One of the good things about being home is that you get to eat good food–without having to pay for it! 😀 The family decided to go for chilli crab last weekend and we settled on Yummy Recipes (品珍私房菜) in Kallang Pudding Road. My mom called early in the day to reserve a male and a female crab as my dad likes to eat the crab roe. We arrived at about 7pm and were promptly seated in the restaurant, which was nicely done up with a traditional Chinese decor.
After ordering, we tucked into some of the appetisers which cost $2 each. Way too expensive for some cucumber and peanuts in my opinion.
We then were made to wait for almost an hour for our food. I’m not sure if the kitchen was understaffed or if everyone just ordered at the same time. In any case, it did ruin the evening somewhat.
The first dish to arrive was fresh oysters. I’ve had the oysters at Borough Market in London, which were quite bad. I later heard that many people get diarrhoea from those oysters so I was lucky I escaped unscathed. These oysters were obviously much better than those at Borough Market. They were fat and plump and tasted much fresher. But I must say I’m not an oyster fanatic and don’t really know how to appreciate it!
Next up was the white chicken. It was pretty nice, though it didn’t wow.
The stir-fried french beans came after about another 10 minutes. At this point we were getting pretty annoyed at the long wait and we complained and asked for our rice dish to be served faster. The french beans were pretty good and of a decent restaurant standard. It was also not overly oily, considering how Chinese restaurants tend to go overboard on the oil for vegetable dishes.
After yet another wait, the braised crocodile paw that we ordered on the waitress’ recommendation arrived. Although I flinched at the sound of “crocodile” and I wasn’t entirely sure how my ethical compass felt about eating it, it did taste pretty good. It doesn’t really have meat, rather, you are eating the skin, which has been cooked for so long it becomes as soft and melt-in-your-mouth as sea cucumber because of all the collagen. I’m pretty sure this dish would be a favourite in Taiwan, where the women love to eat food rich in collagen because they believe in keeps them looking youthful.
And then came the drunken prawns. I was somewhat disappointed at the soup as I found it too sweet. They had gotten the delicate balance between sweet and savoury all wrong. The sweetness didn’t come from the prawns either. So I found it really weird drinking something this sweet when I expected it to be more savoury. I must say that Jumbo does a much better version. I was going for seconds and thirds of the soup at Jumbo while I couldn’t finish even half a bowl here.
Finally the rice dish came. We had ordered cod fish rice steamed in lotus leaves. I enjoyed the buttery fattiness of the cod fish and the rice was tasty as well. I think it was actually stir fried before being steamed as each grain was well seasoned and very tasty. My family, however, found it too oily, though I’m not sure if the oil was from the fish itself. They also complained that it was a tad too salty. Overall I do like this dish, though I seemed to be the only one.
Finally the star of the night arrived. Chilli crab! It came with deep fried buns for soaking up the sauce. We tucked into it with gusto, as this was what we had come for.
But alas, my dad dug around the entire plate and couldn’t find any crab roe. He promptly called a waitress over and complained. He was really quite angry by this point. After making the extra effort to call in advance to reserve a female crab, after being made to wait for so long for the food, they had somehow given us two male crabs instead of the one male and one female we had specially requested for.
The waitress told us that she would get the manager, who came after 5 minutes. To be honest I thought he wasn’t very prompt in attending to us, considering that we had ordered a few hundred dollars worth of food, had specially requested for a female crab and were now shortchanged of it. But after hearing what happened, he went off to check what had gone wrong.
Turned out that they had served our crabs to the next table! It was really hard to forgive this mistake after all the waiting we had done. The long intervals between dishes had already spoiled the meal and now this? The manager eventually agreed to compensate us with another small female crab, but it was too little too late. We were already full by this point and could barely eat anymore.
As to how their chilli crab tasted, this isn’t the classic chilli crab sauce that is sweet and of a brighter red hue. I personally found it alright and quite enjoyed it, though it was slightly too salty. My family, however, didn’t like the sauce and said that they preferred the one at New Ubin Seafood. They, too, found it too salty.
All in all, the poor service really ruined the evening for me while my family thought the food wasn’t good enough. I think it’s safe to say that we will not be going back there again after this fiasco!
Yummy Recipes (品珍私房菜)
47 Kallang Pudding Rd