Another nice claypot crab bee hoon place that I visited this month. =)
Mellben Seafood has 2 outlets, original one in Ang Mo Kio and the Toa Payoh one is the outlet. But still, reservations is still recommended to get a table at the popular crab restaurant. No points for ambience or class as this is really like a Zi Char place. Service staff are pretty friendly – mostly from China. We had some minor hiccups from having to queue despite having made reservations and missing out our orders when topping up the soup & bee hoon…but what do you expect from a crab speciality place in a neighbourbood place? I’m not going to complain about the minor lapses as the food more than made up for it!
We ordered 2 medium sized crabs (btw 1.2 to 1.4kg) – 1 for Claypot Crab Bee Hoon Soup, another for Salted Egg with Cheese Crab. We also ordered the Bamboo Clams with Garlic and a veg w tofu dish to complete the meal.
The claypot crab bee hoon soup is actually quite tasty and flavoursome (thou I personally find it slightly too salty for me). It doesn’t have very strong “Hua Diao” wine taste in it unlike some other crab bee hoon soup which added the wine. Salted egg with cheese crab was quite special, the tough shell of the crab was easy to break after the frying! Both crabs are pretty fresh and juicy. The Bamboo clams were also quite fresh. Tofu was smooth and silky.
You’ll need to pay extra for top up of bee hoon ($3) and soup ($5). So better slurp every drop of the soup to make your money worth!
Great food, but points lost for the hassle in queuing (unlike restaurants with clear numbering system…) and ambience…(worse if you are seated outdoor w/o canopy cos no back-up plan if it rains). We queued for 30 mins despite having made reservations…
Given the popularity of the place, I think the restaurant would do well even with these minor constraints. To avoid the hassle, guests can visit them during non-peak hours as they do not have any afternoon breaks. =)
[Updates on 10th Dec 11]
Other than the usual dishes, we also tried another 2 dishes – Kung Pao Prawn and their signature dish – Simmering Sand Crab. Not sure how true, according to the staff this is only available at the Toa Payoh branch?
The Simmering Sand Crab gravy tasted like the condensed version of the soup base used for the bee hoon. Quite tasty.
Block 211 Lor 8 Toa Payoh #01-11
Tel: 6353 3120
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