Signature seafood dishes at No Signboard

When in Singapore, there’s certain dishes that you MUST eat according to… well everyone. And one of those, is the country’s signature dish, chilli crab. 
Jeremy and I went to Singapore for his birthday and a week away from Perth to enjoy some time off work, some time to explore the local markets and some time to eat way more than our stomachs should be capable of.  

After a long day of junk food and thrill rides at Universal Studios on Sentosa Island, we decided to go for an actual restaurant dinner nearby at Harborfront. After seeing this place recommended on the Singaporean food blog Lady Iron Chef (a great read if you’re travelling to Singapore), we headed to the strangely named No Signboard Seafood with crab on our minds. 
Though this was neither of our first times in this country, we both had never sampled this dish so we really had no idea what to expect. But I can tell you this, our mouths were definitely watering from walking inside because it smelt amazing. 
The restaurant was packed; and we were put on a waiting list – finally getting seated at 9pm. Luckily the Vivo City shopping centre is underneath the restaurant and it is a huge place to navigate. We roamed around and when it was our time to eat, we had built up a decent appetite. 
Our meal started off with a lime juice each, which is my go to drink when in Singapore. This was definitely the best I’ve ever had. It was zingy, refreshing and full of flavour. A must try if you ever frequent this spot! The iciness was so refreshing seeing as the night was humid and oh so hot. 

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.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    5 November 2012 at 2:21 am

    Chilli crab! My fave dish ever when im in singapore!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    12 November 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I can see why Sarah, it absolutely floored me how much I loved it!

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