Friday, June 28, 2013

The Chili Crab Challenge at Ah Hoi's Kitchen, Traders Hotel Singapore

I've been visiting Singapore so frequently since I was a kid that at some point I would consider this my second home. Would you believe that I've never had a taste of chili crab yet?

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Well, for one thing, I have a very low threshold for spicy food and the name of this dish itself screams SPICY SPICY SPICY! I think it's the only local dish that I haven't tasted then. Well, that all changed one fateful evening at Ah Hoi's Kitchen in Traders Hotel.

Ah Hoi's Kitchen currently has an ongoing a la carte buffet promotion where you can choose from more than 40 menu items for only S$38+ (adult) / S$19+ per head. This is a great deal most especially if you're dining with a big group because you can order more and have a taste of it all.

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Each serving is actually good for one so when ordering, do indicate how many orders would you like for them to adjust the size accordingly. We began our dinner with Braised Fish Maw with Crab Meat Soup. Normally, this soup includes sharksfin but luckily the entire Shangri-la Hotel and Resort Group has totally removed sharksfin from their menu as part of their CSR efforts. Paul and I have also stopped eating sharksfin  for almost 4 years now and we're so happy that we can fully enjoy this soup without feeling guilty about hurting those poor sharks. We enjoyed this with a few drops of black vinegar. Yum!

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Since we will be having seafood for dinner, we got a plate of Green Papaya Salad to cleanse and to refresh our palate in between dishes. I guess it's bad that I was expecting this to taste like our papaya atchara back home which is a good mix of sour and sweet. Sadly, it's not what I was envisioning it to taste like. It was quite bland and the texture was like our local sayote which I'm not so fond of.

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Finally, here's the star of the night. Meet Mr and Mrs. Chili Crab. This is a very small serving which I'm pretty happy about as we won't be able to consume an entire crab on our own. Most especially one that's very spicy. The crab was very meaty and is covered with thick spicy sauce. On my first bite, I thought I could easily handle the heat but as we had more of the crab, we began sweating profusely and I could feel my cheeks turning red. What a work out! I've managed to consume two crab legs and finally called it quits. It was delicious but definitely not for the faint-hearted. The crabs came with a piece of deep-fried mantou which was delicious and is meant for you to dip into the sauce.



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To tame the fire, we had some Kailan with Oyster Sauce. Yummy fresh leafy vegetables served with a small amount of light oyster sauce. It's pretty good but not really the best. When at Ah Hoi's Kitchen, I recommend that you get the Poached Spinach with Conpoy and Trio Egg in Superior Stock (S$12) instead. I had this during my previous visit and ended up consuming 1/3 of the plate which was conveniently placed in front of me.

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We were also able to try the Sliced Beef in Black Pepper Sauce. I was happy that the beef was very tender and it was a good break from the spicy Chili Crab which has set my tongue on fire. The sauce was also very delicious that I couldn't help but drizzle a good amount of it on my rice.

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Lastly, we had the Sambal Squid which was good but was also a bit spicy which was no help to our battered tongues. The squid was bouncy and it had a good bite to it. This one would have been well-appreciated if only we had this before the crab. You see, after the fiery battle, our tongue felt numb for the rest of the evening and sadly, this was the last dish served so we could hardly enjoy the full flavor of the Sambal Squid. It just means one thing -- we have to go back for a second round.

Other dishes worth mentioning are the Fried Black Pepper Kway Teow with Seafood which is one of the best that I've tasted to far. I also love the Steamed Cod Fish with Crispy Bean Crumbs too.

Contrary to what others may think that Ah Hoi's Kitchen is expensive due to its location, I have to say that it's reasonably-priced and I would recommend you taking your family or workmates here for a good seafood dinner. I'll definitely be back, Ah Hoi's!!!

Related post:

Check out Ah Hoi's Kitchen at the 4th level (Poolside) of Traders Hotel Singapore, 1A Custaden Road, 249716, Singapore. 

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