Thursday, July 23, 2020

8 Crabs - Wild Caught Sri Lanka Crabs that warms my heart

During the early years, Singapore was famous for its chilli crab and black pepper crabs.  Most of the tourist who visited Little Red Dot will plan a day specifically to head down to a few seafood joints to taste these famous dishes.

Sadly, as years passed and due to a few reasons such as experienced chefs retiring and the skill of new chefs are not up to it, the quality and taste of these dishes deteriorated. Even those seafood joints where both locals and tourists flocked to previously to have their crabs crave fixed were serving substandard quality crabs.

It is easy to cook chilli crab.  I mean if my Mum or DinoPapa (bless their soul) were able to whip up a huge plate of chilli crabs in our humble kitchen and have us licked the plates clean, I do not see why restaurants or zi char stalls serves crabs that are not value for money. 

Before you guys hit me on the above statement, I stand to believe that it is an easy dish BUT it does require a lot of preparation work.  Just do a quick google and you will find a variety of recipes with some what the same ingredients and steps in cooking the dish.

The most important element for chilli crab is of course the freshness of the crab which is the deciding factor whether the dish is a success or a flop.

It is the hassle of gathering the ingredients and preparing them that stopped DinoPapa from making chilli crab more often though he loves this dish.  Later on when his health was not good it becomes impossible for him to make this dish again.

We have tried chilli crab from a few places but it was always a disappointed experience.  The dish was pricey with the gravy either too bland, too watery, too spicy.  The crabs size and freshness were always a lucky hit or miss.  We have stopped ordering this dish since years back because it is really not worth the money and our heartache.  Yeah, we love our food so much that when we tasted badly prepared dishes we feel sad and angry because the chef is wasting precious ingredients!  "浪费食材!" DinoPapa always exclaimed when he tasted substandard food.

Well, if only he gets to know about 8 Crabs earlier, we would be having crabs that tasted as good if not better than he would have made them himself and he would be singing praises about them to every one.

The new norm for F&B businesses is to offer home delivery of their food to consumers since most of us are stuck at home due to Covid19 Circuit Breaker.  Timely delivery, condition and quality of food when they reached consumers have always been a challenge.

Has 8 Crabs managed to overcome this issues?  Scroll on to see our photos of their crabs.

8 Crabs Award Winning Salted Egg Crab

8 Crabs Award Winning Chilli Crab

Fried Man Tou

Our Food Tasting
Well, first and foremost, they receive 5 stars from us because the crabs were piping hot, DinoBoy was eager to sink his teeth into the crab that he grabbed the pincer and got a shock from it.  The skin of the fried man tou were crispy and the inside's soft & fluffy.  We dipped it in both the sauces and bun soaked up the sauce fairly quickly, a taste of heaven after that.

They earned another 5 stars for presentation, I mean to cook the crabs and placed them in the containers, making them look prim and proper as if the crab is enjoying a sun tan takes an extra effort from the chef.  I swear that chilli crab was smiling at me when I open the container!

We started with 8 Crabs Award winning Salted Egg Crabs, we were expecting to taste a bit of texture from the broken down salted egg yolk in the sauce but there were none.  Sauce was smooth and with a mild salted egg taste in it.  We were ok with that but would prefer it to be a little bit stronger though not too over other wise the taste will cover the sweetness of the fresh crabs.

The screaming red sauce from 8 Crabs Award Winning Chilli Crab looks intimidating, making us think that it is spicy, turned out it tasted great with the right level of spiciness and sweetness.  Contrary to the believe, chilli crab sauce are not supposed to be lip burning spicy.  Instead it got to have a well balanced taste of spiciness from chilli and sweetness from tomato sauce.

Needless to say, the Sri Lanka crabs were superb!  Sweetness from the fresh meat satisfied the craving we had just by looking at it earlier.  The crabs were fleshy or meaty too.  We could get big chucks of meat from the cartilage-lined channels.  From the photo we share above, you can see that there is a fair size of meat on the legs too.

We ordered 2 XL crabs for 2 adults and 1 tween coz I wasn't sure how big the crabs will be.  Plus, based on past experience, DinoBoy can finish half a crab, thus I decided to order more just to make sure every one's have their fair share of it.  Turned out that the XL crabs were really big!  3 of us had a hearty share of the crabs.

Our Conclusion
Honestly, these crabs does not come cheap with price of each crab going at SGD68 for Large (approx 750g), SGD88 for X-Large (900g - 1kg) and SGD128 for  XX-Large (approx 1.2kg).  We guarantee you that it is worth every cent you paid for these crabs.

8 Crabs has control over the quality of the Sri Lanka crabs from the minute they are being lift out of water and to be graded by experienced crab graders to ensure that only AAA grade crabs leave their premises 2 hours later, making its way to the airport to reach Singapore some 4 hours later.  This, I think is as fresh as you can get for live crabs.  Guarantee no weird ammonia taste or crumbly texture of the crab meat. 

They also claimed to be able to delivery within the selected one hour slot.  I wasn't paying attention to the time that day but a search at their facebook page did not show any complaints about late deliveries so I gather that they kept to their claims.

If you are old school like me, you probably won't enjoy Salted Egg Crabs as much but I read about raving review of their Award Winning Black Pepper crab so you may want to try that instead.

I love the chilli crab sauce, it made me miss DinoPapa because it has that almost same taste as the chilli crab he cooked for us years before.  It warms my heart and soul while I reminisce the memories of DinoPapa.

If you love some good crabs and willing to splurge on it, I strongly recommends 8 crabs, you will not be disappointed.  Place your crab order here.

If you want other zi char dishes to go with your crab, 8 Crabs serves and delivers pipping hot dishes too.  We ordered Yam Ring, Prawn Paste wings and Stir-fried kailan, no complains about them except praises.  Take a look at their other dishes over here.

Disclaimer : We received SGD120 8 Crabs store credits for partial payment of the crabs while we paid for the difference, solely for the purpose of reviewing and this post. No other compensation was received. All opinions are based on our food tasting of 8 Crabs food. All photos in this post belongs to The DinoFamily, you may not use them without asking for our permission.


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