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Canned Crab Bar

The Canned Crab Bar is guilty of false advertising. I almost forgave them for not serving any canned crab while dining on fresh, juicy crab legs and seafood-cream pasta... until I saw the bill.

We walked into the Canned Crab Bar located in a tiny alley in Yoyogi-uehara expecting canned crab. But instead the only canned crab in the store was used for decorative purposes. I am not complaining - I will take fresh crab over canned any day and this day was no exception. We ordered the two kinds of crab offered on the menu: zuwai (399 yen) and taraba (699 yen). As the price suggests, the taraba crab was much juicier and sweet in taste than the zuwai crab. There were an array of dipping sauces to choose from (too many in my opinion) and we selected a cream dill and a simple vinaigrette sauce. Both sauces were good and necessary for the zuwai, which was dry compared to the taraba. The taraba was so juicy in itself that it seemed like an insult to slather it in sauce.

Canned Crab Bar

After the crab, we were craving pasta. Surprisingly, there was no pasta on the menu. So we asked our server if they could make a pasta dish for us. The chef came out and asked us if a cream sauce consisting of cured mullet roe and crab was something we would like. It sounded right up our alley and OK'd the chef on the order. What arrived was fettucine coated with cream sauce that wasn't too heavy. The cream sauce brought out the sweetness of the crab and mullet roe.

Canned Crab Bar

The food at Canned Crab Bar was made with ingredients that are almost failproof - crab, fine cheese, wine. But the tab at the end of the meal, 7,900 yen, was proof that they felt inclined to charge enough to prove that they didn't use any canned products. I am always wary of places that place a "charge" (sitting) fee and the Canned Crab Bar charged 500 yen. Although the wine is very cheap at 280 yen, they pull you in with the expensive stuff that comes with drinking (i.e. food).

The menu

Canned Crab Bar

Sign propped up in front of the alleyway

Canned Crab Bar

3-21-1 Nishihara, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, Japan
T: 03-3466-2640
Column: Tokyo JUNKtion


  • Paystyle – yes I definitely think ordering off the menu contributed to the higher tab at the end. It's usually not that outrageous when you do that in Tokyo, but I guess in this case, it was…

    Kayoko – yeah, totally cheated, which is too bad because I was really hoping I could frequent this place.

    yoko on

  • Didn't you feel cheated after??? That's the worst feeling in the world.

    kayoko on

  • Do you think ordering off-menu had anything to do with the surprise in the final bill? I know that in the states when you order off-menu you should definitely expect to pay higher than if that same item were on the menu.

    Paystyle on

  • David, there is nothing wrong with a difference of opinion. Thanks for reading.

    yoko on

  • No, you’re entire article is false advertising. Yes it is called canned crab bar, so what you idiot. It’s fresh crab served in a giant metal tin. It is also extremely reasonable compared to fancy places in Tokyo and especially compared to Europe or the US. The quality of the food is great. The wine for Tokyo is also very good and both food and drink come at a very very reasonable proce. Get a grip you lot. This is a great spot but better that you guys quibble about it and let us locals who really like it get a seat.

    David on

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