I have resisted coming here despite reading rave reviews about the delectable crab bee hoon because I have also heard horror stories about the eccentric chef who has no menus (or fixed prices), who makes you wait, and who does not serve you if you order from the braised duck or turtle soup guys. Is it merely urban legend?
But Anthony Bourdain has been here! Every foodblogger worth his salt has been here!
So despite my misgivings, I ventured here with trepidation and am pleased to report that the chef was not as rude as I imagined he would be. He was a little bossy when he recommended food that we should order, which ended up with us having a little too much food. That is alright, as the food was really very good.
After a short wait of about 15 minutes (fortunately, the place was not crowded - there were about 6-7 tables of people with only 1 other table waiting for their food when I arrived on a weekday).
First up, fresh scallops in black bean and garlic sauce (SGD 25). These are live scallops, served on their shells, and were much sweeter than the frozen scallops you normally eat at other restaurants. The black bean and garlic sauce was fragrant and robust, and a little overpowering, but nonetheless very tasty. SGD25 for 10 live scallops is pretty good value for money, I would say.
This was another dish, apart from the celebrated crab bee hoon, that was present on almost every table - Steamed Frog Legs in Brand's Chicken Essence (SGD26 for 2 frogs). It was tasty and the frogs tasted like very sweet and tender chicken. This dish came with a wax burner underneath to keep it steaming hot until the very last bite.
Finally, the piece de resistance. Crab Bee Hoon (SGD 56). A whole steamed crab (full of roe and sweet crabby flesh) tossed in sticky, slippery, garlicky, fragrant bee hoon. It was simply the best. It was like very very well-fried Hokkien mee, but sweeter than you can imagine, because of the crab.
As there was no menu, and I didn't dare to ask the chef how much the dishes cost ( I heard that he hates that!). I was so worried that we would get ripped off on this meal. However, I think SGD113 for such a great seafood meal is indeed worth it.