8 (Sat) June 2019
Chilli Crab Sauce Noodles
at No Signboard Seafood
with the Family
Summer Vacation 2019, Day 1 of 7.
In Singapore. Here to take our first-ever cruise: departing Monday from Singapore, stopping in Penang (Malaysia) on Tuesday and Phuket (Thailand) on Wednesday, returning to Singapore on Friday.
Arrived a couple days early, sole purpose to eat.
Partly to defray the enormous cost of the cruise – we got two suites, one for us, one for my parents – and partly just for the fun of it, I booked us cheaper lodgings in town at a capsule hotel. The kids LOVED it.
No Signboard Seafood is a Singaporean seafood restaurant. Started as a hawker stall in the late 1970s, literally without a signboard, then established as a restaurant in 1981, with a signboard (reading “No Signboard” – like someone who says “I’m speechless”). Claims to have invented white pepper crab.
On my trip to Singapore back in 2013, a Singaporean friend had recommended white pepper crab at No Signboard Seafood, the newer one in Marina Bay, but I was unable to find the place (see generally 4.265 Chilli Crab). Ironically, what I didn’t realize then is that the main branch is located in Geylang, just around the corner from the hotel where I was staying.
The food was excellent all around.
In particular, the signature white pepper crab. The dish had inspired me to invent what would become one of the family’s all-time favorite dishes, available only upon special order at Tao Yuan: white pepper lobster (see generally 6.044 Lobster in White Pepper Sauce) – lusciously silky gravy that is both cool and hot from the white pepper. Here, barely a trace of gravy, the white pepper more of a subtle accent. Still, what a treat in eating such an iconic dish at the source – kind of a bucket list event.
White Pepper Crab (3.5): perhaps not as good as Tao Yuan, but awesome in its own right.
The chili crab was also awesome – specifically, the sauce. (I don’t really eat crab, too much of a hassle, unless king crab or soft-shelled crab.) In comparison to the pitch-perfect chilli sauce at Jumbo Seafood (see generally 8.098 Deep-Fried Mini Buns with Chilli Sauce), I actually found the sauce here to be even better: more savory, less sweet.
What has always bothered me about chili crab is the wasted leftover sauce. Deep-fried mini buns take care of some it, but a grown man can only eat so many buns – the boys together finished off 20 buns (5 orders), just buns, no sauce, and kept demanding more. So, in a similar spirit that had moved me to instruct the Tao Yuan kitchen to combine lobster with white pepper sauce, I requested plain egg noodles and mixed them in with the chilli sauce. Perfection.