I have this sudden interest in roe crab for steamboat after my last visit to Ho Ho. After researching for a bit I found that there is another good steamboat restaurant in Kepong called Hao Jie that features roe crabs prominently on their menu. The restaurant was full house during the weekend and we were surprised that we never really noticed its existence until only recently.
Usually steamboat restaurants would require a minimum order of two sets for their in-house set. But since we ordered a lot of side dishes including the expensive roe crabs, I think the boss gave us an exception by ordering one only. Nothing too fancy about the sets here, it costs RM14.50 for a person’s portion and comes with the usual raw ingredients like fish fillets, prawn, meat balls, etc – pretty standard stuff you would expect.
The Chinese words of ‘Pulau Ketam’ on Hao Jie’s signboard is not for display only, as they really get their supply of seafood from Pulau Ketam fresh on a daily basis. I can sense the pride in the boss’ voice when she was talking about the fresh ingredients she serves. Definitely assuring for us to know.
Hidden behind Istana Negara along Jalan Bellamy is an array of ikan bakar stalls next to each other forming a medan ikan bakar. Despite its secluded location it gets extremely crowded especially during lunch hour. Not knowing which stall to go for, we chose Gerai No.3 that was the busiest among all.
Three huge frying pans were used to pan fry (instead of grill/bakar like the name actually implies) a wide array of seafood like fish, prawns, squids and kerangs. The sight of the ikan bakar here is simply delightful. With so many choices, you are sure to have a difficult time to decide which items to take. Just for fish alone there are a few types like ikan keli (catfish), ikan pari (stringray), siakap and ikan terubok.
What attracted me immediately when I stepped into Gerai No.3 are the larger than life sotongs, which some even as big as six inches. Coated in an orangish-red colored marinating, they looked absolutely delicious and I just got to try them. So I got one sotong for each of us along with some prawns and the smallest slice of ikan pari I could find in the pile.
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.