Mellben Seafood is another heavyweight name in the local seafood and cze char scene. Having spawned a couple of branches in the east, we chose its original outlet, located in the Ang Mo Kio heartland for dinner. Related to Uncle Leong Seafood, this is actually my first time here at Mellben. I was always so deterred by reports of lousy service and legendary hour-long waits for food.
As it turned out, the legends of hour-long waits for food, and to get seated, were true; so it's best to get a headstart when trying to get seats for dinner. Or else, nominate a friend to start queuing up for a table at least half an hour before the rest of the party is due to arrive. OR, if you really really abhor queuing, just call ahead and dabao for dinner! Another tip is to dine in larger groups of at least 8 persons, I noticed that there were more tables allocated to larger groups as opposed to small gatherings.
While we're on the topic of slow service, I would have thought that having the benefit of decades of experience in running such a massively successful seafood joint would result in a more efficient kitchen service.Throughout our 3-hour sojourn at Mellben, there were empty tables left unoccupied while impatient hungry patrons were fidgeting in the 10-metre long queue for seats. Maybe the management would like to revisit their seating policies and refine their kitchen protocols, hmm??
That said, the crabs here were so good I'm loathe to admit that we actually thought they were worth the wait.
The Crab Fried Beehoon ($50 per kg) was just excellent. Subtly heated with black pepper, sweetened with caramelised onions and studded with crunchy greens, the tangled mass of rice noodles was scrumptious. Even if I could hardly make out any crab stock in the noodles. A tip is to pick out the sweet flesh of the crabs and toss it into the noodles to eat with, instead of eating them both separately.
The Salted Egg Yolk Crabs ($50 per kg) were just as superb. This was done a dry style, so there wasn't any gravy, but the curry leaves and chilli padi slices added a mild levity to the wondrous grainy salted egg yolk paste plastered all over the crabs.
Blk 232 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 #01-1222
Tel: 6285 6762
Open daily from 4.30pm to 11.30pm