Before I left Singapore I had a farewell dinner with my close friends at Mellben Seafood, a seafood restaurant at Ang Mo Kio specializing in crab dishes. Uncle Leong (the brother), another seafood restaurant that has deeply impressed me with their amazing crab specialties is just a stone’s throw away.
Many people maintained that Mellben is the better one, and that they only go to Uncle Leong if the queue at Mellben is too long or unbearable. Not the thing you want to hear as a restaurant owner, really. But ultimately it was the comparison that fueled my interest and made me even more determined to try Mellben Seafood. Simply because if Uncle Leong was mindblowingly awesome enough for me, of course I would want to try a better one – provided if the claims are true lah.
Unfortunately for us, while ordering we were told that the quality of the Sri Lankan crabs on that day was below par because they were not as large and meaty as usual. We were also told that there would be a 45 minutes waiting time. LOL at that moment our mood was at least half gone already. I even anticipated a disappointing meal despite nothing was served yet.
After a painful one hour wait, our food finally came! Firstly, Butter Cream Crab @ $36 (1kg), tasty but the crabs were really not as large as told. Not much meat except in the crab claw.
Fried mantou at 40 cents each for dipping into the rich, creamy sauce.
Crab Beehoon @ $36 (1kg) with additional bowl of beehoon and soup charged at $6. This was the star dish of the night. Despite the not-so-meaty crabs, the soup was still deliciously full of crab flavor.
Boneless pork ribs were used to prepare the wonderfully rich and tangy flavored Mongolian Pork Ribs @ $15.
Followed by some vegetable dishes – Broccoli and Scallops @ $20.
Tofu and Scallops @ $20 – quite bland tasting, but the scallops were big and fresh nonetheless.
Overall it was a mediocre meal not because the food was bad, but because of the price vs value for money factor. Comparing the same amount of money we spent on this meal with mine at Uncle Leong previously, there was a notable difference in the satisfaction level due to the size of the crabs.
Anyway, I am not going to pass my judgment on which is the better restaurant between Mellben and Uncle Leong. But I can be sure on one thing: if you are told that the crabs’ quality are not up to the normal mark, may it be Mellben or Uncle Leong, just move on to the next restaurant to avoid any disappointment.
Mellben Seafood Pte Ltd (龙海鲜螃蟹王)
Block 232 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 (St 22)
#01-1222 Singapore 560232
Tel: 6285 6762