Singapore is famous for our chilli crabs, aside from the chilli version I also loooove salted egg crabs, creamy butter crabs, white / black pepper crabs…. any type of crab, really.
I thought I’ve tried all the different flavors of crabs, having lived in Singapore for 20 years now… but not long ago, I was introduced to a brand new innovative twist on the dish - KOPI crab!!! Yep, kopi is the local slang for “coffee”. I’ve only ever heard of coffee pork ribs – coffee and seafood is definitely a new combination to me. This kopi crab dish was invented by a chef at Majestic Bay Seafood restaurant, which has recently sprouted up in the touristy area of Gardens By The Bay. I think the location and dish go perfectly well together, hand-in-hand.. because I’m sure the foreigners and tourists will be intrigued by the unique flavor, but I reckon locals alike should give it to a go at least once, especially if you’re a seafood lover like me!!!
Here are my pretty dinner dates for the night – here’s Janice, our kind host for this sumptuous dinner at the wonderful Majestic Bay Seafood restaurant!
And the lovely Yina, whom I invited along to be my dining companion that evening. Good things (and food) should always be shared with other people then they have more meaning.. There’s no point in enjoying life all alone!
We were starving souls when we arrived, but it didn’t take long for yummy food to start appearing in front of us on our table. For starters, we had dim sum that was normally only available for lunch, but they made special exceptions for us – thank you!!
Seared chilli crab meat bun ($4.50 for 3 pcs)
This was crispy, perfectly fried, light and tantalizing as an appetizer.. Might I say a pretty interesting combination as well! Like a mantou that you don’t have to dip yourself. I just wish the chilli crab filling was more substantial, then it would’ve been awesome.
Top: Steamed shanghai pork dumplings ($4.20 for 3 pcs)
I’m a big fan of xiao long baos, and these didn’t disappoint. The skin didn’t tear unnecessarily easily when I tried to pick them up, and the broth inside the dumplings was flavorful and generous enough. I wasn’t expecting much from a meat dish considering they pride themselves as a seafood restaurant but I have to say their dim sum is rather delightful!
Bottom: Steamed siew mai dumplings ($4.50 for 4 pcs)
I normally don’t order siew mais. I have this impression that only ang mohs eat siew mais, like how most local chinese people don’t eat sweet & sour pork and lemon chicken.. they’re like novelty dishes for people who want to eat asian food but don’t wanna go asian all the way. I hope I’m making sense. Lol.
This siew mai wasn’t soggy and forgettable tasting like most I’ve tried, and I attribute it to the crunchy fresh prawn they used! I would actually eat this again.
Soup of the day, Arrowroot Soup ($18 for 2-4 pax)
I’m an unforgiving harsh critic when it comes to soups, because I believe nice soups aren’t that difficult to create at all. Just be generous when you load all the ingredients in, and be patient when you’re letting the flavors stew together. Speaking of which, my mum happens to make really kick ass lotus and bak kut teh soup!!! I miss her cooking!
While this arrowroot soup had a nice earthy flavor because of the roots & pork ribs (as pictured above after being fished out), I still felt like it fell a bit short on taste and oomph factor. It wasn’t hearty enough for me, and I didn’t get that “mmm this is soul-warming” sort of sensation you get with great soups. It was rather decent, though, and the pork rib were so tender they almost fell off the bone.
Steamed live prawns, minced garlic (Market price)
This was a big big hit on our table!!!! I ADORE anything with tons of garlic on it, and I love it when live prawns are steamed. To deep fry them would make the prawns lose a lot of their natural sweetness and flavor, and no fancy shmancy preparation or marinade is needed when you’re dealing with fresh seafood. The garlic wasn’t overly sharp tasting or pungent, it’s not the type that’ll make your breath stink for hours after that (tried and tested :P) While I think the prawns could have been larger sized, the way they sliced it into half to make for easier eating went down well with me, because I hate eating prawns. First world problem.. love eating prawns but hate peeling them.
You must try this if you visit Majestic Bay Seafood!
…..And here comes the star dish of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!
Majestic Bay Seafood’s signature “Kopi” sauce live crab (Market price)
Although it is not pictured here, the sweet coffee sauce and beans were poured onto the crab in front of us and flambéed right on our table!! Definitely a dish you’d wanna take your friends from overseas to try out because it has that WOW factor that will leave an impression on them. I really liked the flavor, it had this sweet yet slightly savory caramelized coffee taste to it that didn’t overwhelm the seafood taste of the crab – surprisingly, they mixed quite well.
However, the flambée technique used on the crab resulted in the meat of the crab being annoyingly stuck onto the shell, making it extra difficult to eat it, as if normally crabs weren’t cumbersome enough to devour already…. that’s the only complain I have about it, though, and overall it’s still a lovely dish that crab-lovers MUST try!! Props to whoever invented this! Perhaps in the future, the trend of kopi crabs will catch on, even in other restaurants. After all, Singaporeans love their coffee and crustaceans.
Baked rice with assorted seafood and curry cheese sauce ($68 for 4-6 pax, $88 for 7-12 pax)
I know this dish may not look particularly appetizing, but trust me – it was ahhhhmazing. Only after a couple of spoonfuls, I fell in love. I would actually return to Majestic Bay Seafood for this, more than the Kopi crab, which was also good – but this baked curry cheese rice thingamajig, I LIKEY!!!! Seriously addictive stuff. Abundant seafood such was mussels, prawns, scallops were drenched in creamy and delectable curry cheese sauce, on a bed of rice. I took the leftovers from this dish back home (yes no shame at all here) and reheated it for lunch the next day, adding another layer of cheese on top, and it was simply divine.
I want to steal the chef’s secret recipe T___T
The last stop on our foodie adventure that evening was this dessert platter: Sweet’s temptation ($20 for 4 pax) – Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Yam Paste, Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Fresh Cream, Steamed Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun, Bay’s Chinese Pancake with Red Bean Paste
I’ll have to be honest and tell you I am generally very unexcited about most Chinese desserts. I like the cold gooey stuff like mango sago, gula melaka, coconut jelly, ice kachang…. but the super traditional items such as red bean pancakes, glutinous rice dumplings and yam paste, I do not care much for. The only thing I could actually appreciate about the desserts was that they weren’t too sweet. I do like salted egg custard buns but this one was just mediocre. This doesn’t mean to say the desserts weren’t any good, I just didn’t enjoy them personally. I’m not the best person to judge Asian desserts, ask me about cakes instead!!!
When I was having dessert, I was actually still thinking about the curry baked rice. LOL. I wish I could have some now. So, there you have it – an introduction to Kopi crabs in Singapore. Will this food trend catch on? We’ll see in a couple of years!! I think Majestic Bay Seafood restaurant had a fantastic vibe to the whole restaurant with tastefully done up interior decor, and considering its good consistency of food and prime location, it’s no wonder the place was packed on a weekday evening. The next time you & your family feel like having some seafood but don’t want the usual Jumbo or Long Beach, you now know where to go!
Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant
Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-10, Singapore 018953
Tel: 6604 6604
Food quality: 4/5
Service / Ambience: 4/5 (service was prompt, and I like the modern vibe the place gives off!)
Value for Money: 3.5/5 (as most seafood places go, it’s relatively pricey, but worth paying for)
Most suitable for: Families who love seafood and need a nice place to gather at, seafood lovers, foreign friends and business meetings.