Big T’s San Jose Big Tease, Little Satisfaction

Big T San Jose Groupon Deals and High Expectations

If you know me, you know that I am truly obsessed with finding some good seafood. Fresh seafood, any way or grilled with garlic butter (a favorite); however, fry it, cook it in curry, whatever, I’ll probably eat it. Recently I’ve heard about Groupon having a special for this new spot called Big T’s Seafood so when we had some friends coming to the South Bay to have dinner with us and wanting seafood, we decided to use it as an opportunity to try somewhere new.

Walking in, it’s not clearly written but you just need to put your name on the guest list. They use that list to call you when a table is ready. Then you can stand around and check out the menu or see the live seafood in the buckets nearby.

Coconut Sea Snails, Shrimp and Fries From Big T's Seafood Market Bar

As I was standing waiting for my table, a big gripe for me is that tables stood dirty (even after people left) and it took a while before it was cleaned and given to the next party. Also, despite being a newer restaurant, the inside actually looks slightly run down and dirty. Pushing all that aside, when we sat down, we were looking forward to ordering after having about an hour to look over the menu.

Grilled Bread Over a Pile of Grilled Shrimp and Seafood From Big T's Seafood Market Bar

It took a while to finally get someone to take our order but when we finally did, it was by Mr. T himself! Guess due to it being slightly short staffed, it was the first time in since they opened that he has been on the front vs. in the back cooking.

Crab and Geoduck 2 Ways From Big T's Seafood Market Bar

Food We Ordered

  • Coconut Sea Snails: Having a Vietnamese roommate introduce this to me a couple of years ago, it has slowly but surely become one of my favorite dishes. There is just something so tasty about the sauce its cooked in with some coconut milk, chili and probably fish sauce. This served at Big T’s was no exception, we pretty much dipped all the seafood in the sauce since it was taht tasty! If you haven’t had sea snails before you have to suck the meat out of the shell, take off the end then enjoy! It’s a unique experience but very tasty with the sauce.
  • Fried Tiger Prawns: This was good but nothing special. I enjoy the fried aspect since you can practically eat the whole shrimp but the shell also stuck to the prawn itself which made it hard to eat. This was OK.
  • Seafood Special: A grilled seafood plate with half a crab, half a lobster, clams and shrimp. For it being $39.99 I thought the half of each wasn’t actually worth it, made it hard to share and there wasn’t much meat. Also I think a lot of the seafood was overcooked since it shrank and it was hard to deshell. While it looked beautiful and was served with some garlic bread, I probably wouldn’t order this again
  • Geoduck 2 Ways: Also $39.99 the geoduck was served sashimi style and the other part was fried. I’ve had geoduck sashimi before in Seattle at Taylor Shellfish farm and thought the freshness of the sashimi left much to be desired. The fried portion also didn’t have a great taste so personally for me, after 2 pieces of the sashimi and 2 of the fried part, I couldn’t eat more. Probably wouldn’t order this again.
Grilled Crab and Clams and Other Shellfish From Big T's Seafood Market Bar

Overall the meal came out to $150 with a pitcher of beer which I thought was a little on the high side considering the quality of the food. Would I go back? Probably to give it another chance, maybe the staff was just having an off day but if the quality is the same, probably not again.

One plus: a daily happy hour where you will save around $0.50 for oysters. They have quite a few options on the type of oyster, the one that caught my eye was the Kumamotos (my favorite). While we didn’t get a chance to order it this round, I definitely plan on trying this in the future.