Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Restaurant Review: Irvin's Live Seafood House

By Thursday, June 28, 2012 , , , , ,

Was invited by the awesome folks at Irvin's Live Seafood House for a tasting so i rounded up the foodies Sgfoodonfoot, CelestialDelish, Melicacy and Alexis to join me on a tasting tour. I love eating with friends because there would be a greater variety and there're always people to finish the food! ;)

Some of you will know about Irvin's Live Seafood House. It was formerly known as Irvin's Seafood Cze Char and was located at River Valley Road. You may recognize it as the restaurant with the HUGE crab signage. Sounds familiar now? If you were wondering where they have moved to, they are now at the Upper Thomson area, 4 Jalan Leban (since Dec 2011). This is the bigger and better version with air-conditioning and 2 VIP Rooms for private dinners (reservation required, no additional cost. 8pax or more). They have also gone into the HK cafe business with the opening of LeBan HK Cafe (just next door) in June 2012. More on that later.
Chef Yap Kim Fatt was in charge of our meal for the night. He's the mastermind behind many awesome dishes we had and the most delicious of all had to be the Salted Egg Crab!
This is an OMG awesome special recipe by Chef Yap That golden custardy liquid is packed with a generous amount of salted egg. It's even yummy when it's cold! I was just drinking the gravy. Love the creamy and buttery viscous sauce. Irvin sells the sauce for $12/box that is made fresh upon order. This is a MUST BUY. Just imagine cooking any ingredient in this. -Melts- 
We also had the Belachan Crab which was stir fried with a fragrant blend of shallots, shrimps, chili and curry leaves. I liked the crunchy bits but the crab didn't absorb much of the taste and the meat was a tad dry. Definitely pales in comparison to the Salted Egg Crab!

Salted Egg Crab - $23.90 (S), $33.90 (M), $48 (per 1kg)
Balachan Crab - $19.90 (S), $29.90 (M), $48 (Per 1kg)
Small and medium size crabs are charge fixed prices while large crabs are charged by weight. Irvin offers both Indonesian and Sri Lankan crabs. I find that the crabs are skinnier as compared to the typical Sri Lankan ones that i absolutely adore.
We were all swooning over the Salted Egg Yam Chips (S$9.80). This is a crowd pleaser and way better than cheese nachos! The sliced yam chips are of the right thickness and when coated with the rich salted egg sauce, it's just heavenly! Chili padi is added to add but i hardly tasted the spice. Warning: this is very addictive.

Another highly recommended dish is the Red Tilapia with Special Sauce (S$32). 
This is on their Special menu; it's not listed! But yes, you can order this! I am not a fish fan but this has wowed me over. I love the light and refreshing bean paste with chili sauce which is very similar to the Thai chili sauce. There are plenty of crunchy bits in the red sticky sweet gravy, which i suspect to be minced fruits and garlic. I could not expect the refreshing and juicy taste otherwise.

Another favorite is the Damn Good Pork [$12.80 (S) $18.80 (L)] 
It is really DAMN GOOD. The crispy battered pork ribs was well marinated and the centre was tender and juicy. Accompanied with the savory butter sauce and some chili padi and curry leaves to lift the taste, all we could say was 'damn good' again and again. This is Irvin's favorite dish too! There is the Chicken alternative, the plain ol Butter Chicken [S$15.80 (S), S$20.80 (L)] which was equally good.

We also had the Claypot Pumpkin Prawns [S$13.80 (S), $22.80 (L)]
Prawns coated with a generous amount of pumpkin sauce, served in claypot. This is slightly sweeter and starchier. Didn't really like this. The prawns were dry and a little shriveled in their shells. 

Anyway by then, our taste buds were a little confused. Everything tasted pretty much of salted egg yolk. They even look like the same sauce! I suppose that's because the base sauce is the butter sauce and then the other variants like salted egg or pumpkin and cream is added in for differentiation. It got a bit boring after a while since everything tasted pretty much the same. :/
The Hot Plate Tofu with Special Minced Pork (S$12.80) wasn't anything fantastic. The tofu is the supermarket white tofu which is fried on the outside. I think this is passable.
Irvin's also does a lunch and dinner buffet too with a DIY steamboat section for dinner but personally i would just go for the seafood dishes. :)

Food: 4/5 Stick with my recommendations and order some staples to fill you up. Can't go wrong with that. 
Atmosphere: 3.5/5 The main dining area is simply furnished and functional. If you want more comfort, i highly recommend the VIP rooms.
Special offer for my dear readers!
From now till the end of July 2012, simply quote "Singapore's Most Handsome Restaurant" at the cashier and be entitled to 10% discount at Irvin's! Enjoy!!

Irvin's Live Seafood House
4 Jalan Leban, Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 577548
Tel: +65 6836 5020
Daily: 11am - 11pm

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