The Ministry of Crab Pop-up in Delhi: Is It Worth a Visit?

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Keep Calm and Crab On!

As a newly-wed on my honeymoon in November 2013, every experience was extra special. On our way to the Maldives, my husband and I enjoyed a 2 day holiday in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Dinner at the Ministry of Crab was a memorable highlight of the trip. Therefore, I was extremely excited about the restaurant’s 4 day pop-up in Delhi.


Young and enjoying life! Circa November 2013 in Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Ministry of Crab in Colombo is often included in Asia’s Best Restaurant lists. Owned by famous cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in collaboration with chef Dharshan Munidasa; it is located in the stunning Old Dutch Hospital in Colombo Fort. A delicious meal and unparalleled ambience make it a must-visit. Be sure to book reservations in advance!


First course: King Prawn Bisque

Since I visited over 4 years ago, the restaurant’s reputation has grown by leaps and bounds. Chef Dharshan is currently in Delhi hosting a pop-up at the Shang Palace restaurant at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel. After a successful pop-up in Mumbai last year, the restaurant is set to open its doors there. Here’s hoping Delhi is the next destination!


Second course: Baked Crab

The pop-up offers a four course set menu, as well as a la carte options to choose from. We chose the set menu which arrived in the following order. The first course consisted of the King Prawn Bisque, a prawn broth made with Sri Lankan spices; the second was the Baked Crab, a sort of thick crab cake; the third was the Garlic Chili King Prawn, cooked in Italian olive oil, soy sauce, garlic and chili flakes; and the main course was the restaurant’s signature Black Pepper Crab, which is served whole to be shared by two people.


Third Course: Garlic Chili King Prawn

The crab dishes are absolutely delightful. The subtle flavor shines through the soft meat, making each bite a veritable experience. The same cannot be said about the prawns unfortunately. The prawns served in both dishes were tasteless and slightly chewy. The sauces were delicious but the prawns themselves were disappointing. As such, I’d recommend ordering only the crab dishes from the a la carte menu.


Piece de Resistance: Black Pepper Crab

The cute crab aprons state “Keep Calm and Crab On”; and as conversation stilled while we enjoyed the process of de-shelling and relishing the meat, it certainly rang true. We sat outdoors as indoor seating was booked out. Afraid of being cold, we piled on the layers, but the heaters added a warm touch to an already lovely romantic ambience.


Chef Dharshan clearly knows his crab, and all seafood lovers must attempt to get a table over the remaining two days of the pop-up!


Dates: 18th -21st January 2018

Time: 7:00 p.m. first seating

           9:30 p.m. second seating

Price of set menu: INR 4500 plus taxes

Venue: Shang Palace restaurant, Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, 19 Ashoka Road, Connaught Place

Drinks not included

Prior reservation required

Food rating: 4/5 (5/5 for the crab dishes)


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