Even though the fall weather is descending upon us, we can still get our fix of backyard BBQ fare at Big Crow. This outdoor restaurant opened back in July and is brought to you by Anthony Rose and Chris Sanderson, the team behind Rose and Sons.
The space is actually located right behind the Rose and Sons restaurant. It’s open every day for dinner and open for lunch from Thursday to Sunday. Reservations are taken online, so take advantage of it.
As I mentioned, Big Crow is an outdoor restaurant which I’m hoping they’ll be weather-proofing for the coming months. Underneath a large wooden structure, you’ll find rows of wooden communal picnic tables. The “kitchen” is wide-open where you’ll see your meat being grilled. Needless to say, you’ll be leaving the place smelling of smoke and BBQ, so dress accordingly.
Unlike restaurants that serve up southern-style BBQ like Barque, Big Crow serves up backyard-style BBQ. The food here is meant to be shared and the menu is broken into several sections – “Crow Start”, “Little Crow” for smaller plates, “Big Crow” for entrée-sized dishes and “Eat Crow” for sides.
As far as drinks go, they’ve got some great cocktails that pair nicely with BBQ. I went with the Punch – fruit, booze, citrus ($10) and Mike ordered the Bohemian Cooler – ginger beer, elderflower, rye ($12). Both were delicious and wonderfully refreshing.
From the “Crow Start” section of the menu, we ordered the Steel Head Trout Poke – with peanuts, chili, ginger, soy, furikake, chips ($14) which came highly recommended from our server. The fresh chunks of steel head mixed with the Asian-inspired ingredients worked perfectly. Who would’ve thought that this would be one of my favourite dishes at this BBQ restaurant? It’s definitely a must-order!
Another starter we ordered was the Smoked Mozzarella and Roast Garlic Bread ($9). At $9, this was easily the most I’ve ever paid for cheesy garlic bread but this was certainly some of the best I’ve ever had. The bread had a nice crunchy exterior with a soft centre. I loved the gooey smoked mozzarella and they were certainly generous with the garlic. Incredibly delicious!
From the “Little Crow” section of the menu, we had the Crows Sizzling Bacon – with ancho chili bbq sauce ($10) which was served with a slice of Thuet bread. I thought this was on the pricey side for the two strips of thick-cut bacon but size aside, the bacon had crispy edges with a nice chew to it in the centre.
Also from the “Little Crow” section was the Jerk Chicken Wings – with pineapple ($13). One order came with 5 wings skewered together. They had a nice char on the exterior and the meat was moist. Don’t let the “jerk” scare you away from ordering them as I found the spice level to be quite mild. Overall, I found the wings to be good but not particularly memorable.
After the smaller dishes, our “Big Crow” dishes arrived. First up was the JW Bird – 1 bird with green sauce ($17). The dish is their take on Jonathan Waxman’s famous roast chicken with salsa verde.
The chicken, which was covered in a green onion sauce, was quite enjoyable and I was impressed by how juicy the meat was – white meat included!
Our last savoury dish was the Baby Backs – with burst tomato pesto ($16 for ½ slab; $29 for 1 slab). Since there were 4 of us, we decided to go with the full slab. It turned out to be a good call since the ribs were delicious! They weren’t fall-off-the-bone tender but they weren’t too chewy either.
The ribs had a really nice flavour on their own and I found that they didn’t really need too much of the tomato pesto which topped them.
Don’t forget to order some sides – Big Crow does a damn good job. You can purchase one for $4, 2 for $7 or 3 for $10. The first side I tried was the Potato Salad – with mushrooms, mustard, eggs and scallion. With the generous amount of grainy mustard and addition of mushrooms, this potato salad is not to be missed!
The other side we ordered was the Grilled Corn Salad – with queso fresco, chili mayo, which was equally delicious. You don’t normally see queso fresco in corn salad but it worked wonderfully. Like I said, they make some killer sides!
For dessert, they have a selection of 3 ice cream sandwiches. We decided to go with 2 of them, starting with the Smores Ice Cream Sandwich ($7). A brioche bun sandwiched a thick layer of vanilla ice cream which was coated in chocolate sauce and graham crackers. The dessert was skewered together and topped with two toasted marshmallows. With ingredients like this, I don’t think there’s any way this could be bad.
The other one we decided on was the PB&J Ice Cream Sandwich ($7) which I surprisingly liked more than the smores sandwich. It consisted of the same thick layer of vanilla ice cream and brioche bun but instead of the chocolate and graham crackers, it was covered in a delicious blueberry sauce and ridiculously good peanut butter. Finger-lickin’ good!
Being a big fan of Rose and Sons, I had no doubt that Big Crow would be another success. Hopefully, they’ll weather-proof the space so we can enjoy their BBQ year-round!
At a glance:
• Backyard-style BBQ brought to you by the team behind Rose and Sons (Anthony Rose and Chris Sanderson)
• The dishes are ideal for sharing
• Favourite dishes: steel head trout poke, smoked mozzarella & garlic bread, baby backs
• Outdoor restaurant located right behind Rose and Sons
• Communal seating on wooden picnic tables
• Open everyday for dinner; open for lunch from Thursday to Sunday
• Takes reservations
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars