Seremban Grilled Crabs @ Crab House Restaurant, IpohJune 25, 2012 | 13,919 views
Seremban Grilled Crabs (Foo Yoong Siu Hai) now has invaded Ipoh?!
Apparently yes. The chef (or maybe a group of chefs) that started Crab House Restaurant in Ipoh Garden East recently was previously from Hee Lai Ton Restaurant in Ipoh. Fairly new to the scene, Crab House has already unleashed its magic; creating ripples and waves amongst the crab lovers around town.
We had to be turned away on the first evening due to the overwhelming crowd. However, the adamant egos in us escaped barely unscathed … returning for a second shot on the very next evening. Of course, making sure not to commit the same mistake twice, we made doubly sure to reserve a table AND ordered the dishes prior to arrival.
The creamy sauce that made all the difference; a hodge-podge of flavours combined into one condiment for the crabs apparently, but we used that for almost every dish! There was ginger, red chillies, chopped parsley, a squeeze of lime, and possibly a dollop of mayo. Or butter cream.
Taking over the previous occupant; Tai Sing Restaurant which has been a stalwart for years in Ipoh Garden East, Crab House has already dazzled the crowd barely a month into business! They have just rented the adjacent premise, on top of the two floors they are occupying now.
Eateries proudly proclaiming themselves as crabs-specialists might not be a dime a dozen here in Ipoh. There are the renowned Claypot Crab Tanghoon specialists in Bercham, the equally popular seafood stall named Meng Wa at “Tung Koo Thing” in Ipoh Garden, Unique Seafood which has moved to MH Tower near to the PLUS highway exit, Sun Wen Cau in Menglembu that could be a challenge for the uninitiated since the location is further from town, and Bukit Tambun Restaurant in Tasek.
The grilled spare ribs braised in a savoury gravy and served with a few stalks of ‘choy sum’
Yet, I have always faltered to recommend one REALLY good place for fresh, juicy and plump crabs. Especially the Sri Lankan vareity or even Batam crabs with more flesh in a claw than a whole piece of mud crab/flower crab served in the aforementioned restaurants.
But of course, I dropped Alaskan King Crabs, Snow Crabs and Hairy Crabs from the list due to the elevated prices and scarcity of ‘dai chow’ places keeping these.
Crispy Roasted Chicken stuffed with Fish Paste
And this could be the ONLY place in Ipoh serving Seremban-style of Grilled Crabs (some call them Baked Crabs), hence the novelty effect being lifted into a whole new realm. A case of blue ocean-red ocean strategy huh?
The crabs arrived last, after about 15-20 minutes into the meal. We did order every dish in advance, as to save time and increase turnover rate; so to speak. The tables were booked one after another session from 6pm onwards! And we finished at about 8.30pm, yet there were STILL people coming in droves.
A case of crab-deficiency syndrome in Ipoh?
Spinach in Superior Stock with an Egg cracked into the broth at the last moment
The other dishes recommended were all beyond the paltry ‘dai chow’ fares. A sign of excellence in the art of culinary for years, the chef from Hee Lai Ton clearly expressed his skills in more ways than one. Dishes like the tender spare ribs (something that sounds like “Yat Chi Kuat”) braised in a moreish gravy that was a perfect complement to the rice, the stuffed roasted chicken with fish paste and spinach in superior stock with a raw egg cracked into the piping hot broth got us clearing off everything in sight even before the crabs arrived!
One bone to pick though, the portions could have been more generous given the fact that there were SEVEN of us, and only FOUR pieces of the spare ribs were served, half a chicken and barely a full bowl each of the spinach in superior soup.
Oh yeah …. the crabs here were excellent stuff.
However, all paled in comparison to the sole reason we endured the wait … the CRABS. We shared two relatively large crabs (priced at RM109/USD36 for two, not sure how much per kg) from Batam, Indonesia. Basked in a sticky and sweet sauce that resembled Marmite more than anything; the sweetness of the meat came off really well, requiring nothing more than a light dab of the accompanying spicy creamy sauce.
Licking the sticky gravy off the shells, an intense ‘umami’ taste was present. Thankfully, no thirst ensued after the feast, so the tastiness could not have come from MSG.
We wondered how else could they have cooked the crabs; and were briefed on several options; from Steamed to Chili Crabs, Black Pepper to Butter Cream and more. Now, I can only smack my lips in anticipation of the next round.
*The meal came to RM180/USD60 for the 7 of us, including rice and Chinese tea.
CRAB HOUSE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT (non-Halal)
32, Laluan Perajurit 1,
Taman Ipoh Timur, 31400 Ipoh, Perak
Tel No : +6012-565 7723 (Fanny)
Business Hours : 11.00am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Off days not fixed.
GPS Coordinate : 4.616733, 101.125117
Directions : This road connects Ipoh Garden East to Bercham. On this road, before you pass by the flats on your RIGHT, you will see this row of shops on your LEFT. Crab House is at the same row as a Magnum 4D and Da Ma Cai betting outlets. Poh San Restaurant is at the corner further down the same row.