SINGAPORE: Step aside, Jumbo and No Signboard. This kid in town is worth every penny. This blog took us two trips to complete. After we had it the first time, it has simply blown our minds away. We both wanted to try all the crab dishes, but it seemed like it was an impossible task.
Holycrab was started by Elton Seah, operating HolyCrab as a private dining before their first dine-in restaurant in Tan Quee Lan. Then, about a year ago, they moved to Capitol Arcade, within conservation buildings of Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House. This current location is miles apart from where it used to be, flanked by other trendy restaurants, making the atmosphere is more classy.
Wow-ed by their extensive menu of crabs cooked in twelve different ways, we just didn't know where to start. Not to forget, they do have other impressive items besides crabs. We were so amused by their creative ways of naming their dishes too.
On our first visit, we ordered three dishes. The Sauna (S$90 per kg), Green Mumba (S$90 per kg) and Scorched Vermicelli (S$18 for small).
The Sauna, as the name implies, is steamed Sri Lankan crab. At first glance, it looks ordinary. However, when you take a closer look, you can see the crab is roasted and charred. This gives you a good BBQ flavour you don't usually associate with steamed crabs. This is an umami bomb with their superior sauce, which has fish sauce and scallion and ginger. The salty soup of goodness, which the crab bathed in, is so yummy that we almost finished up every last drop.
The Green Mumba looks like something that crawled out of a dirty swamp. However, don't let the look fool you. This green looking crab does pack a punch. The first taste that hits you is the kaffir lime leaves. Initially, it reminded me of Thai, then India came to mind. The sour, with a floral undertone of the leaves, goes very well with seafood. Once you get past the kaffir lime leaves, you can taste the green chillis. For those who are tired of Singapore Chilli Crab, this unique dish gives a good alternative.
To finish the meal, we got this amazing looking Scorched Vermicelli. Just by looking at it, you know this plate of vermicelli will be filled with Wok Hei! So if you don't want to have a crab, you can get this plate of perfectly charred noodles. It is very reasonably priced too.
Intending to try other types of crab dishes, we were back again two weeks later. This time we got The Balsamic (S$90 per kg), The Succumb (S$90 per kg) and Open Sesame (S$28 for half a spring chicken)
When the dish was served, we immediately got the strong smell of vinegar. It reminded us of the dish Pig Trotter Vinegar, which is a vinegar lover's paradise. The idea of using high-quality balsamic vinegar with Sri Lankan crab is genius! With curry leaves and chilli padi, the heat will hit you at the back of your throat. The dark spicy sauce is a perfect dip for a sweet deep-fried bun.
The Succumb is no ordinary Crab Bee Hoon. Here lies a bed of charred vermicelli cooked with a crab, soaked in umami broth. It is loaded with crispy lard and spring onions. All these are married together with eggs. Before we dove into it, we first separated the bee hoon into a separate bowl from the carb. Let the noodles continue to soak and absorb the broth. Eat the crab as you chase it with the noodles. The gooey bee hoon is very addictive.
Open Sesame is not a simple dish to make. Firstly, the chef brined the spring chicken for up to 9 hours. The chicken is then roasted to perfection, ensuring it remains moist on the inside. A secret mixture is then applied to the chicken to act as a glue for the sesame seeds. Hot oil is then poured over it, releasing the sesame aroma. It smells divine.
After speaking to the restaurant owner, we learned that it took them more than 20 tries to perfect this dish, and they are incredibly proud to come out with the concoction to use as the "glue" for the sesame seeds. This dish is just beautiful to look at.
On our third visit, we tried their Devil Crab. It's creamy and buttery. Depending on what you like, our preference is still The Balsamic. Having said that, the Devil Crab is still good as one of our friends preferred this. I guess to each his own.
Address: 13 Stamford Road, #01-85 Arcade @ Capitol, Singapore 178905