mellben seafood place. this is where you go for crab

In places on December 31, 2010 at 5:11 pm

in a way, it was the idea of crab that got us going on this trip. i had very pleasant memories of chili crab, but this time i wanted to try it in a hawker stall. fortunately, our friends april and chinie inocentes thought of bringing us to a crab place for our first dinner. mellben on block 211 lorong 8 toa payoh. remember the address well.

before the main event we had pork ribs marinated in guiness stout and then grilled

these were very very good. tender and moist, getting the best qualities of the stout in terms of caramelization.

we then had scallops with macadamia nuts

i don’t know how common this combination is in chinese/singaporean cuisine, but it’s the first time i’ve ever tried it. while there was no intense interplay of flavors here, it was a very interesting study in textures which for me was the strong point of the dish.

then it was time for the crab. the first was something unexpected

the sauce is milk and cream and butter. a little sweet with an undertone of spice. it was almost too rich, but wow was it delicious. i must admit this is a combination i never thought would work. i love it when i’m wrong like this.

next up was the more recognizable chili crab

this was brilliant. the spice was there but not overly done – the flavors of the actual crab came through. enough sauce to soak up a whole bunch of fried buns. lovely lovely lovely crab.

all this washed down with coconut juice

this little thing doesn’t taste like your regular coconut juice. it is very sweet. a result, we were told, of the juice being boiled thus concentrating its flavors. something we are now curious to try.

i can’t give prices because we were treated to this dinner (a very generous move), but i was told the crab is easily half the price it is in restaurants like jumbo.

you know mellben is a good place because hardly any tourists here. all local. and locals were the ones who recommended it as being one of the best crab places. and seeing it jampacked at 10:30pm, and tasting all the wonderful dishes i’d have to agree. the next time we go to singapore, we are definitely finding this place again


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