Saturday, May 10, 2008

Big Eater Seafood

Signature salted egg crab
Last night we had a classically enjoyable outing. Delicious food, superb company and lots of belly laughs. Never mind that some of us had just met for the first time. Six of us gathered at Big Eater Seafood for a night of feasting on crabs. I was surprised to see this is no mere cze-char coffeeshop. It's got bright warm lighting, uniformed service staff, atmospheric wooden patio and decent clean furniture. Practically a full-fledged restaurant offering al fresco 'riverside' dining! Well, OK, Sungei Bedok is more a canal than river, but hey, so long as it doesn't smell, I'm happy enough.

The salted egg crab is their signature (crabs S$38/kg). We were expecting a drier version, but this was still passable. The sweetness of the gravy is balanced with that salty golden sandiness of egg yolks.

Drunken prawns in herbal soup
We also took the drunken prawns served in a rich savoury herbal soup (S$25). Very delicious broth indeed, with accents of ginger, spring onions, red dates, tang kwei, wolfberry, dried mushrooms and parsley. There were at least a dozen fresh prawns served in a heated metal wok.

Black Pepper Crab
Most of us preferred the black pepper crab to the salted egg one. It had a good spicy kick to it. I asked how this compared to the legendary Eng Seng one (I still haven't been there, despite living so close by!). It seems Eng Seng's gives a thicker and sweeter coat of black pepper at times (they can be quite inconsistent, it seems).

Big Eater's version derives additional "heat" from the chili padi in the black pepper mixture. It also seems to deliver a more complex taste from the mixture of garlic, fried shallots, spring onions and other pungent herbs. The crabs are large, and fresh, with huge claws fit for WWF!

Deep-fried french beans with dried prawns and garlic
Could these be called french-fried french beans? They are deep-fried for that crunchy effect. Intensely flavourful from the dried shrimp, soy and garlic, the beans went well with rice.

Spare ribs stir-fried with curry leaves
We were very excited when we saw a sizzling hot claypot full of BBQ pork spare ribs arriving at a neighbouring table. We thought our order of spare ribs (S$15) would be similar but that was not to be. Stir-fried (and perhaps briefly deep-fried for that lightly crispy crust) with curry leaves. Oh well, I still enjoyed it. The curry leaves gave it the edge.

Black KL-style Hokkien Mee
Another thing we came here for. KL-style black fried Hokkien mee. Or Foochow noodles as we know it in Batu Pahat. Not bad. The extra thick noodles soaked up the gravy well and on top of that, every bite gives you crispy pork lard bursting in your mouth! Crispy pork lard instantly elevates any dish to a higher plane.

I still think this Hokkien mee needs a bit more umami factor, maybe with a stronger seafood stock, like what I've had in Malaysia. Ah a plateful of heaven could be yours in Malaysia for RM2-3 (S$1-ish). This plate is S$8. I secretly wished there was more of it to go around.

Special lime and preserved plum drink
A shot of their specialty drink - lime juice with shavings of sng boey (dried preserved plum). S$1.50 each. I didn't try this but heard it was quite sour. Well, good for kicking the saliva glands into high gear for the meal! We were quite thirsty soon after the meal itself and had a second round of drinks. One wonders how much MSG was used in the food. In fact, I was so thirsty even throughout the night!

Autographed crab shells
One of the ways this place stands out is how they allow customers to leave autographed crab shells after their meals. Cute.

This faces Upper Changi Road, not Jalan Pari Burong
This place was quite packed for a weekday night. I'm afraid it is already getting too well-known - as is the case when a taxi driver picking you up from nearby Tanah Merah MRT knows where you want to go before you even finish stuttering the address, "Jalan Pa-, Pa...?"

"Jalan Pari Burong? Ahh, Going to Big Eater Seafood, huh?"

But if you are headed there, never mind going into obscure Jalan Pari Burong. The frontage of this brightly lit shop actually faces Upper Changi Road. There's even free valet parking for those who drive. Oh, and there's no service charge either (just 7% GST).

34 Jalan Pari Burong (Upper Changi Road really)
Tel: 6245-7268

~ For delicious photos see Keropokman's post on this outing!



  1. Think more people will visit "Big Eater" after seeing your blog :P I am one of them... Haha..

  2. haha... i was busy eating and only got a measly shot of the salted egg crab... :P

    it was really good fun and lots of teh LOL!

  3. hehe..the herbal soup from the drunken prawns was really good. Your shot on the specialty drink makes me really thirsty ;) Hahaha. Lovely shots! :)

  4. Great pixs ! We have rated your blog
    DTG & WB 2

    (dangerous to Gluttons & wannabes too)

  5. Was there last night to celebrate Mother's Day. Boy, the place was literally as packed as sardines in tins.

    Despite the supersized crowd, service gotten was pretty good. The rest. manager (Yong?) is a very nice guy to speak to as well.

    Nice dining experience there.

  6. Miso: haha, then you can blog about it!

    Yixiaooo: thanks! :)

    Southernoise: post anyway! yes, so much fun. I think next outing must bring C-cup BeeDees for you! more LOLs!

    Momo: thanks! very nice to finally meet you! :) wah yes, loved that herbal soup from the very first sip!

    Team BSG: thanks, that's a very long rating!

    Reychen: Wow, I'm glad they could cope with the demand. I think they regularly get good crowds. Staff are quite friendly there. They don't rush you and enjoy making recommendations.

  7. Camemberu, wow, lau niah big time leh, especially the black pepper crab. Been ages since I had any. Tks for sharing.

    Hungrybear aka HB

  8. Hi HB! Glad you visited! :) Yes, the black pepper crab was the best dish (IMO) that night!

  9. Every dishes look so good here,
    God I wish I can fly all the way there for dinner!

  10. Just went there for dinner last night. Hokkien mee and the Crystal horfun was nice, i heard the fried prawn roll was nice too. Salted crab was nice but was too full so changed to take-away.
    3 wine chicken tasted ordinary, as was the pork rib king and the asparagus with scallops. And i think they up-ed their price for the lime with sour plum, it's $1.80 now.

  11. Thanks, Ricky. I keep wanting to go back, but family not keen, sigh. Looks like prices are going up everywhere.

  12. i am a fan of this eating place since its inception and have never been disappointed until this week. we ordered crab and Meehoon in XO soup, fried crab in salted egg paste, fried rice and fried french bean (干扁四季豆). the fried rice was fragrant and wonderful. however, the rest were off spec. they did not taste the same as before. two possibilities :the usual cooks were on leave; or they had left for good.
    shall give the place another chance in the future or else, sorry to say that it will end up on my blacklist.


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