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.
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.
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).
Sign propped up in front of the alleyway
CANNED CRAB BAR
3-21-1 Nishihara, Shibuya-ku