Number 1 rule for Singapore; when in doubt, ask a taxi driver. Each time we took a taxi we were given valuable information about everything from food, shopping, house prices and where the good prostitutes were at…we didn’t actually ask about that but the driver seemed to know an awful lot about it. One question we asked each time was “where is the best place for Singapore chilli crab?”. This is something I have wanted to try for a long time, although I don’t actually know much about it past it containing crab and chilli. Those two ingredients alone are enough for me though.
Each driver gives us a different answer as to the best so we decide to make a list of the restaurants we are given and check out the trip advisor reviews. Once discovering the only people that leave reviews on trip advisor are 70 year old poverty stricken whinging lunatics, we decide to settle on the restaurant that promises the most reasonable prices.
The name of the place we settle on is No Signboard Seafood Restaurant. Apparently the owner started out with a little food stall in one of the hawker centres around town, couldn’t afford a signboard to display his prices so everyone got to know it as No Signboard Seafood. Good story, sounds like bullshit, who cares I’m hungry.
The place is massive and contains enough live seafood tanks to feed all of the biggest loser contestants that have fallen off the wagon for at least 2 meals. I waste no time, don’t even show me the menu. I’ll take a 1kg chilli crab and one of your finest bottles of fermented beverages served in a tall bottle please. At this point I realise Juliet, our 10 year old, won’t eat this if it’s too spicy and Kristina doesn’t eat seafood. I believe I am about to have this entire thing to myself, life has finally stopped kicking me in the guts.
The meal arrives and is nothing like I had expected. In my mind it would be just a crab coated in some sort of chilli paste that flavours the crab while they cook it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What sits in front of me could easily feed 4 people. It looks more like a huge bowl of tomato soup with a mud crab hidden inside. I have been secretly nervous that this was going to be too spicy for me but as I taste my first mouthful I become all too aware that, as Sporty Spice put it, things will never be the same again.
Every meal I have ever eaten prior to this has been a pile of horse shit. It gently introduces me to the flavour of chilli without ripping apart my oesophagus in the process. I have never known chilli to be so full of flavour without having obnoxious heat.
It is as it looks; a rich tomato based soup/sauce with a strong chilli flavour and shredded crab meat throughout. Drenched in the sauce is the 1kg mud crab broken into pieces. I have never eaten anything like it nor could I compare it to anything I have eaten before. If I were forced to compare it to anything it would be an orgasm, in my mouth…the feeling not the flavour. I’m not trying to describe that it is like someone has had an orgasm in your mouth.
Juliet tries a little but as we thought it’s a little too spicy for her so off I set on my mission to finish the entire meal. The table next to us has ordered the same dish but to share between four. Sucks to be them. It probably takes an hour for me to eat the whole thing. In that time the kids have time to run amuck around therestaurant. Juliet is off with the world’s friendliest staff being handed giant mud crabs in the kitchen,while Iggy tests the load bearing capabilities of the Singapore brand nappies we had bought the day prior. The smell is terrifying but nothing can ruin this moment for me.
I would recommend that going to No Signboard Seafood Restaurant for chilli crab is in itselfa good enough reason to travel to Singapore. It was without a doubt the best meal I have ever eaten in my life. What I wouldn’t recommend is eating this meal 6 hours prior to your 8 hour flight home.Unless you are the type of person that enjoys sitting on a spicy hurricane for 8 hours due to your distaste for aeroplane bathrooms.