Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chilli and Black Pepper Crabs - House of Seafood @ 180 (螃蟹之家)

Preggy Joyce was craving for some badly needed chilli crabs (with mantou)and asked me if i know of any reputable restaurants in Singapore. Sadly, though this dish is touted as a national dish, i have never actively sought it in my numerous food expeditions in Singapore.

Eventually, my elder sister decided to take things in her own hand and check out reviews from friends, colleagues and i bet the internet as well.

House of Seafood @ 180 (螃蟹之家) was selected because it's near Serangoon Gardens, an area acceptable for all of us!

I was the last to arrive after an interesting photo trip to a place (shall touch on that in the future). Therefore, the food was dished out shortly after my grand arrival.

You Tiao with Squid
I vividly remember how impressed i was when i tried this long time ago in one wedding banquet. The hot crispy cullers filled full with salty squid meat was a perfect combination once you dipped them in sweet and cold mayonnaise!

Something is missing. Although fried sesame seeds usually justify a more appetising fragrance, i didn't really feel it over here. It was, overall, not an outstanding dish for House of Seafood.

Bean Curd with Pork Floss
With the introduction of the highly popular pork floss bun by BreadTalk, i am not surprised to find pork floss creeping into a tze char dish like fried beancurd.

Having said that, the subtle-tasting egg beancurd was totally overpowered by the sweet pork floss that turned soggy after a while.

Mee Goreng
Chilli lovers will dig this! Contrary to most Chinese style mee goreng that tends to concentrate on a balance of sweetness and spiciness, the one in House of Seafood weighed heavily on the spicy side.

Full of sambal chilli with a hint of crab flavour, this is unfortunately not the type i enjoy. Crab is a very sensitive ingredient that could give an abhorring fishy taste for some people - just like the famous chilli crabmeat with buns i had in Kia Hiang.

Pork Ribs in Special Sauce
Don't bother asking me what special sauce because i have bloody no idea. Most importantly, this was damn delicious despite the dull shitty colour.

The tender meat slipped off easily from the bone with a slight tug and though i cannot confirm what goes into the special sauce; it had a very addictive tangy-sweetness to it.

Stir Fried Sambal Kangkong
One of the better malay glory (马来风光) i had; the hot and sweat-inducing factor was met and the strong fragrance of dried shrimp just made it even more desirable!

Chilli Crab
A disclaimer has to be made here; House of Seafood @180 is not well known for its chilli crabs so i was not expecting much from this dish. 

The hot-looking paste tasted more tomato than chilli and i can proudly proclaim that dearest mommy (herself a damn good cook) can whip up a much better one!

Well, i am not complaining on the freshness and meatiness of the crab though (we ordered one medium). The feeling of eating a whole crab claw in one bite is so fulfilling!

Black Pepper Crab
After that memorable first time experience at Eng Seng Restaurant, i thought i had already tried the best pepper crabs in Singapore. There's a reason for using past tense.

Nothing beats the unique taste of the black pepper sauce from Eng Seng Restaurant (at least for the moment), but the crustacean flesh has always been the key factor in any crab dish.

For one, House of Seafood's crabs were big and fat! Two, even if it lacked that exceptional taste, House of Seafood was more generous with the black pepper sauce.

Frankly, i am quite split between House of Seafood and Eng Seng although the pig sister prefers the former.

Man Tou (Buns)
One of the two main satisfying conditions for the insatiable craving faced by the pregnant sister.

With chilli crab sauce, it was a tad disappointing. Better when i ate them with the pepper crab sauce!


Given my limited expertise in black pepper crabs, i should make an effort to try other restaurants that are famous for it! Sighz... missing the Pork Ribs in Special Sauce right now!

180, Yio Chu Kang Road.
(Near to Serangoon Gardens)

You Tiao with Squid - S$8 (S)
Bean Curd with Pork Floss - S$8 (S)
Mee Goreng - S$12 (M)
Pork Ribs in Special Sauce - S$13 (S)
Stir Fried Sambal Kangkong - S$8 (S)
Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab
- S100.80 (Two Medium Crabs @ S$42/kg)
Man Tou (Buns) - S$0.50 each

No Service Charge and No GST.

Additional Information
Non-airconditioned and due to limited dining area, tables could be set up near to the busy (and therefore polluted) Yio Chu Kang road. Come early or make a reservation (6282-7180) to guarantee an indoor albeit still non-airconditioned seating.

Parking is a big issue since this place is smacked in the middle of private houses and the public car park is located far away at Serangoon stadium! You may choose to pay S$4 and spare yourself the frustration by utilising the valet parking!

From the many pictures pasted on this particular wall behind the cashier's counter, House of Seafood seems to be renowned amongst the local and overseas celebrities.

Service was comparatively better than other restaurants of a similar scale; plates cluttered with shells and bowls filled with limewater were frequently changed without prompting, service staff were attentive (there were many of them) and best of all, one free gift for one bill!

*sense the sarcasm please*


  1. One free gift for one bill? My mum managed to get two after asking one of the older looking aunty waitress for an extra since there's two "children" at the table.

    Said "children" because my brother and I are already in our 20s. So funny.

  2. darn! i should have asked my mom to do the same thing!


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