Friday, November 7, 2014

Restaurant Review: Mellben Seafood (Singapore)

The next dish on my "to eat" list, was chilli crab! Again, there are a lot of well known establishments to have crab in Singapore. I decided on Mellben Seafood because it seemed less like a tourist destination than the others, and the claypot crab (which they are well known for) sounded super delicious.

Links: Hungrygowhere, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Mellben Seafood

Mellben Seafood

We arrived shortly before 5pm, and they were still hosing down their chairs, so we killed a bit of time by walking around the neighbourhood.

Around Mellben Seafood

This place looks super appetizing.

Cory at least appreciate that there was no pretense about the cheese on the middle option: you're getting a Kraft single (or off-brand Kraft single), not real cheese.

I liked this sign. I could actually read the characters, woot!

A local supermarket for the neighbourhood.

Ok, we came back at 5:30 and they were seating people. We ordered a fresh coconut and a Tiger beer. That's the last we saw of our waitress, so I had to go place our order at the front. Oh yeah, this place is Chinese too. *turns on Chinese language skills*

Front page of the menu


and continued again

Obligatory veggies

There's other stuff too, but, let's be honest, I'm here for the crab.

Ready for crab?


This is actually a really large beer

My fresh coconut. I wouldn't recommend it though, unless you like coconut water.

When I placed my order, I was given the following card:


We ordered two crabs and a veg. Two crabs is a bit ambitious, even though we asked for smaller sized crabs. The table of 2 girls beside us also ordered two crabs, and they were somewhat shocked at the sizes LOL.

I had a hard time choosing between three crab dishes: chilli crab (classic Singaporean dish), claypot crab (what they are famous for here at Mellben), and butter crab (also highly recommended here). We decided to go with the chilli crab and claypot crab.

We also ordered two bowls of white rice - this is a mistake, don't bother!

First, our veg came out - these pea shoots are unlike the snow pea shoots I'm used to eating in North I would definitely pass on the pea shoots here.

Pea shoots

The chilli crab comes with a huge plate of fried mantou (though rather small mantou).

Fried mantou

Chilli crab - SPICY

Crab bee Hoon / claypot crab

The crab here is pretty damn tasty, and just look at this:

I hashtagged this #datclaw on Instagram

We are usually pretty fast eaters, but it took us 90 minutes to polish off our two crabs. We only got through half the mantou. I think we abandoned the pea shoots pretty early on. And the rice went to waste.

The chilli crab was pretty spicy -- the kind where you have to keep eating, otherwise your mouth and lips will burn uncontrollably. Which presents a bit of a problem when you actually finish eating. It had kind of a sweet and sour sauce taste to it (which is not super refined, I know), but the experience of eating this and getting your hands all up in the crab was very memorable. I'd recommend getting chilli crab at least once to enjoy yourself!

The claypot crab was also delicious, and had a more delicate crabby flavour (as opposed to burning hot sensations), but got cold a bit fast. I think if my taste buds were less abused by the chilli crab, I would've enjoyed this much more! I can see why it is popular though. Glad we got it.

The fried mantou were great for sopping up the chilli crab sauce, but there was so much leftover!

About 90 minutes later, the carnage!

And a few pictures on our way out after paying (they also struggled with the lack of chip and pin here on our credit card):

There is some indoor seating, too, but there's no air conditioning, just fans.

This is a weekday night walk-in line!

The back of the walk in line!

Bottom Line: I would highly recommend Mellben Seafood for your crab needs! It's not a fine dining establishment by any means, but it was such a fun experience, and so, so tasty! We did spend quite a lot (about $60 SGD per crab, so our whole meal was around $100 USD which is a bit pricey), but I think it was worth it for the amount of delicious crab. From what I understand, they take reservations for weeknights only, and weekends you are best coming early to avoid waiting!

Basic Information:
Mellben Seafood
232 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Singapore 560233

1 comment:

  1. Dude, I have a _contactless credit card_. Yeah seriously. Visa paywave, it is the shit. North America is so far behind Asia when it comes to banking technology, it is embarrassing.