Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Restaurant Review: Crab Party

By Thursday, September 13, 2012 , ,

Singaporeans love their crabs, especially the Chili ones. The Uniquely Singapore dish was first invented by Mdm Cher Yam Tian in 1950 with her bottled tomato and chili version and then made popular by Chef Hooi Kok Wah of Dragon Phoenix Restaurant. The current version is a tad sourer, making use of lemon juice, vinegar, sambal, tomato paste and egg white for that thick cornstarch gravy which goes so well with the fried man tou (buns). The dish is so popular that there has been an attempted hijack by Malaysia, claiming it to be their national dish in 2011. That got us pretty riled up of course. If there's one thing Singaporeans are passionate about, it's food. Do not cross us.
I recently visited Crab Party at Serangoon for a crabby fest with a bunch of friends. Heard not bad reviews of their Chili and Salted Egg Yolk crabs (2 of my favorite flavors) so it was a good opportunity to test it out for myself. The price of the crabs is $48/kg (quite pricey) so it made sense to go with the set menu (S$288 for 6pax) which included 2 medium sized crabs, a fish, trotters, cereal prawn, seafood platter, veg, a rice/noodle dish and yam paste desserts. It is possible to change the items on the menu so we went for 3 crabs instead.

Conclusion? Perhaps it's wiser to stick with the crabs because they are after all the highlight of the store. The other dishes were average at best but they did help fill us up a little.
The seafood platter looked more appetizing than it tasted. The prawn rolls were lacking in the 5 spices and was too bland for our liking. The baby squid tasted of overused oil and had too much of the charcoal taste (not the good wok-hei sort). Definitely needs more of the Thai Chili sauce. Cuttlefish was refreshing though with the lime and chili padi seasoning.
I like the Cereal Prawns. I don't have a habit of eating the shells (some people do) but these were so crispy the legs made for a crunchy snack. They were very generous with the salted butter cereal morsels which carried a tinge of sweetness in them. The prawns were fresh too; the shell separated readily from the succulent meat.
I used to love the No Signboard Chili Crabs but the standard has fallen. The Chili Crab at Crab Party has the same problems as No Signboard. I thought it to lack the chili oomph. It's ok if you don't take the spice but i like them hot. One tip for ordering Chili Crab is to go for the female crabs because the roe adds a richer flavor to the gravy. It could be creamier depending on how cooked the roe is.

Surprisingly, the not-so-good Pepper Crab (as claimed by my friend) turned out to be really tasty. I started out eating Black Pepper Crabs when i was a kid and this really brings back those wonderful grubby memories of finger licking goodness. This really packs a punch with the spicy black pepper. They may have gone a little overboard with the salt but the condensed black gravy complements the sweet and juicy chunks of meat. I like it better than the Chili one. 
Highlight of the night was definitely the Salted Egg Yolk Crab. This flavor has overtaken Chili as my must order at seafood restaurants. There is a hint of either milk powder or condensed milk in this one to give it the sweet creamy texture. I like that there is a substantial amount of gravy in this one and it is perfect with the fried man tous (S$1 for 1 big bun).
The service was pretty slow. We were one of the first few customers on a Saturday night but we waited for more than 30 minutes in between our first and second dishes. By then we were starving already. The food came pretty fast after we highlighted that to our servers.

The crabs are worth a try over here. Again, people have been telling me Crab Party is better than the House of Seafood nearby. Shall give it a shot next time. Till then, enjoy the eye-feast!

100 Yio Chu Kang Road 
Singapore 545576
Tel: +65 6288 8588
Daily: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5pm - 1am

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  1. Its ironic, but your posts, other bloggers' posts and my encounters with Chili Crab seen to be alike; lacking the spicy sensation. The ones at Malaysia seems better. Ironic..

    1. Haha maybe that's the whole point of chili crab. Next time BYOC. :)

    2. Crab party restaurant review is giveb in the post here. Know all about it