Add: Xintiandi S. Block, Lane 123, 2-3 Xingye Lu, near Madang Lu
新天地, 兴业路123弄2-3号, 近马当路
Tel: 5306 3706
Hours: 11:30am~2pm, 5:30~10:30pm
Price: 400 RMB+/person
Visited on: 2012-07
Please note that this is an arranged tasting.
The folks behind Haiku by Hatsune and Kagen Teppanyaki recently opened Pulau Ketam, an upscale Singaporean/Malaysian crab house with a menu that focuses on – you guessed it – crabs. I’m not so familiar with this cuisine and was quite eager to try…but first, a chilled towel and a welcome drink at the door to cool down the summer heat.
We started the meal on a light note with an Organic Mixed Green Salad (138 RMB), a lush heap dressed in sweet orange vinaigrette and punctuated with crunchy candied walnuts. Crisp and refreshing.
Aubergine Tempura with Pork Floss (108 RMB), julienned aubergines fried to a golden crisp, then topped with sweet and savory pork tendon floss.
Crispy Oat Battered Prawns (158RMB) looked like a mountain of oats, but hidden beneath the blanket are jumbo, juicy prawns fried in clarified butter.
The big plates, of course, were the crabs. Pulau Ketam offers two varieties: Sri Lankan crab (650 RMB/1.3 kg) and Indonesian black crab (520 RMB/1 kg), each can be prepared in two methods. We first tasted the pepper crab, which was stir-fried in coarsely ground black pepper, roast garlic, and butter. Hot, spicy, intense! The crab itself was very fresh, and if you are worried about dismantling the shells, don’t – they have already been cracked, making it very easy to pick out the meaty parts.
The second rendition, Singaporean chili crab, was sauteed in red chilies, sour tamarind, and Asian ketchup. Perfect with a side order of deep fried mantou (28 RMB/3 pcs) to soak up all the sauce.
Water and towel to cleanse the hands.
Perhaps even more memorable was the Signature Garlic Noodles (68 RMB). It is exactly as described on the menu – addictive and intensely garlicky. Must order.
Dessert menu wasn’t ready yet on the evening of our visit, and we were served a simple bowl of fruit and jelly soup – a perfectly refreshing ending to an intensely heavy dinner.
I personally prefer cuisine that are lighter in flavoring and sauces, so Singaporean chili crabs aren’t usually on my to-eat list, but for those with a heavier palate, come give Pulau Ketam a try. Crabs here don’t come cheap, so come prepared with money and expect to spend around 400 RMB per head.