Two weeks ago, we met up with a friend who recently moved to Joo Chiat from KL. When we visit KL, he used to take us around to ‘makan’ there. Since he’s based here now, it’s our turn to bring him around.
Staying near to Eng Seng, he passes the shop daily on his way to work and back. As a workaholic who leaves early for work and comes back late at night, he probably did not realise the crowd during the opening hours.
It’s difficult to dine alone there, so we met up with him on a weekend with other common friends to have some delicious black pepper crabs!
If you read about this place, you got to ‘book’ your crabs (can’t book tables by the way). The dear wife was a bit ‘kiasu’ and called them up 3 days in advance to book crabs. She was told off! If you are coming on Saturday, please only call after 3 pm on Saturday! We booked our crabs after 3 pm as told.
Oh well, our plans that day changed and we were going around eating that day. Around 4:30pm, everyone felt hungry and decided we should just have an early dinner instead. Lo and behold, when you are there early, there were no crowds! The big glass tank is full of crabs, you can choose your own crabs too!
(Hint, go early! Around 5 to 5.30 pm, you don’t need to bother call to book anything!)
If you are having dinner there, you would realise that 90% of the people here have the same dishes! During dinner, we look around and saw same dishes on almost all tables!
For those who love some fried food, the fried dough fritter was nice. Crispy and crunchy with some soft cuttlefish meat stuffed in it. Some of us thought the mayo was a bit too much on top. They should have served the mayo on the sides instead of dribbling all over it.
The veggies were nicely stir fried, cooked and yet still crunchy. We found it a tad too salty though.
Oh, the Mee Goreng is another dish that almost every table orders.. It’s delicious. Not too wet, nor too dry, it will probably suits most people’s taste buds. Spicy but not too hot, it smells so good when it was served to our table. Prawns were bouncy and there was quite a few of it too.
(Looking at the prices now while blogging, it’s more worth it to eat the Mee Goreng than the vegetables which is very little in quantity and not as satisfying as the spicy carbo noodles. LOL)
We had 5 of us, and we ordered 3 crabs to share. If you are a super crab lover, you probably can have 1 each. The crabs that day was medium in size. It was enough for us as it was already the 5th meal for the day!
Ahh… the crabs here are as tasty as we last tried it. Peppery, sweetish, sticky! Many people rank the black pepper crabs here as the best on this island. The sauce was so addictive. It’s nice with the You Tiao too by the way!
One of our friend was such a neat eater! She flipped over the big crab shell and slowly filled it with the other smaller bits as she ate. If you eat your crabs slow and eat every bit of it, there’s very little leftover shells! When it’s all done, she covered it up with another shell. So cute, that I have to take a photo of it!
The food is served rather quickly after ordering which is good. Would love to go back for more black pepper crabs and mee goreng. The person on the phone might not be very courteous, but the chubby lady who goes around the table taking order is a very nice lady!
There’s GST payable here, you will notice it in the bill. Our whole meal was $116.50 with the taxes included. Eng Seng is the name of the coffeeshop. The stall selling the crabs etc is called First Grade Seafood Palace. What a nice name eh!
First Grade Seafood Palace
Eng Seng Restaurant
247-249 Joo Chiat Place
(Near to Malacca Hotel)
Tel: 6440 5560
Hours: around 4.30 to around 8.00 pm (earlier when the crabs are sold out)