Mention the famous crustacean and the associated word that comes to mind is almost always “chilli”. In fact, just try googling “crab Singapore” — the search term throws up pages after pages of recommendations on where you can get the best chilli crab dish here. But we’re not here to talk about that. In our opinion, the esteemed crab deserves something different this time, because hey, it goes well with plenty of flavours! Here are some dishes we think will help you forget about the spicy option for a bit. It pays to be adventurous.
1. Deep Fried Sri Lankan Crab with Spiced Chicken Floss
This creative interpretation of the beloved Sri Lankan crab by Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant is a delightful mix of two beloved delicacies — the crab and the chicken floss. Fresh, soft and slightly-sweet crab meat is covered with savoury melt-in-your-mouth floss, bringing an explosion of flavours that is both intriguing and fun. Who knew chicken floss could go so perfectly with crab?
Get it at Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road, tel: 6831 4605. Opens 12pm to 3pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm on weekdays, 11.30am to 3pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm on weekends and public holidays. Visit www.singaporemarriott.com/restaurant/wan-hao-chinese-restaurant
2. Rich Broth Crab Bee Hoon Soup
Ah, a piping-hot bowl of broth is the best kind of comfort food during a cold, rainy day. This dish by Kenny’s Krabbi however, elevates the humble bowl of noodle soup by several notches. With an eye-catching crab perched on top of springy bee hoon noodles soaked in rich and flavoursome broth, it’s a satisfying meal that will warm you to your toes.
Price: $32 (half 800g crab), $60 (full 800g crab)
Get it at Kenny’s Krabbi, #01-25, 2 Tai Thong Cres, tel: 6909 1950. Opens 11am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 11pm (closed on Tuesdays). Visit www.facebook.com/kennys.krabbi/
3. Flower Crab Porridge
Luxe dining does not necessarily mean fine dining. Not at Holland Village, at least. At Swatow is Here, which is housed within a coffee shop, you get to indulge in comforting claypot porridge topped with exotic ingredients such as flower crab, eel and clams. Brewed with umami-flavoured porridge and MSG-free, this hidden hawker gem serves a sweet twist to the typical porridge dish. Be prepared to get down and dirty — we believe the best way to devour the crab’s fresh and tender meat is to use your fingers.
Price: $8 (small), $18 (medium), $28 (large)
Get it at Swatow is Here, #01-359, 46 Holland Drive, tel: 9669 9595. Opens 11am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm till sell-out.
4. Mango Salad with Flower Crab
The typical Thai mango salad gets elevated at Nana Thai Restaurant with the addition of flower crab. Here, sliced onions and green mango strips are tossed with flower crab chunks and doused with a sweet, savoury and sour sauce. Both piquant and spicy, it’s a great appetiser to start off your meal, especially if it’s late in the night. The restaurant is also serving up a Thai papaya salad dish with flower crab, so if your crab cravings are strong, try both.
Get it at Nana Thai Restaurant, #01-51/52/66A, Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road, tel: 6297 8498. Opens 24 hours. Visit www.nana.thai.restaurant
5. Soft Shell Crab Bao
The humble bao has never looked so good. Neon Pigeon, known for its progressive take on Japanese ingredients and condiments, has filled pillowy soft buns with a generous serving of soft shell crab glazed in black pepper teriyaki sauce topped with a dollop of corn and avocado. An intriguing mixture of flavours and textures, the morsels of crab give a satisfying crunch while the corn adds a touch of sweetness to this savoury dish. We approve.
Price: $15 (small), $28 (large)
6. The California Roll (Snow Crab Maki)
Tanuki Raw elevates the humble California roll with the addition of the snow crab (aka “queen crab”) instead of the typical crab stick. This maki (hand-roll) is incredibly delicious as the firm and sweet meat of snow crab, rolled together with crunchy cucumber and soft avocado, gives a satisfying bite. The best part? It is covered in an abundance of salty and crunchy ebiko (shrimp roe). Mmm, this dish is a definite winner.
7. Orgasmic Crab (Salted Egg Yolk Crab)
These days, the salted egg yolk crab dish is so common that it can be found on any self-respecting zicharmenu. In fact, it is almost as omnipresent as its chilli counterpart! But we think the HolyCrab’s version is a notch above the rest. The crustacean is topped with a creamy salted egg yolk sauce that is light and just right. Fried with curry leaves and chilli padi, it delivers just the right kick that is oh, so, satisfying. What’s more, they source their crabs from suppliers such as Apollo Marine, known for its crabs being antibiotics-free, so you can dig in without worrying.
Get it at HolyCrab, #01-03, 2 Tan Quee Lan Street, tel: 8444 2722. Opens 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 6pm to 10pm on Sundays. Visit www.holycrab.sg, Instagram @holycrab.sg
8. Crab Broth Ramen Special (All Toppings)
The crab takes centre stage at this Japanese ramen eatery. Featuring chef Keisuke Takeda’s new creation, the Crab Broth Ramen, take your pick from the various renditions spun from it, such as the Crab Broth with Mixed Fried Omelette, Crab Broth Ramen (Clear Soup), Crab Broth Ramen (Rich Soup) and Spicy Crab Broth Ramen. We say make an immediate beeline for the Crab Broth Ramen Special with rich soup that comes with all toppings. Swimming crabs and chicken bones are simmered for hours to create creamy full-bodied flavours resembling crab bisque. Accompanied by springy noodles, meat slices, flavoured egg and bamboo shoots, it’s a hearty bowl that will leave you clamouring for more. Sugoi!
Get it at Keisuke Kani King, #01-03, Orchard Cineleisure, 8 Grange Road, tel: 6262 6968. Opens 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 10pm (Mondays to Thurdays, til 2am on Fridays), 12pm to 2am (Saturdays) and 12pm to 10pm (Sundays). Visit www.keisuke.sg, Instagram @ramen_keisuke
9. Laksa Crab Bee Hoon
The signature crab bee hoon gets a unique twist with this concoction that marries two of our favourites: laksa and crab. In this dish, a whole crab is dunked in rich coconut broth and accompanied by noodles and taupok (fried beancurd). Each mouthful is an explosion of spicy and creamy goodness. Best of all, the crab morsels are so fresh they come off the shell with little resistance. No mess, no fuss. Just what we like.
Get it at Don Signature Crab, #01-1197, 206 Toa Payoh North 1, tel: 9691 6776. Opens 12pm to 8.30pm daily. Visit www.facebook.com/DonSignatureCrab
10. Crabmeat Beancurd with Century Egg Sauce
This newly introduced appetizer from Bao Makers is a decadent delight. Part of the pleasure is in the mystery — soft and sweet crab morsels are revealed only when you dig into the centre of the silky soft beancurd. This cold dish is glazed with savoury century egg sauce that has a spicy kick due to the addition of chilli padi, and topped with crunchy fish roe for added texture. The drawback to this dish? You’ll finish it before you even know it.