Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Romping in The Republic With Hairy Berry, At No Signboard

The republic referring to that little island mass south of our borders. That amazingly organized colony and even spectacular (at some places) scenery. Anyway, truthfully, with an exchange rate matching that of Australia, Singapore is NOT high on my list of "must visit" places, and if it weren't for the fact that we were there for a cousin's nuptials, we'd probably have continued our cuti cuti Malaysia, and lived like kings, with the kind of prices we were paying in Singapore. However, fortunately, because of the generosity of friends and relatives, the overall bill was pretty reasonable.

One of my main benefactors during this visit was the inimitable Hairy Berry. After putting him through much stress to find a suitable venue that was fairly near to me, had easy parking, and is child friendly, he suggested NO SIGNBOARD at the Eastcoast Seafood Centre, just off the ECP. I have never quite gotten used to the abbreviations of the Singapore highways. BKE for Bukit Timah Expressway, AYE for Ayer Rajah, SLE for .... whatever.

Driving in Singapore is a breeze. Everything is so well sign posted, and maps are good, you don't even need a GPS. Found our way to East Coast Seafood Centre in good time, and was actually the first to arrive. Sai Low was also joining us for dinner.

Nothing like a frosted beer glass with icy cold draught to calm the nerves, of having to navigate through a strange land, with 4 kids in the car constantly playing and singing along to Mamma Mia soundtrack.

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I wasn't quite accustomed to seeing Hairy Berry in office garb, as the only times I've seen him was when he's back for the weekends. It's like after a scuba diving trip, when you suddenly bump into a fellow diver in the mall, and say, "oh, I've never seen you with clothes on, I almost didn't recognise you". (Real life story).

The claim to fame for most of the Singapore seafood joints are the white pepper crab. Starting at S$40 per kg for Sri Lankan crab, it goes into the hundreds for crabs from white countries. In fact, the next tier up after the Sri lankan crab was the Australian Snow Crab at S$140. Hairy kept assuring me that if you dont convert, the prices are quite reasonable. True, they actually have it good, these Singies. Dollar for dollar, they go a much further distance. A kopi ping in kopitiam is only $0.70, as opposed to our RM1.70. And a noodle in kopitiams are about $3.

I can't believe how green the vegetables are. Just like the zoo. All the animals so perfectly manicured. Everything is perfect in the little island. Penguins dive on cue, tigers pose for photographs, and in case they don't, there's a plastic replica for you to pose with outside most of the exhibits.


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Choy tam, fried with garlic. Hard to go wrong here.

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Marmite ribs. Oh dear, this is what happens when you blog about events after more than two weeks. Especially if the three weeks that have elapsed are filled with food and more food, everything becomes one big blur, with the help of alcohol. AS FAR as I recall, the ribs were good.

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I love deep fried mantous, because they're sinfully unhealthy. These were ordered for the purpose of soaking up the gravy from the chilli crabs.

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I think we all unanimously agreed that our Malaysian Chilli Crabs are far better than this particular offering. However, the Sri Lankan Crabs are fleshy, and rather meaty. I remember at one stage they were all the craze here. Huge mothers of crabs, which were then rumoured to have been fed on human carcasses floating off the Ganges. Is the Ganges near Sri Lanka? I lurve Sri Lankan crabs, whether or not they've been fed on human meat. After all, as the song goes, in Lion King, it's the Circle of Life. As long as it wasn't my direct ancestors they were feeding on....Oh, my mistake, I coulda sworn the Circle of Life lyrics were about the food chain....but I just googled it and its not. It's about sapphire skies.


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Ah, the white pepper crab. Rather good, I have to say. I love the peppery assault on the palate, and the strands of spring onion. A very delectable dish indeed, I have to say. Brings out the flavour of the crab, unlike the chilli crab which was drowned in the that starchy gravy. Hmmm, I kinda feel like having some now. KL got ah? Sure must have one leh. Calling out to the Queen of Crabs, Precious Pea.....oh knowledgeable Regina Crabus, where can we get White Pepper Crab in KL?

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Wat Tan Hor Fun. Mainly ordered for the kiddos. But tasty enough, and was our main carbs for the night.

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I am sure the pro-life people would be appalled at the amount of roe that was prematurely killed along with this mother crab. But heck, it was DEEEEELICIOUS!!!! Just look at that that!!! I can almost hear my pharmacist (Ciki, help, help!) stocking up on a year's supply of Lipitor for me, in anticipation.....


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Actually Hairy Berry did a very very naughty thing, and PAID!!!! ARGH!!! My Sai Low, who has been working in Singapore for years now, made a feeble attempt to fight for the bill, (that Chinese game, of Quick Draw Credit card mcgraw)..... The bill in ringgit terms is staggering, but Hairy Berry assured us that it was okay as long as you don't convert. Hey Hairy, thanks heaps, owe you a big big dinner in KL okay.

Happy New Year everyone, welcome back all my dear friends from London, Krabi, Sydney, (in order of their arrival dates)....and here's to a gluttonous, culinefarious, 2009.

24 comments:

Julian Si said...

Nice shooting, food looks good. See u soon, FBB!!

ps - Chef Ray now works at Plaza Damansara where Moxie is located ;-) Good grub!
His ol' sifu, Chef Sting still works at Cava/Opus, they used to be known as Sting-Ray !

Life for Beginners said...

"oh, I've never seen you with clothes on, I almost didn't recognise you"

Hehe. I've done that too before, but it sure wasn't a fellow diver since I don't dive. Ahem.

More importantly, "Yay, a new post!" :D

P.S. Usually the only guaranteed way of winning the Quick Draw Credit card is to make an excuse to go to the loo and instead head for the cashier. Hehe.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

white pepper crabs??? thats something new..and yippie! something to read in a rather stoned environment where every1 is still half awake at work..

Precious Pea said...

Oh dear...i have to take down my throne cos I have never heard of white pepper crab before. Well, we do learn something new each day, don't we?

Anyway, it looks like ginger scallion crabs too me (Keong Chung Crab) and maybe with white pepper added? I dunno...but i find it odd cos keong chung crab is rare in Malaysia. We usually have that in Melbourne, HK Style i presume, with egg noodles at the bottom, soaking all the goodness of the gravy.

Ahh..actually i know how to cook this dish, thanks to my chef bro-in-law.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Almost feel like making a visit to Spore to try the crabs. Good to be back, FBB, and looking forward to our first makan session in 2009. Can almost smell the whisky (or Guinness or sirap ais, whichever comes first)......

thenomadGourmand said...

that crab roe looks soooo sinfully tempting! And yes, non-conversion makes the currency easier to accept!

J2Kfm said...

wah .... SGD40/kg. if RM40/kg, it's a definite STEAL!!!

but the Sri Lankan crabs I had at a stall in KL also RM70+/kg.

y S'poreans so lucky one? dollar for dollar, they're earning, and we M;sians suffer. even with RM1.80/L of sinful liquid now, price of goods and food still shooting up. sigh ...

Tummythoz said...

Must had been a jaw dropping bill .. and paid by someone else! Here's to a GGRRReat new year.
Ahem, where to line up to become HB's best friend?

breadpitt said...

the crab's , tempting @#$#!$ !!!! and the vege looks good too. finally get to see ur macho face dude. cheers .

Nic (KHKL) said...

i think ganges is in india lar. but yeah, you are right. there were rumours about the crabs (or seafood in general) feeding on the dead bodies in sri lanka after the tsunami. well, rumours la. still healthier than mercury-contaminated sashimi hor...hehehe...

yeah, lurve the white pepper crab too! i think that's the only exceptionally nice thing about no signboard. next time, must bring you eat the famous pork noodle already!

nice meeting you in singapore!

fatboybakes said...

hairy berry, really? oh, i am talking about pre tsunami days, when you were probably still in olive green pants and white shirt....
i think breadpitt thinks that macho man is ME!!! oh dear!

breadpitt, errr.....that macho face is hairy berry la dude. hahaha, me definitely not macho.

tummythoz, send an application on his blog la. he's such a nice guy. atcherlly, if you dont convert, the bill is reasonable.

J2KFM, heh heh, coincidentally i read your post yesterday too...i've never seen the word sri lanka so many times in one day. first my own post, then hairy berry then yours. ya man, tell me about it, the price of eggs have gone thru the roof...humpty dumpty in reverse!

TNG, the roe was goooood!

fatboybakes said...

AWOL, been AWOL i see. hmmph. yeah, dude, you better lay off the holidays for now and get that ass back to work, so perish all thoughts of going to singapore for crab. pbbbbbth.

Queen of Crabs, really ah? you never heard of before? DARN! that means really dont have la in KL. keong chung not that uncommon issit?

nipples, actually, i am amazed no one here has attempted to copy it. (white pepper crab)

LFB, buwahahahahahah.....naughty naughty.

jules, thanks, coming from you, that is high accolade indeed. re the chefs, my friend isnt either sting or ray.... hmmm, maybe he's not there afterall. used to be in shook. syook? that ytl place in starhill.

UnkaLeong said...

Quick Draw McGraw...Hahaha...

Heidi said...

hi, i was introduced to your blog via another blogger as i visit KL (i'm in bangkok) quite often... yet while i'm there, always end up eating in the hotel... what a great way to plan a dining expedition via your blog!

prettybeautiful said...

wow. look at the roes in the crab shell O_O

Paprika said...

Happy new year FB!!! Your dry sense of humour makes me choke with laughter! Sigh. So nice you got to hung with the berry. I absolutely detest chilli crab. What a waste of crab meat. Wouldn't mind those deepfried carbs to soak up the sauce though...

fatboybakes said...

paps, haha, yeah, i actually talked about that in my next post, ...chilli crab and what a waste...
me? dry sense of humour? where got? i very serious one...so many ppl scared of me apparently....sigh...

prettybeautiful, yup, pretty beautiful huh, those roe....

heidi, thanks for your kind words. drop us an email la, the next time you come, we can gather some food bloggers to show you some malaysian hospitality...my email is fatboybakes@gmail.com

unkaleong, surely that cartoon not your time ....

GFAD said...

"oh, I've never seen you with clothes on, I almost didn't recognise you". *chortle* Hope I won't think like that should I ever meet abs boy!

What's wrong with everything being organised, sanitised and proper har? Esp the toilets (which actually have star rankings..). At least I can walk the streets at 11pm after taking the MRT without being worried. Small price to pay. I don't mind moving there. Even if the wantan mee sucks.

Ya-la, you quite serious hor. And so bashful when I gave you first hug!! And so not so when we left!! :D

UnkaLeong said...

Involved a horse who played a Sheriff right?

Henry Yeo said...

Did you try Iggy's

Anonymous said...

You finally show your face on blog. Why so shy all this while?

Anyway, the crab roe photo so tempting lah. Next time, must go the Clarke Quay branch and try. My fav seafood restaurant in KL is at South Sea, along the small road of old Subang airport, alongside you'll find Lala Chong as well. I find the ambiance alot better than LLC, price similar.

Steve said...

oh dear... all this time that I have been reading your blog, I actually thought that Hairy Berry was a girl. LOL. Sorry, Hairy Berry. What a great post - another version of the good food and good friends theme!

Hope you enjoyed your trip to our little patch of dirt. I was actually in KL last week - completely unexpectedly. Had a great Scallops in Black Pepper dish that I would recommend if the restaurant in question wasn't a rip-off joint of the highest order.

Coming back soon for some good food - and in a more relaxed state of mind!

FBB said...

steve, HAHAHAH, what an UNFLATTERING name for a girl, HAIRY BERRY....gosh...oh, if you think that's bad, he's known as the WEEKEND B**TCH in AWHIFFOFLEMONGRASS' blog. oooh, which restaurant was this i wonder.... the rip off one...

anonymous, NO NO NO, that is NOT ME!!!!!! (as in that pic is not me). i still am very shy. i must check out south sea, thanks for the tip.

henry, didnt have time to explore this round.

unka, yup, in the wild west.

GFAD, wonder if unka purposely ignored your remark. so coincidentally he commented right after your remark about abs boy.

aiya why would you want to walk the streets after 11pm? here u wont have to take MRT after 11 ma....

Steve said...

Oh dear - sorry for the tardy response... but Hairy Berry is actually Weekend B*itch?! That is too funny for words. Hairy Berry - I'm sorry for thinking that you were a girl... but if you go by the moniker of Weekend B*itch, then I withdraw that apology, and stand vindicated!

The restaurant that we got ripped off mercilessly at was Restoran Dragon View on Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang. It was horrendous. They charged for peanuts that they placed on the table - but which we did not order- through to towelettes, that were placed on the table, but which we did not order, nor did not use.

They also overcharged for dishes, and pretended to not speak English where we wanted to discuss the bill. It is rare these days that that I feel like I've got the "I'm a dumb foreigner, come rip me off" sign tattoed on my forehead, but this night it happened.

Avoid Restoran Dragon View like the plague if you are white. Otherwise, the food is good.

PS: they could be ripping off all you good Malaysians too for all I know. Best avoid this place altogether...