[SG] Full of Crab | the messier it is, the better the dining experience!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Taking a stroll down East Coast Road, one would certainly be charmed by the abundance and diversity of food in the area. Ranging from your local delights such as chicken rice at Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice to Mexican treats at Lower East Side Taqueria, there is surely something to please one's palate.

Located just next door to Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice and opposite Holy Family Church, Full of Crab (FOC) is an American styled restaurant that promises to bring the original Cajun influence to Singapore. The name of the eatery spells the emphasis of crab as a key dish at FOC and this is no wonder with its offering of Sri Lankan crab, King and Snow Crabs! Taking great pride in their food, special care is taken to ensure that all crabs are killed only upon order. The Sri Lankan crabs are imported into Singapore on a daily basis just to serve the needs for the day. For those particular with their crabs, you would agree that if the crabs were left for a couple of days, the meat would be mashy when cooked and tastes dull. In order to ensure freshness and quality of the crabs, FOC strictly serves live crabs, not even the dying ones which tend to release a stench.

Captain's Choice Combo | S$98/+ or Market Price

Recommended as one of the popular combos on the menu, the Captain's Choice is fit to feed up to two pax. It comprises a 2-pound (or roughly equivalent to 1kg) Sri Lankan Crab and about a pound (around 500gm) worth of shrimps. With an add-on choice of either the corn or baby potatoes, the bag full of goodies guarantees to fill your stomachs.

There is also a board in the middle of the restaurant that has the updated market prices for the various types of seafood. We however understood from the owner that the prices are quite consistent, in fact, he had lowered it to make it more appealing to the price conscious!

After choosing your catch, there are three flavours to choose from - the classic Cajun, Garlic Butter or house special of Fully Loaded. We were recommended the Fully Loaded, which is essentially a blend of Cajun and Garlic Butter. Thereafter, diners get to choose the spice level of the sauce and after having the heads-up from the friendly lady who took our orders, we settled for the medium level, which promises to make us break into a perspiration.

In terms of flavours, it won us over completely with the bold spicy flavours well enhanced by the garlic butter after-taste. We particularly enjoyed the coarseness of the sauce from the garlic and special blend of spices which went well with the firm texture of the Sri Lankan crabs. The naturally sweet flesh of the crabs and the prawns certainly defined the freshness of seafood and how it should be. 

There are also a couple of other add-ons such as broccoli, button mushrooms which you can pair with your combo at a small charge of no more than S$4. What we highly recommend is the warm baguette that would absorb the sauces readily so that you can enjoy the gorgeous flavours in the sauce.

Fish and chips | S$13.90/+

Unlike the typical British style of fish and chips which uses a wet batter for a crispy texture, this version is slightly different as it was done the shake 'n bake way. Presumably a healthier option compared to the conventional version that we are more used to, the dory fillets were seasoned before being cooked. As a result, the flavours were well-infused into the tender white fish which were well complemented with the homemade tartar sauce. Do expect a slight variation in terms of texture as it comes in the form of bread crumbs rather than a crispy batter. 

For the more adventurous, you can have a choice of tartar, mayo, ranch, veggie and tsunami dip. If in doubt, do check with the friendly crew on the floor to ask for recommendations on what go best with your food.

At the price, we thought it was surely value-for-money as the box packed a generous amount of the skinny fries sprinkled with Cajun spice. A clear winner for me among the other teasers on the menu.

And of course, the light bites that was served upon us being seated. These cuttlefish sticks were carefully air-fried to keep it crisp for a lovely crunch. For those in the mood, do have a pint of beer to go along and FOC has a happy hour promotion from 4 - 7pm, a 1-for-1 on their Heineken draught! If you fancy, you can even get a box of it at just S$10.

Ciderfall | S$17/+

If you think that beer is not quite the drink for the ladies, fret not as this lovely cider would surely pacify them. A blend of ice lemon tea, apple cider elderflower and sugar syrup, the concoction was plenty to share among two to three. With a mildly sweet after taste, it would be a perfect remedy to help you recover from the spicy bag of crabs! 

Upon stepping into the restaurant, we were immediately charmed by the rustic interior which obviously saw much efforts by the owners to recreate an ambience and experience similar to how it is in the states. Expect some familiar hit music that tops the chart to go on in the background while you tuck in to your sumptuous meal!

Surely some interesting graffiti left by some of the customers who had visited FOC and with the number of different nation flags scattered across the walls and pillars, you would imagine quite a diverse crowd of foreigners who had similarly gotten their hands dirty!

While there are a few other similar restaurants out there that has such a concept of hands-on dining with no utensils and seafood in a bag, our meal at FOC definitely stood out as one of the more outstanding ones we had of late with the quality of ingredients. Making no compromises to standard of food served, the prices are also wallet-friendly (no GST is charged, just 10% service charge), making it a suitable venue for families and close friends only. Well, unless you do not mind exposing the ugly side of you eating with messy fingers and the possibility of crab shells hitting your date, then please proceed. 

FOC has thoughtfully taken care of this by providing all guests with a disposable apron and if you are worried about staining your hands (though personally I feel that this would take the fun out of eating), there are also disposable gloves) On a plus side, for the 90 minutes or so of dining, you would hardly be texting or checking on your phone since I would expect that both your hands are messy and dirty then.

FOC has a promise that reads "Everyone who walks through our doors, walks out as a friend". We certainly hit it off with some of the young service crew on the floor who seem to be full of energy and also the owner of the restaurant. An experience that was unforgettable indeed but more importantly, the meal at FOC made our calories count.

Overall verdict: 8.5/10

Full of Crab
195 East Coast Road
Singapore 428900
Tel: (65) 6348 8195
Website: www.fullofcrab.com 

P.S: Special thanks to Eldric for the invitation and FOC for hosting us!

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