[SG] Ga-Hock SeafoodSaturday, June 08, 2013
Crab lovers would no doubt be familiar with this rather ulu place down Bukit Timah Road, down the stretch of Dairy Farm and the Rail Mall. Hidden from the main road and covered with canopy, it was really hard to spot and seemed to cater only to those who were regulars. So while you’re on your way there, make a U-turn after you've passed by Mindef, spot any hint of white light shining brightly from underneath the dark canopy, and you’re at the right place!
I’ve heard so much about their salt-baked crab that this was a must-order on our list. In fact, we even called to reserve two crabs the day before! A little tip: you can get them to choose female ones if you’re a fan of crab roe!
Famished by the time we reached, we were happily greeted with these two crabs, and ready to devour them anytime after our cameras have ‘eaten’!
Salt-baked Crab ($50 each)
Freshly baked, it was piping hot that I ended up taking more pictures instead of eating first! Wow-ed by the amount of rich orangey crab roe, a usual non-crab-roe-lover ended up being tempted and I started giving in. Slightly salted, with a nice chewy texture, the richness of it was just describable by one word – SHIOK!
On to the flesh itself, I was worried initially due the mixed reviews I’ve read but my friend’s ‘highly recommended must-try!’ assurance put me just slightly at ease. I had my favourite part of the crab – the pincer! It was fresh enough for me to de-shell it without any of the flesh sticking onto it. A bite into it, the flesh was just so fresh that you can taste the natural sweetness of the crab and the whole pincer was packed with solid meat, not the loose kind that falls apart easily! I like the slight bounce of the flesh and eating it while still hot just made it a whole lot more awesome! Definitely an A+ on my list of fresh crab places to go!
As to the salt-baked preparation, I thought it was a little overrated as you can’t really taste the infusion of the taste into the crabs. It was more of an accidental swipe on the shell that got you the flavourful salt and pepper taste. It seemed more like a well baked original crab rather than salt-baked crab. Some might argue that you can do it at home as well with such simple preparation without any condiments which I would agree as well, but kudos to them for the great selection! Definitely loved the freshness of it and the abundance of crab roe!
Mongolian Pork Ribs ($11)
Pork ribs drizzled with salad sauce, it was slightly sweet and creamy, pretty not what I’d expected after my first encounter with Mongolian Pork Ribs at Dian Xiao Er (a mildly spicy version). I like that the portions given to us had quite a fair bit of fatty parts, that gave a smoother and more tender chew to it. It would have been better if the ribs had been slightly fried to give the extra crisp on the outside! I thought that the sauce was just average and didn’t leave quite a good impression.
Crispy Beancurd with Four Treasures ($15)
This is one of their signature tofu, mainly due to the use of seafood in the dish. They had quite a generous serving of prawns, fish slices, scallops and cuttlefish hence the name of Four Treasures. I like the freshness of the seafood used, and it made the tofu dish an indulgent one. The focus turned from the tofu to picking out the ‘treasures’ instead. I liked how the tofu was done, without a strong bean taste to it and it would have been perfect if the skin had been just slightly crispy! Not exactly a very spectacular dish, I’d just enjoyed the variety of seafood I got in a dish.
La-la in Sambal Sauce ($12)
Of course, you can never compare the quality and price of la-la in Singapore and Malaysia. This is slightly smaller but seriously addictive! Covered with shells and the dark red sambal sauce, it’s quite a hunt finding the la-la flesh as some had dropped out of its shells while frying. Honestly, I think the sauce was the catch, thick tomato-based gravy with a dash of sambal spice, it suited my palate just right. Not for those expecting the strong spicy kick though!
Sambal Kang Kong ($8)
Thanks to my considerate friends who know that I’m a plant-lover (i.e. don’t eat veggies), except for Sambal Kang Kong, I finally hit my ‘quota’ of vegetables! I enjoyed the sambal used in this, with the right level of spiciness such that it’s not overwhelming to numb your taste buds, with a slightly sweet tinge to it. I would have preferred the vegetables to be cooked for a while longer though, as it still had a slight ‘raw’ taste to it.
I thought that being known for its salt-baked crab might be a little overrated for Ga Hock, and the rest of the dishes were just pretty alright. No doubt it prides itself on the freshness of the seafood and I would most likely come back for another crab feast!
Overall Verdict: 8.0/10
794 Upper Bukit Timah Road