[SG] Eng Seng Restaurant - Satisfying Black Pepper CrabSaturday, November 09, 2013
With my occasional cravings for crabs, my friends brought me over to another ulu corner of Singapore, known for their Black Pepper Crab. After a ten minute walk from Eunos MRT station (sometimes I really wonder why crab places couldn’t be more accessible!), we were quite surprised to find this rather rundown coffee shop by the corner, dimly lit yet bustling with people.
And indeed, on every single table, we spotted black pepper crabs! Having a chilli crab fan with us, we decided to order 4 crabs, splitted into 2 black pepper and 2 chilli. Pity they don’t serve mantous to go along for that complete crabbing experience!
Spotting the roe once it came!
Black Pepper Crab ($67.50 for 2, approx $$38/kg)
Highly anticipated, the smell of it captivated us already! I was expecting a sharp peppery taste to it, but was surprisingly greeted by its subtle fragrance and a growing spiciness. The crabs weren’t really much of a focal point for us that night as it was pretty small and wasn’t fleshy enough. It’s really a love-hate relationship with such ‘scrawny crabs’ since it’s so hard to get them out and sometimes the little bit of flesh inside probably just isn’t worth the effort. I’m really a great fan of Ga-Hock’s big fleshy crabs so this definitely paled in comparison. The sauce, however, was finger-lickin’ good! Smooth and not overpowering, I loved the fragrance of it, and the subtle spice that grows onto you.
Chilli Crab ($67.50 for 2, approx $38/kg)
In all fairness, this hasn’t been their specialty and it’s more of to cater to so many chilli crab fans out there. For those who’re looking for a spicy one, this would suit you well, though it didn’t quite have the distinct layers of taste of chilli crab. It was quite a flat taste, just a monotonous spiciness that didn’t gel in quite well with the sweetness of the sauce. Not an impressive one, so don’t expect too much if you’re planning on ordering this! We ended up being too addicted to the black pepper sauce that we took the crabs from here to dip in the black pepper.
Pork Ribs ($10)
I’m usually a fan of pork ribs in tze char stalls cos it’s so fuss-free to eat it! No bones, tender and usually a sweet sauce to go with it, it’s just simple yet satisfying food that’s hard to go wrong. This hit everything but it was just overly sweet that I almost cringed at my first bite. Would have been good to fry the skin for a crispy finish before topping with the sauce. Good to have your rice or drinks in hand while having this!
Bak Choy ($10)
Fresh crunchy bak choy that was cooked just nice that didn't leave the raw vegetable taste in it, it managed to sit pretty well with me. Topped with fried spring onions to lift its taste, I liked the generous serving of it. One thing that struck me though, was that it was just too oily!
With only the Black Pepper Crab that managed to impress with the sauce, we were quite disappointed with the rest. For crab lovers, this might not be the place to visit if having fleshy juicy flesh is of your priority (I'm still a fan of Ga-Hock for those fatilicious crabs!). At least it is for me, so while the black pepper sauce was satisfying, the crabs itself weren't impressive for me. We probably wouldn't return unless we're having a severe black pepper craving!
Overall Verdict: 6.5/10
247 Joo Chiat Place