There’s was a fair amount of hype surrounding Claw upon its opening 18 months or so ago. Some love it, some aren’t quite sure what all the fuss is about, seeing it simply as a more assured version of diners in the Johnny Rockets and TGI Friday mould.
The first thing you notice as you walk in is not the neon signage, or the paper tablecloths, or the rest of the lively décor for that matter, but the atmosphere. It’s 8:30pm and the place is absolutely packed. The bar area is buzzing, all the tables are full and staff are working double-time.
The style is very much in antithesis to the fine dining obsession in the UAE, which undoubtedly goes someway to accounting for its initial success. Claw is loud and unashamedly brash. The food is for getting messy with. The buckets of crab leave you with an impressive array of tools for maximising the meat, while the beautiful beef brisket and perfectly seasoned lobster will have your (necessarily) massive bib work overtime.
If you’re not preoccupied with getting up to your eyeballs in crab meat, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the drinks menu here. Created by London’s recently crowned Bartender of the Year, Thomas Gilgren, we can highly recommend the Jamaican Mule and the Zombie – although admittedly, we’ve only just remembered drinking them.
Perfect for group nights out – as well as being one of Dubai’s few, enjoyably bustling dens to watch numerous forms of sport in – Claw is a noisy and uncouth slap across the face of the more pretentious eating experiences in the city; and for that alone, we can’t help but love it.