The King of Crabs - MellBen Legend Seafood [Review]



Since I was a tiny human, I always had a sweet-tooth for crabs. Breaded crab claws, black pepper crabs, chilli crabs, and even crab sticks. As long as it had anything to do with crabs, you could be sure my eyes were on it, and my mouth was watering.


Being such a crab lover from young, I dare to say that my standards for crab tastiness and quality can be considered somewhere "up there". I've digested uncountable black pepper and chilli crabs from "crab-famous" seafood restaurants island-wide, and I can say that some of them really deserve to have their title changed to "crap-famous" [Pun intended]





Just recently, we had the opportunity to try out one of Singapore's most crabalicious [no, it's not a proper word kiddos] brands: "MellBen"


MellBen has been around for almost 20 years and has always been known in Singapore for their awesome crabs. Being a family business, you can be sure that the strictest attention is paid to their cooking and the quality of their food.


Unknown to many, the MellBen chain had recently just opened it's latest branch somewhere in the Serangoon-Potong Pasir area. This was previously the branch at East Coast Park. They have since relocated themselves to the new address. And we had the privilege to be one of the first few to try out their food.


Hidden somewhere between Boon Keng and Potong Pasir MRT, MellBen Legend Seafood is located at 9 Opal Cresent, Singapore 328404.





If you're taking the MRT, it's about 10 minutes walk away from Potong Pasir station. 


If you're driving, my advice would be to come before the lunch and dinner crowds if you want to park your vehicle next to the restaurant. There are still plenty of carparks around the area [it's a loop], but the you'll have to do a little walking to reach the restaurant. Oh, and for the ladies, almost all the parking around there are parallel parking lots! :)





Keeping to the family tradition of all the other MellBen outlets, MellBen Legend Seafood is also a Kopi Tiam styled eating house. 


Probably the first things that you'll notice upon entering the shop are the glass tanks that are filled with huge-ass live crabs.


Eenny, Meeny, Miney, Mo... Actually, I don't think either of them will survive the night


These crabs were bigger than my head!


They even have little prawn friends as neighbours



This tank contained the 'smaller' crabs. But they were still as big as my head!


And if you still can't figure out what this restaurant is famous for? They are even savvy enough to post lots of photos on their wall! If Facebook was a physical thing, I would imagine it would look something like this!




The humble looking shop also boasts an open kitchen concept where customers can marvel at the skills of the chefs while waiting for their food.





Oh, did I mention that the master chef of MellBen Legendary is the same person who opened their flagship outlet nearly xx years ago? You can't get any more authentic than that!



That's him in the black and white striped polo-T!


Because their signature Crab Bee Hoon was too common a dish at all the MellBen outlets, it was not in our menu as we had to save our tummies for the more unique creations!


But not to worry, I still managed to catch a glimpse of it from their open kitchen!


Can you say: Yums?





Seated around the typical Chinese round table, we anxiously awaited for our food to arrive while sipping away on out drinks and catching up with everyone else.


I joked that you would normally need at least 2 drinks when eating at any MellBen outlet. Not because of the waiting time, but rather because the food goes so well with any form of gassy drinks, that you will definitely finish your first drink way before the meal is over! [Beer included]


And here's our very own hplity with what might just be his final beer before he checks in to the National Holiday Resort at Pulau Tekong. ORD *oops* Enlisting Loh!





Well, they say good things come to those who wait. And we were definitely not disappointed. 
The first dish that appeared on our table was their Signature Tofu (招牌豆腐).






我喜欢吃豆腐!heh heh heh...


It tasted so good that we started to guess what ingredients were used in making this wonderful dish. But of course, we couldn't extract the right formula just by tasting it. That's why it's called Signature right?



The next dish was the Lemon Prawns (柠檬虾) Soup.






The soup base tasted like authentic Thai Tom Yam soup [another on of my person favourites], but yet it didn't overwhelm the sweetness of the prawns. It's like having a taste of the soup when you are peeling the prawn [yes, he peels prawns with his mouth], but when you get to the fresh meat of the prawn, the sweetness and juiciness of it is still preserved!



But the best was yet to come. The next dish that appeared on our table was the legendary, never seen before, Laksa Crab( 咖沙螃蟹).

Yes, you read it right, it's a Laksa Crab. In fact, MellBen Legend Seafood is the very first MellBen outlet to serve this wonderful creation. As at the day of our visit, the recipe has not even been released to the other MellBen outlets yet.


So if you are looking to try something excitingly new, but at the same time not adventurous enough to eat a live, beating frog heart, head on down to MellBen Legend today for their Laska Crab!











Not to forget the all-important Fried Man Tous to be dipped into the Laska sauce!






And of course, bloggers being bloggers, everyone was busy snapping away with their cameras and handphones. If you ever attend any meals with bloggers, just remember that we have this unspoken rule that "One must not start eating the food until every single person has finished taking their photos of it." That's basic blogger dining etiquette for you!



Disclaimer: Unintentional angle, but my eyes keep straying towards Peggy Heng's cleavage in this photo.




I like Silver Ang's Full-Of-Concentration face...



Next came another creative dish that I have never seen [or heard of] before. Everyone has tasted Bak Kut Teh [Spare Ribs Soup] before right? But have you ever heard of Dry Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶干) ? [Or as I coined it, "Bak Kut Ta"]

Yummy, tender meat that you would expect from the typical Bak Kut Teh, but topped with appetizing sauce! Tastes great eaten as it is, or you can try mixing it up with some rice too!






Next up, one of my favourite dishes in the whole wide world, the Curry Pepper Crab (咖喱胡椒螃蟹).
[Or Black Pepper Crab as most of us call it]





I've tasted many different versions of this dish from many different restaurants both locally and overseas, and it's getting really difficult to find very good black pepper crabs around recently. Just 2 weeks ago, I ate this same dish from another restaurant that used to serve awesome black pepper crab. However, it seemed that through the years, the standard of my favourite dish there really dropped A LOT. To the point where I wasn't even tempted to fishing off the last 2 pieces on the plate.


If you are like me and love your Black Pepper Crab to taste extra peppery, and have a full pepper blast of flavour even when you're biting into the meat of the crab, [which means the pepper flavour really sinks into the meat and is not just only on the shell] I have to say that "This one really got standard".


In fact, I dare say it is one of the best I've tasted so far, tied for top place with a select few other restaurants.



The final dish [and also his favourite of the night] was the Golden Sands Crab (金沙螃蟹). No, this crab was not fished out from the fish tank of Marina Bay Sands, but the visual look of it seems like it just crawled out of some golden sandy beach some where in the Maldives.




If you are confused by the funky name of the dish, in layman terms, it's actually Salted Egg Crab (咸蛋螃蟹)! [Yumms!] And this dish was the bomb!! The saltiness of the sauce was just perfect! Salty enough to make you lick up all the sauce from your finger, yet not too salty to the point that you want to finish up 1 whole jug of beer in 1 gulp.



And at the end of the night, this was what remained of our poor friends in the glass tank.





The look on our faces says it all... Satisfied and definitely coming back for more.





Didn't your mummy teach you not to play with your food?


All in all, I would say that MellBen Legend Seafood crabs have met my extremely high expectations for crabs, and surpassed all my expectations for the other non-crabby dishes. If you are looking for a crab fix, I highly recommend dropping by MellBen Legend Seafood.


Because this new outlet it is still relatively unknown to the mainstream public, we can be sure that there will definitely not be "Hello-Kitty-like" queues stretching out to the main roads... Yet. But I can't guarantee how long this hidden gem will stay hidden.


Just for the humans who, like me, have a memory span of a goldfish, here's the address again:

No. 9 Opal Cresent, Singapore 328404


My advise if you want to head on down for a sumptuous meal? Call in for reservations after 2pm. Just dial 6509 0918 or 6742 1929 to make your reservation!


Mr Kelvin Soon, owner of MellBen Legend Seafood


But wait, there's more! If you're a bargain hunter, all you have to do is to like their facebook page here:


And flash it to any of their staff there to enjoy a 10% discount off your total bill! So what are you waiting for? Go gather your friends for an awesome crabby feast right now! I know I'll be going back real soon for round 2!

4 comments:

  1. I dunno but your review seems a tad too biasedly positive and perfect. But guess you are a blogger and write for the shop, I cant really blame you bro!

    Juz my 2c worth ......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there! Well, it's just my personal opinion.

      I'm no food critic, but I believe that my expectations of good food is also quite high. And all the dishes that we had that day certainly met my expectations.

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  2. Yes I agree, most blogger events are like that. They always write very positive reviews because they don't want to offend the restaurant owners who invited them or want more invites so they can write more and get more page hits, and they in turn get the positive press they want from google searches.

    That's how food bloggers work. It's best to always take a pinch of salt whatever they write. A whole industry of PR people and bloggers and business owners doing the marketing dance with the consumers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      I agree with you that bloggers may tend to focus more on the positive things that happened during the event, as we are generally very positive people! The world already has enough pain and suffering, so why go out of your way to look for things to complain about?

      That being said, I also have my personal standards and expectations, and as stated in the review, all of them were met! And I can assure you that if there was anything I was particularly unhappy about, I would definitely be honest about it in my reviews. It just so happens that there was nothing to complain about that day!

      Check out my Crizal Lens Review for my honest review if you don't believe me:
      http://www.theminuteman.sg/2013/02/review-my-new-crizal-uv-glasses-for-new.html

      Of course, the main purpose of bloggers and social media in general is to create awareness of the event or company. Readers are always free to head down and give it a try on their own!

      Delete