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Food review: Crustacean overload at Holy Crab

Samantha Chiew
Samantha Chiew • 4 min read
Food review: Crustacean overload at Holy Crab
We absolutely loved the attention grabbing dishes here at HolyCrab!
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Attention grabbing dishes at HolyCrab’s new outlet at Kempinski Capitol

Elton Seah, the head chef and co-founder of HolyCrab, has always had an affinity with food and it clearly shows in his cooking.

Before starting HolyCrab, Seah dabbled in the private dining scene back in 2009, inviting people into his home to share his passion.

He then opened a restaurant to cater to the ever growing fanbase. Thus, HolyCrab’s first outlet in Singapore opened in 2017 in a shophouse at Tan Quee Lan Street.

For years, the quaint 25-seater space was constantly full with long queues of diners outside waiting for their turn.

Now, Seah made the decision to move to a bigger location and give more people the chance to savour the bold and distinct flavours at HolyCrab’s new space at the Kempinski Capitol Arcade.

There are many stunning dishes here to choose from. For starters, The Capricorn ($15) may look like a simple dish, but this took Seah two months to perfect the recipe.

Named after Seah’s zodiac sign, this salted egg corn dish was inspired by a trip to China, where Seah snacked on a simple dish of corn kernels seasoned with salt and pepper. For a local twist, he tops it with salted egg yolk sauce.

You should also get your cameras ready for the arrival of the over-the-top CrabTree & Evelyn ($28). A tree of torched broccoli is perched on top of a bed of velvety sauce made of crab meat, garlic and chai poh. This may sound like a simple vegetable dish, but this was just utterly amazing — the large broccoli was soft to the touch and paired well with the sauce that was bursting with smoky wok hei flavours.

Another unique dish to go for is the restaurant’s signature — the Green Mumba ($90/kg), Seah’s own alternative to the popular (and common) Singapore Red Chilli Crab. A culmination of intense, months-long research, the dish calls for 12 different types of ingredients, including green chilli padi, coriander and mint leaves.

We also recommend the oOoOtak ($90/kg). Inspired by the Thai curry crab, Seah gave this flavour a touch of home by adding otah (grilled fish paste) alongside kaffir lime leaves, homemade sambal, coconut milk and eggs. The crab pairs well with the curry and you will quickly find yourself reaching out for the fried buns to savour with this thick and creamy sauce.

If you are looking for other options apart from the Sri Lankan and Alaskan crabs served here, try the Moroccan Wagyu Beef Ribs ($128), which is a fusion of Asian and Moroccan flavours. The beef ribs are rubbed with a dry Middle Eastern blend of paprika, chilli powder, cinnamon, cloves and coriander. Then, the beef is sous vide for 25 hours resulting in meat that becomes incredibly fork tender. A monthly special that turned into a crowd favourite, the dish has special significance for the Seah, as it was inspired by his days as a student in Australia and his Lebanese friends would often come together to cook up a storm.

But one absolute must-try dish here is the Scorched Vermicelli ($16). The burnt vermicelli or chao tah bee hoon dish is common in Singapore, but no one does it like Seah does. Here, the noodles are fried until a beautiful, even crisp is achieved on the exterior, leaving the inside with soft vermicelli. This dish with such a play in textures and the unmistakably fragrant smokiness, easily makes this my favourite dish here.

Other noteworthy dishes here include the Signature HolyCrab Fried Rice ($16), featuring a generous portion of chunky crab meat, eggs, spring onion and of course, cooked in a high heat for that elusive wok hei flavour.

The Smoking Pot ($55) is another recommendation: This chicken claypot rice dish is elevated with luxurious foie gras for that extra zing.

Finally, cap off the meal with the Instagram-ready Enchanted Forest ($28). Coming complete with smoke effect, the tree’s canopy is made with green cotton candy while the trunk is made from an almond crusted biscuit. Digestive biscuit is grinded so that it resembles soil. Made inhouse, the kaya ice cream is a lovely marriage between vanilla ice cream and kaya.

The verdict? This family-friendly restaurant is a must-try.

13 Stamford Rd,
#01-85 Arcade @ Capitol
Singapore 178905

Tel: +65 8444 2722

Opening hours: Daily 11:30am–9:30pm

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