So, a bunch of us were talking about our favourite crab dishes, when a foodie friend commented that we haven't had crabs till we've had the Alaskan King ones. He'd waxed lyrical about the superiority of Alaskan King crabs over their Sri Lankan cousins, and proclaimed that once you go Alaskan, you never go back. So, one lazy afternoon, we rounded up a crew and trooped on down to Chin Huat Live Seafood, his favourite seafood joint and Alaskan king crab specialist. I swear they probably stock up on more Alaskan King crabs than they do regular ol' Sri Lankan crabs.
The Sunset Way-long timer has weathered significant change; where the previously sleepy estate full of industrial / paint shops has since gentrified into a thriving restaurant and cafe enclave. It looks vastly different from years ago when I first dined at Chin Huat with then-fellow singleton Lips.
Reservations are highly encouraged if you're dining, especially at peak periods. Reports of bad/slow service are rampant, so best tamper expectations, and develop a Buddha-like patience. Or just dine during weekday lunches.
Seafood is the order of the day, and you'll do well to get the Boston lobster and Alaskan king crabs. Skip everything else if tummy space is limited, as the cze char here is fair but not particularly memorable.
The Sauteed Scallops with Asparagus in XO Sauce ($20 for small) was decent albeit forgettable, a lovely contrast in soft and crunchy textures, and lively in spice.
The Spicy & Sour Szechuan Soup ($10 for small) was surprisingly refined for a neighbourhood seafood joint such as this.
The Hongkong Steamed Giant Garoupa ($38) was unexpectedly done fillet-style, and it was a smidge overcooked. In any case, the fillets were still slightly bony. I suspect this would have been much better left whole.
An absolute must-try, the Alaskan King Crab in Pumpkin Cream Sauce ($138 per kg) was fantastic. The salted-egg yolk accent was a savoury, and decadent, counter to the sweetness of the pumpkin, and curry leaves and chilli specks lent a subtle heat to the velvety sauce. Seriously the best salted egg yolk sauce ever. We wiped this clean off.
The Alaskan King Chilli Crab, slathered in a nutty garlicky gravy, was heady with spice, and complementary to the incredible sweetness of the crab. That friend was indeed right about how good Alaskan king crabs are, I haven't been able to look at Sri Lankan crabs the same way since. A telling factor to how amazing these are: a girlfriend who's mildly allergic to crabs and has to take anti-histamines before indulging, didn't break out in hives even though she ate several crab legs.
We had to order several rounds of this Deep-Fried Bread Rolls to mop up all the wonderful gravies.
The Boston Lobster Noodles was sweet with the essence of the shellfish. Excellent stuff.
Chin Huat Live Seafood
105 Clementi Street 12
#01-30 Sunset Way
Tel: 6775 7348
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 11pm for dinner