Chili Crab

In the morning, Ben and I grabbed a quick breakfast meal of chicken rice from the “coffee shop” around the corner from nickeldime.  A coffee shop in Singapore food terms simply means a fast food diner-esque type joint that serves local cuisine.  Whether they actually serve coffee, I never really bothered to verify.  The dish was called “economic rice” because it was the cheap “street” version of chicken rice (a couple days later I would try the fancier version of chicken rice).  We also tried wonton mee, which is a Cantonese broth noodle dish served with dumplings, leafy vegetables, and roasted pork.

A group of us spent a lazy Sunday roaming around the island shopping and eating, of course.  We took a brief stop at the Salvation Army, which was surprisingly a pretty nice store.  The disparity between Singapore’s rich and poor is huge, and just seeing the basic items that the wealthy donate was very indicative of that gap.

Our eating tour continued with our first snack of the day: ha cheong kai, fried chicken.  I was a bit slow with the camera so all  I really have a photo of is the shot after we devoured it all.  I did get a photo of the beef kway teow (stir fried flat rice noodles with beef) before it disappeared.

Ben had to head back to the bar and the rest of us continued onto our next food destination: the famous crab joint, Mellben Seafood. It was located in an open air food centre on Ang Mo Kio Avenue.  Chili crab is a famous dish originating from Singapore in 1950, and can now be widely found in many Singaporean and Malaysian food restaurants.  Typically, mud crabs are used and stir fried in a thick sweet and savoury tomato and chili sauce.  Despite its name, the dish is not very spicy, just very flavorful!  It is usually served with fried man tou (fried buns) that you can dip into the creamy chili sauce.

Mellben Seafood is also well known for its Claypot Crab Bee Hoon, which was actually my favorite Singaporean dish that has a whole buttery steamed crab served with rice noodles.  The fried bean curd dish was also delicious.

All over Souteast Asia, you will find stalls selling this giant spiky green fruit called durian.  Even if you don’t recognize its unique appearance, the distinctive smell is sure to catch your attention.  Some people find the smell very fragrant, whereas other find it to be a rather repulsing odor.  I fell in the latter camp and thought it smelled like something foul.  Apparently nickeldime had served durian cocktails for a bit and it sold out very quickly. However,  I couldn’t even stand to be in the same room when people were cutting it up…

After dinner, we headed to Mustafa, which is a ginormous discount superstore complex located in Little India.  This place has everything and anything you’d ever want or need for cheaper than you would ever expect.  There are watches, jewelry, electronics, movies, music, clothes, kitchenware, power tools, toys, cash exchanges… the list goes on and on.

After our shopping spree, we all headed back to nickeldime to chill out with a few rounds of sake and wine.  After the bar closed, Ben wanted to grab some late night grub.  I probably already had gained 5 pounds in 3 days, what was another pound?

Mee goreng is a traditional Southeast Asia dish made with thin yellow noodles fried with garlic, onions, prawns/chicken/beef, chili, vegetables, tomatoes, egg, and pickles.  The Singapore version can be fairly spicy.

We also ordered a roti john, which was a fried pastry sandwich filled with mutton, egg and onion.  Finally, we got a Milo Dinosaur, which was essentially a ridiculously rich iced chocolate milk beverage with a thick layer of cocoa powder on top.

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Return to main menu: “Singapore Lah!”


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