Monday, October 26, 2009

Eng Seng Restaurant

UPDATE: Eng Seng probably has new management or something the past couple of years. The crabs are no longer as satisfying and the prices are hiking up faster than Marilyn's skirt billowing over a grate.

We had "A Whiff of Lemongrass" for dinner.

Not literally, of course. Meena was here for the Nuffnang Awards as a nominee for Best Food Blog. I absolutely love her photos and writing (go visit and you'll see), so I was thrilled to finally meet her.

Black Pepper Crab
We (Nic and XLB, Keropokman and Momo) brought her to Eng Seng for the famed black pepper crabs. It was love at first bite. This is a dish that truly deserves its reputation. That molten black lava that coats the crabs is kick ass! It was not only spicy, sweet and savoury but incredibly umami. Wonderful balance of flavours. I'm craving it again, as I write.

Chili Crab
Although nowhere as spectacular as their black pepper brethren, the chili crab is pretty decent. It didn't taste spicy at first but after a short while, you'll be aware of a distinct heat gradually burning on your lips and tongue. Oh, don't expect mantous (Chinese buns) here - when they ask you if you want bread, they really mean ordinary sliced bread.

Stir-fried "Nai Bai"
The token vegetable for the meal - stir-fried "nai bai" (they're like mini bak-choy). Nice, simple and garlicky.

Black Pepper Venison
The black pepper venison with ginger and scallions - uber tender slices of meat, a la Chinese restaurant tenderizer. Still tasty.

Chinese-style Mee Goreng
Many people like the mee goreng here. It was competently done, but in the shadow of the awesome black pepper crabs, it did not elicit too many wows.

We also got a taste of the restaurant's famous "shut-down" process. Every customer is informed of the closing time around 8.45pm. Whether you have finished your meal or not, they start turning off the fans and some lights close to 9pm (rather early for a restaurant). Shutters come noisily down and you are left a small exit area around 9.15pm. So, folks, enjoy your crab but don't take too long!

I managed to take home a piece each of the crab dishes, to let hubby have a taste. He'd been a skeptic all this while, and totally refused to come here (anywhere that requires him to queue and possibly endure gruff service) but he agreed these crabs were good. Perhaps, oh perhaps, I can come back again soon.

247-249 Joo Chiat Place
Singapore 427935
Tel: 6440 5560
Open daily except Wednesdays, 5pm - 9.30pm


  1. OH MY GOD! By just looking at the picture, makes you crave for it so much. And the mee goreng is nicely done, just the way I like it. LUCKY YOU!

  2. I LIKE the looks of the black pepper crabs! Time to plan a trip there..... heehee :)

  3. YUMYUM!! My favourite black pepper crabs!!!

    Thank you! I received the iphone cover today. Blogged about it! ;)

  4. the staffs were so happy to see us leave! hahaha. the black pepper crab's good stuff. the chilli crab's not bad too cos it was really hot!

    thanks for the cupcakes, camemberu! see ya soon.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous pictures!

    It was lovely meeting you and the rest that night. Looking forward to seeing you in KL one of these days. Thanks once again for a lovely evening.

  6. haha, close at 9pm sharp?!! that's tough.
    i hope they allow takeaway, IF you're still digging into those claws and roes.

  7. Wah jeles, u guys got to dine with our Queen.

  8. hi there! uv got a really cool blog here.. thanks for adding me on twitter, i just linked to ur blog too! take care. xoxo, ciki

  9. Mun: haha thanks!

    Joyce: yes, don't take too long like me!

    Eunice: glad you got the cover!

    Nic: hahaha yes we were the last table, slowly relishing our food!

    LLemongrass: hey it was our pleasure!

    J2Kfm: yes, if you read what i wrote, you'll see i doggybagged one of each crab for hubby to try.

    qwazy: we're lucky indeed, but you people in KL get to dine with her ALL THE TIME!

    Cumi and Ciki: hey thanks! i've been following your blog for a while. see you on Twitter!


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