Whenever you visit Singapore you simply cannot leave without tasting chilli crabs. This has got to be one of my top five favourite dishes on the planet. Singapore excels in this dish and you simply cannot find the same taste in say mainland China or Hong Kong.
You see, I discovered chilli crabs when I was living in Singapore some time ago. And, it was love at first bite. In fact, every time I get the chance to visit Singapore again, the trip is not complete without eating chilli crabs in a Chinese restaurant or hawker centre.
Living in London now I’ve found it impossible to recreate the taste of Singapore chilli crab. I’ve tried all kinds of recipes online and failed miserably every time to recreate the delicious actual Singapore flavours. I always thought that was down to my failure to get the actual ingredients but now I realise that I simply failed in my preparation of this simply delicious food…
How do I know?
Last week I came across a restaurant called Singapore Chinese in London’s Holland Park area. This is a really exclusive area but Singapore Chinese’s prices are actually very reasonable. My husband and kids ordered steamboat while I thought I’d give their chilli crab a go.
This was as good as if not better than the Chilli crab I tasted back in Singapore. Absolutely delicious the way that the chef there has blended the garlic, coriander and oyster sauce to make a mouth-watering dish I will go back for again and again.
It is rare for me to be speechless. While my family enjoyed the steamboat, I sat eating in silence; it was as if I was imagining I was back in Singapore before my kids were born and I was free and single again!
I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. It’s a hidden gem in London. Get on the tube or in a cab to Holland Park and try out the chilli crab!
To book a table go to www.singaporechinese.co.uk or call (020) 7727 6582
Pamela Chan is a freelance writer and foodie.