Saturday, December 18, 2010

the search for the best chili crab

When in Singapore, one must eat the OTHER national dish, chili crab. But what if one's dining companions don't eat crab at all? One must soldier on.

Jumbo's award-winning crab.

We had Sunday lunch at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant so that I could tick chili crab off my list. Our order-taker was a skinny Chinese girl.

Me: We want an order of chili crab, please.
Order-taker: How many?
Me: Oh, just one.
Order-taker: One kilo, izzit?
Me: No, no. Do you have anything smaller? I'm the only one eating it, you see.
Order-taker (looks at me seriously): I can finish one kilo by myself.

I didn't know what to say to that, so I just meekly ordered one kilo of chili crab, all for myself.

Ayayay, the mantou bread. Fried bread is always nice.

Let me just say, it's such a joy to eat with this group of people. We go wherever I want to go, I can pig out on whatever I like, and they'll order stuff and share with me, even though I don't share with them. Lavet!

Here's the other stuff on our table:

Fried cereal prawns. No Signboard's was much better.

Ooh, pork belly. Drool-worthy, but not as ethereal as Hong Kong's.

More pork. This rib was tender, juicy and very tasty.

Kangkong is everyone's default veggie... Great texture, but could use more flavor.

Jumbo has quite a few branches, but we ended up at the one near the river. It was so peaceful, no crowds at all, great weather-- feeling Sunday na Sunday.

The first thing we noticed was the colorful building across the way.

Typical of any Chinese seafood restaurant, they have a display of live critters.

So organised and obsessive-compulsive!

Verdict: Jumbo's chili crab was very good and it's probably better than any version we have in Manila, but I liked No Signboard's sauce better. Jumbo's had more heat, while No Signboard's had more layers of flavor. I wonder how the hawker joints' chili crabs compare to these two? And what about the equally famous black pepper crab? So much food, so little time. 

Should try the fried prawns with salted eggs next time. Sounds perfectly evil.

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