Singapore is known for so many delicious dishes, from their laksa, bak keh teh to char kway teow. One famous dish, a well known one, is chilli crab. The dish uses mud crabs that are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato-and-chilli-based sauce. Despite being called chilli crab, this dish is not a very spicy dish. Nonetheless, it is a must try when you are in the country.
One such location where you can dine in on chilli crab is Jumbo Seafood, a restaurant-chain in Singapore that specializes in seafood. This chain first opened in 1987 and has grown since its inception with additional five outlets in the city (total of 6). This chain has gone on to open more outlets in other Asian countries, such as China and Vietnam. We visited the outlet at The Riverwalk near Clarke Quay.
It was our first day/night in Singapore. We were visiting to celebrate New Year’s in a different country and to see some friends. My wife wanted to start strong with her Singapore experience. It was her first time and she knew she wanted seafood.
We walked around Clarke Quay and then ventured around The Riverwalk in the evening. It’s a very, pleasant area. Lots of people out having a good time. Plus, the neon lights and ambiance made the area really inviting and exciting.
We walked around not expecting too much, until we came across a sign for chilli crabs at Jumbo Seafood. We decided it would be our first food destination. When we arrived at the entrance, we were told we had to wait for 30 mins for a table. So we decided to put our names down for a table and walked around the area until our time came. When the time came, they phoned us and we headed straight to the restaurant. It’s also worth mentioning that we picked up a pre-paid Singtel Sim for SGD$10 at the airport. I can safely say that it came into good use on our first night.
When we were seated, we were seated on an eight person table. We had other people, strangers, on our table. They were tourists and like us, were totally engrossed in their food. (I mean, who wouldn’t. Just see the photos below.)
It didn’t take much staring at the menu to realize that our first dinner was going to be in excess of SGD$100. Nevertheless, my wife was keen on the chilli crab, so it was a much have dish. We had to choose our sauce and the crab we wanted. The crab was charged per 100 g. We went with the Award Winning Chilli Crab sauce and a mud crab.
To complement our chilli crab dish, we choose Hor Fun with Seafood. It was a good choice in the end.
Before we started eating, we had to put on our bibs. Below is a grown man wearing a bib. (Also noting that nowadays he no longer young or skinny.)
We also bought some other snacks and drinks to go with our dishes. I think it is better to focus on the two star dishes.
Below is the Hor Fun which was covered in a delicious gravy with prawns, carrot, mushrooms and bok choy.
Here is our pan with the chilli mud crab. The sauce has a combination of tomato and egg and is layered over the crab and crunchy noodles. It’s a bowl of delicious textures and flavors. It was also fun to eat and was really delicious. To add, we definitely got our hands dirty that night.
On the side, we had delicious deep fried mantou bread that we could dip into the sauce. The reason was simple. Even once you finish all the crab and noodles, there is still oodles of delicious sauce that needs to be soaked up and eaten.
We enjoyed our first night in Singapore thanks to some chilli crab. It definitely beats hands down the bland and not too exciting airplane food we had on the way to the country.
Chilli crab is not an everyday food, but you should spoil yourself every now and then. I admit that I am not a seafood people, but I found this whole experience enjoyable. While the price of the dishes here are expensive, Singapore generally has food in all sorts of price ranges including very cheap (e.g. at the Food Centers).
Jumbo Seafood at The Riverwalk near Clarke Quay is located here: 20 Upper Circular Rd, #B1-48 The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416: