Walk around Boat Quay or any popular seafood stretch around Singapore and you’ll come across crab – lots of crab. Tanks and cages full of varying species of crustacean all destined for the pot, in many cases resulting in the popular dish of chilli crab. We looked long and far for the best place serving chilli crab in town and finally honed in on this place. Momma Kong’s.
The added benefit from a lazy point of view was that Momma Kong’s is a brisk 5 minute walk from our hotel at the Parkroyal on Pickering. However the ratings for the place were off the chart when it came to their speciality, chilli crab. There are of course other options if chilli ain’t your thang with black pepper variety proving a popular second choice amongst others. We took the advice of the internet and booked a table ahead of time.
Approaching the restaurant there’s outside seating for around 3-4 tables but we opted to sit inside where air conditioning reigns supreme. This is a small place where seating is at a premium and where the crowd is a mix of locals and tourists. We settled on the set menu which gives you a sort of mini banquet.
$122 SGD (£68) before the 17% tax gets you a choice of a vegetable dish, a squid dish, a crayfish dish, two types of mantou, a crab, two drinks and some ice cream to finish. All for two people to share. The choices all sounded delicious so we opted to begin with some fried (what’s the story?) morning glory in garlic. Fresh, green and crunchy, yum!
The squid soon followed and our table began to fill up. Huge rings of chargrilled squid served with a very spicy chilli sauce were very nice indeed but the real dish you HAVE to order here is the buttered crayfish. Oh my days. More like a lobster in appearance with a whole two tails of crayfish split down the middle coated in a rich buttery sauce, absolute heaven.
The main event of course is the crab and at this point we were thankful to see that a) it did fit on the table and b) it was an average size. We were getting full by this point. Take a second out of your experience to glance around other tables tucking into their crab. The techniques people were using to get the meat from the claws ranged from wrestling with the claw crackers to borderline crab assault. Great viewing.
Remembering that napkins are chargeable in these parts we adopted a strategic approach of cracking the claws and gently prising the shell away to reveal the meat, thankful now that I made that crab salad at home that time. There’s not a huge deal of meat but the chilli sauce is superb, not overly spicy but so flavoursome and rich. The mantou buns, one fried and one steamed, were an epic accompaniment.
Lastly the only bugbear of the experience came after waiting 40 minutes and having to ask for the dessert which incredibly arrived after being pulled out of the freezer, what’s with the delay? Needless to say it was a decent pot of gelato.
The total bill arrived at $145.95 (£82.56) after tax which for the quality of food isn’t bad at all. The highlight, surprisingly, wasn’t the crab but that crayfish. Just wow. I doubt we’ll see crayfish that size in the UK anytime soon but next time we drop by at this place again it’ll be the first thing we order. So is Momma Kong’s worth the hype? Indeed it is.
Opening times: Monday-Friday 1700-2300
Nearest Metro: Chinatown