a choice of waffles for an additional $5, so why not? Seasoned with 21 of their own secret blend of herbs and spices, the chicken had just the right amount of crunch in the crispy outer layer, and was moist and juicy on the inside. There was some ranch sauce that accompanied the chicken which was tangy and addictive, and the waffle was drizzled lightly with maple syrup which completed the authentic and satisfying experience.
The crab came later, with a side of corn and sausage thrown in, and I stole a few pieces off my friend who ordered it. It appeared and tasted similar to the shrimp, with garlic butter generously lathered on throughout. The crab seemed a little smaller than I'd like, but its meat was fresh and light, with a faint sweetness.
The crowd soon came in and filled up the relatively small area, and it was soon buzzing with activity. The group of us came early just when they opened so we were lucky enough to get a spacious corner to ourselves.
If you'd like to sample some authentic southern style American food and enjoy a few beers, drop by Melbourne's first (and so far, only) crab shack and you will not be disappointed.