The first of our food to arrive is the Deep Fried Baby Squid (Spicy). It’s a dish my mother always talks of fondly when she tells me about the years her and my dad lived in Singapore before I was born. I can see why.
These little squid are fried to a crisp; crunchy to bite down on as the sweet but actually somewhat spicy sauce fills your mouth. They are really moorish and enjoyable to eat. The chilli has sparked the ravenous beast inside me!
The next dish that arrives at our table is the Yam Ring with Saute Seafood in XO sauce. I fell in love with this kind of yam dish when I was in Singapore earlier this year, so I’ve insisted we order it today. Thankfully one bite in and Jeremy’s sold too.
The yam is crunchy on the outside but soft in the middle; the seafood cooked perfectly. The sauce is salty but delicious – though definitely not spicy like the menu states. However that doesn’t bother me because the taste is exactly what you’d want – and more.
Finally the main event dish arrives, which is a glorious plate of Sri Lankan chilli crab – about 1.3 kilos of it. It is literally swimming in the phenomenally delicious chilli sauce and begging to be eaten straight away.
The crab meat is sweet, though there is a bit of finesse required when trying to fish it out of the shell with the tools provided. When eating chilli crab I soon discovered that you should always go back for more sauce again and again because some of the meat is in the sauce itself.
I highly recommend ordering a side of mantou when eating chilli crab. It’s a chinese steamed bun that is sweet and soft on the inside. It soaks up the sauce like a sponge; the bread turning a scarlet red and drawing me in for bite after bite. The yam is also a great vessel for the sauce since it has a similar constitution to bread. We’re extremely happy that the dishes pair well together and allow us to fully appreciate and celebrate this national dish.
I can see why Singaporeans rave about their chilli crab to anyone and everyone. The sauce is sublime; the meat sweet and succulent. This is a dish that you can choose to have in a nice restaurant like we did, or you can find in the Chinatown night markets at a hawker stand. Wherever you go, please try it because it is amazing and worth every cent.