Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Singapore
Reload this Page >

Everything About Chilli Crab In Singapore

Everything About Chilli Crab In Singapore

Old Aug 24, 14, 4:27 pm
  #1  
In memoriam
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Near Jacksonville FL
Posts: 3,987
Everything About Chilli Crab In Singapore

Where to eat it (low medium and high end)? How to eat it? The etiquette of eating it.

I am perhaps obsessing about this. But I really want to try one of Singapore's most famous dishes. And my husband absolutely hates eating messy shellfish in the shell like chilli crab. So I am spending some time trying to make sure that he has a good experience (because I'm making all the restaurant reservations ).

I've bought him a pretty decent set of seafood implements as a gift. I suspect we can get those at better restaurants - but I'm not taking any chances. Also - our anniversary is shortly before our trip - and we could use something like this in our kitchen.

I've been looking at some You Tubes. I found this one - about the etiquette of eating chilli crab - very amusing (although I have no idea whether it's accurate):

http://youtu.be/uJgCBoVTZMw

At some point in the You Tube - I realized it was partially an ad for a place called Jumbo Seafood. So I read about Jumbo Seafood. Seems that although many people consider it overpriced and touristy - most people agree the crab is pretty good. Perhaps this is a good "entry level" place for someone like me and my husband? Although I'm certainly open to any other suggestions.

Then of course - there are people who are more knowledgeable about eating chilli crabs than we are. People who know all the nuances of the dish (who cooks it best - which sauces they prefer - etc - etc.) Who travel to Singapore more often or live in Singapore. Who want to spend less than one would spend at Jumbo (or more - I'm sure there are more luxurious restaurants).

I doubt there's anyone who has been to Singapore even once who doesn't have an opinion about this . And I - at least - would like to hear all your opinions. Robyn
robyng is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 12:14 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Terra Australis Cognita
Posts: 5,346
You're not going to go too far wrong with Jumbo: they're Singapore's largest chilli crab chain for a reason. You do pay a bit of a premium for the brand, convenient locations, views and white tablecloths, but for most visitors it's worth it given that the "authentic" alternative is a greasy table piled with chicken bones at Hock Spit Phtui in Geylang Lorong 69, admiring the sights and sounds of the car repair shop across the road.
jpatokal is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 6:52 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Singapore, Warsaw, Surfers Paradise
Programs: KrisFlyer Gold>>>Silver>>>Blue, Finnair Silver, Royal Caribbean Diamond
Posts: 4,909
Personally I'd recommend the black pepper crab over the chilli one, but in the end it's best to try each and decide which one to go for on future visits...
aster is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 7:08 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,540
What's actually really tasty about chili crab isnt so much the crab itself but the sauce.

Dip mantou(white or brown plain flour dumplings) in the yummy chili crab sauce and eat.

Black pepper crab is dry, no real sauce.

Personally, i like both but Black pepper crab has more of a "crab" taste.
HawaiiO is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 9:01 am
  #5  
uk1
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 11,969
Genuine question

Do Singaporeans actually eat Chill Crab or is it more a tourist thing?

I hear that when Singaporeans eat crab it is likely to be plain unsauced or if anything black pepper.

Personally I haven't really enjoyed chilli crab. Just normally tastes a sort of crab in Heinz tomato soup with chilli and sometimes an egg.
uk1 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 9:06 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,482
Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
Genuine question

Do Singaporeans actually eat Chill Crab or is it more a tourist thing?
Latter. At least in well known local establishments. And one justification is price of such.
invisible is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 10:13 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,540
I seldom eat chili or black pepper crab unless on special occasions like bringing tourists around or a long overdue outing with long time friends.

Mainly due to the cost as a whole crab isnt cheap.

I do like chili crab though as I enjoy eating the mantou with the sauce.
HawaiiO is offline  
Old Aug 25, 14, 4:59 pm
  #8  
In memoriam
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Near Jacksonville FL
Posts: 3,987
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Latter. At least in well known local establishments. And one justification is price of such.
If someone else was paying for your meal - would it be among your top 3 choices in terms of things to eat in Singapore? If not - what would be your top 3 choices with money no object? Robyn
robyng is offline  
Old Aug 26, 14, 12:50 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Terra Australis Cognita
Posts: 5,346
Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
Do Singaporeans actually eat Chill Crab or is it more a tourist thing?

I hear that when Singaporeans eat crab it is likely to be plain unsauced or if anything black pepper.
Singaporeans do eat it, but it's an expensive delicacy, not an everyday thing. You're not going to find it in most hawker centres, for instance. But my old office certainly used to always jump at the chance to eat crab on the company dime when a visitor came along.

Haven't ever heard of "plain" crab being served in Singapore, but other varieties are at least as popular as chilli crab, with black pepper, butter and bee hoon (rice vermicelli) at the top of the list.
jpatokal is offline  
Old Aug 26, 14, 2:14 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SIN and wandering.
Posts: 1,549
Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
Genuine question

Do Singaporeans actually eat Chill Crab or is it more a tourist thing?

I hear that when Singaporeans eat crab it is likely to be plain unsauced or if anything black pepper.
It depends. It's not cheap, like some have mentioned and it's a pretty big dish to be eating on your own... So if I eat this, it's usually with friends, we haven't met for a while, we have a good discount, those kind of occasions.

I like plain steamed crab, simply because you really taste the crab if you cook it right (and you have a fresh crab). THis is how my mum would cook it if she bought crab at the market.

Other variants which I enjoy include salted egg crab, crab tung hoon, and crab bee hoon soup. Chili crab is not my favourite because of the mess from eating it...
SQ319 is offline  
Old Aug 26, 14, 2:18 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Orange County, CA (SNA)
Programs: Delta - DM, MM; Hilton - Gold, Marriott - Dropped
Posts: 772
Originally Posted by robyng View Post
If someone else was paying for your meal - would it be among your top 3 choices in terms of things to eat in Singapore? If not - what would be your top 3 choices with money no object? Robyn
Oh wow. I am not a crab fan but curry fish head (not expensive) is my favourite Singaporean dish.

Last edited by tanglin; Aug 26, 14 at 2:19 am Reason: Typo.
tanglin is offline  
Old Aug 26, 14, 3:07 am
  #12  
uk1
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 11,969
For what it's worth ... although I didn't really rate the chilli grabs we had in Singapore, it had played on my mind somewhat and I thought I could make a better dish with large prawns so it became the basis of this variant I make at home. Chill Prawns. Very smilar in many ways, less mess , prefer prawns in this dish to crab. I like my crab fresh or "pepper". My dish has a more intense sauce.



uk1 is offline  
Old Aug 26, 14, 4:31 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,482
Originally Posted by robyng View Post
If someone else was paying for your meal - would it be among your top 3 choices in terms of things to eat in Singapore?
No. Have been living hare for three years and have not yet tried it yet. I think I have better way to spend $100 for a meal.

Originally Posted by robyng View Post
If not - what would be your top 3 choices with money no object? Robyn
Properly prepared (I don't know how to stress this enough) Rendang
Again, properly prepared Butter Chinken
Once again, properly prepared Dim Sum.

The best rendang I had was in Indonesia and the best butter chicken and dim sum I had in Georgetown, Penang. Rendang was SIN $2, butter chicken - SIN $3 and dim sum - SIN $12 for two.

I do believe that all the above exists in Singapore, but have not found rendang yet. For butter chicken already got a hint regarding Our Village and for dim sum I yet need to go to Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
invisible is offline  
Old Aug 26, 14, 4:43 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: ELP
Programs: AA EXP/LT GOLD, RC PLAT PREM
Posts: 3,936
Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
For what it's worth ... although I didn't really rate the chilli grabs we had in Singapore, it had played on my mind somewhat and I thought I could make a better dish with large prawns so it became the basis of this variant I make at home. Chill Prawns. Very smilar in many ways, less mess , prefer prawns in this dish to crab. I like my crab fresh or "pepper". My dish has a more intense sauce.



That looks really good. Would you mind posting a recipe for the sauce?
anaggie is offline  
Old Aug 26, 14, 4:46 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SIN and wandering.
Posts: 1,549
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
No. Have been living hare for three years and have not yet tried it yet. I think I have better way to spend $100 for a meal.


Properly prepared (I don't know how to stress this enough) Rendang
Again, properly prepared Butter Chinken
Once again, properly prepared Dim Sum.

The best rendang I had was in Indonesia and the best butter chicken and dim sum I had in Georgetown, Penang. Rendang was SIN $2, butter chicken - SIN $3 and dim sum - SIN $12 for two.

I do believe that all the above exists in Singapore, but have not found rendang yet. For butter chicken already got a hint regarding Our Village and for dim sum I yet need to go to Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
I definitely don't think Swee Choon is what I would consider a properly prepared dim sum. THere are much muchh better dim sum than Swee Choon.

As a local, I hardly paid more than $50 for 1 crab. Why are you paying $100 (I am assuming per pax) for a crab meal? You must be going to the wrong places if that is the price you have been quoted...
SQ319 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: