Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pepper Crabs @ Eng Seng Restaurant (永成餐室)

Pepper Crabs
@ Eng Seng Restaurant

From young, the only crabs i had were steamed and when i was slightly older, i remember the rage was with chilli crabs, followed by pepper crabs.

Totally not my preferred cooking style; i find that pepper masks the true taste and is a definite no-no on my food like shark's fins soup although almost everyone insisted otherwise.

With that assumption, i had pepper crabs only once in my whole life and frankly, i didn't understand why it is such a popular dish amongst Singaporeans!

Is there something bloody wrong with their taste buds!?

Therefore, i was displaying some hesitance when Mr Kon said there's this super nice pepper crabs in Joo Chiat. After hearing it for a few times, i guess it's time to ascertain Mr Kon's recommendation!

Mee Goreng
I was informed that this is one of the signature dishes in Eng Seng.

Maybe i am too impressed with the mee goreng from Seafood Paradise; i found this lacking the oomph factor! It was a very mild version with an imbalance of tomato and chilli sauce.

Fried Rice
For a fleeting moment, i thought a big plate of plain white rice was served.

That's impossible since the Gang of Four is never a big fan of plain rice. This dish was simply done with minimal garnishing and flavour. There's a reason for such little seasoning and i will elaborate later.

Sweet and Sour Pork
Freshly served, the meat was so moist and tender! Although they were not crispy, these were filled with delightful meat juice that blended very well with the sauce.

Undeniably the best i ever have!

Pepper Crabs
My sensitive nose picked up the hot fragrance of stir-fried pepper crabs even before they appeared on the table!

As i held the meaty claw portion of this personal favourite crustacean in front of me, my tongue uncontrollably flicked out to lick the gooey black pepper sauce. A slight peppery sensation was felt and the peppery taste was, thankfully, not overwhelming!

It was (surprisingly) more than just plain pepper. This addictive taste was similar to a mixture of savoury marmite mixed with pepper and sugar.

To make it easier for patrons to appreciate the crab with lesser frustration, there were two persons personally in charge of hammering the crabs in the kitchen (saw it with my own eyes)!

With this nice consideration, it did not take me much effort for a clean extraction of the claw! Imagine the shiokness when you pop it into your mouth!

A dish i never thought i would like, i have to say that the pepper crabs in Eng Seng Restaurant have drastically changed my perception.


With economical tze char pricing and mom's recent cravings for crabs (she abstained from seafood for a few months because of her chicken pox incident); i would make it a priority to revisit Eng Seng Restaurant again!

247/249, Joo Chiat Place 

Motorists can drive along the Still road towards East Coast until you see this building that stands out with green painting and the curvy words "Durian Lingers". Eng Seng Restaurant is directly opposite the durian shop.

For bus commuters, you can take bus 33 or 642 and alight at the bus stop 82181 (Flora East). The restaurant is so near to the bus stop, you can literally hop there.

Mee Goreng - $5.00
Fried Rice - $6.00
Sweet and Sour Pork - S$10.00
A Minimum of Two Peppers Crabs - S$45.60

(Subject to GST and drinks are charged separately)

Additional Information
Mixed traditional coffee shop setting!! So please don't expect air-conditioning! However, do expect the queues and the harsh reality that their ingredients run out pretty fast even before the sky turns black!

Oh, remember the fried rice? Mixing up the plain tasting rice with the black peppery sauce proved to be the perfect remedy and i could not resist filling up my bowl again and again with rice.

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