[FOOD DELIVERY] Freshly Cooked Seafood Delivered Right Up to Your Doorstep by 8 Crabs

Hello everyone!

We are now a month into the circuit breaker and the idea of home-cooked meals has probably gotten stale by now. Plus, with Mother’s Day around the corner (it’s this Sunday!), many of you might have been tearing your hair out over how to honour the most important lady (or ladies) in your family this year amidst all the restrictions.

Worry no more as 8 Crabs is here to save the day!

8 Crabs…?

I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve never heard of this establishment prior to reading this review, considering that the 8 Crabs website was only set up a month ago (yes, I did my background check because I was sceptical as well, and as for why there are reviews dated to 2017 on the website, I’m equally puzzled about it and have sought clarification). But that is not to say that they are inexperienced in the culinary arena. In fact, its parent company Eight Foods Pte Ltd (not the business’ originally registered name so I’ve reached out to find out more too) is one that specialises in the import of live seafood such as wild-caught crabs, sea cucumber, prawns, grouper, and tilapia from Sri Lanka. Peeved at the prevailing dishonesty in the food industry, Eight Foods started 8 Crabs to fill the gap for providing the freshest crab at a fixed rate.

8 Crab website

8 Crab website

Rather than operating from brick-and-mortar restaurant, 8 Crabs is based out of a virtual zi char kitchen (yay to no GST and service charge!) that offers islandwide delivery of its premium cooked seafood without a minimum order. Today, Sri Lanka is home to their own processing premises where freshly caught crabs are brought in daily by their fishermen, and delivered from to the local airport which is just an hour’s drive away. The strategic location of their premises means that the packing time is drastically shortened, thus heavily reducing the risk of ammonia excretion (the byproduct of the decomposition of seafood) in stressed crabs. In addition, the fished crabs also have to be examined and approved by their crab graders before they are exported, so you can be assured of the quality – and meatiness – of your crab!

My apologies to my Muslim readers as 8 Crabs is non-halal.

Wah, crabs?! Confirm expensive!

When 8 Crabs offered to credit a certain value into my account for me to pick out any dishes I wanted to try within given budget, I couldn’t help but snigger a little. As a crab enthusiast who dines at seafood restaurants at least twice a year (because I like to spoil my parents rotten on their birthdays), I know very well how crabs are priced – by their weight – and I had the inkling that the amount was not going to be enough to cover the price of a crab for three. But I was so wrong! I did my math and figured that I could actually get a complete 4-course meal – crab inclusive – for my family with the voucher 馃槺 I was shookth. Crabs can be affordable!

Seafood, meat and poultry, vegetable options at 8 Crabs

Seafood, meat and poultry, vegetable options at 8 Crabs

Crabs section

Crabs section

The prices vary according to the size of the crab: S$60 for medium (2 pieces), S$68 for large, S$118 for extra-extra large (depending on the catch for the day, some sizes may not be available). These prices are reflected clearly on website with no hidden charges so you won’t get a rude shock when you cart out your order!

My first 8 Crab order!

My first 8 Crab order!

Impressed by the transparency of 8 Crabs, I went on and added two crabs and other complementary dishes聽to the cart, gladly exceeding the budget given to me. Of course, I paid the difference out of my own pocket (it’s not a lot anyway 馃槈). After my order was completed, I received an invoice in my e-mail and was surprised that it was billed by Masons Home Decor Pte. Ltd. instead. There is no mention of their affiliation anywhere on the website (or anywhere on the internet) so I presume Masons Home Decor is just a sister brand of 8 Crabs.

[6 May 2020] I’ve contacted the marketing team for clarification of all the questions raised in this review and will update here once I get a response 馃檪 For now, let’s just focus on the food! [As of 23 May 2020, no response received]

Just how.. does crab delivery work?!

My order met the requirement for free delivery (free for orders above $120. Otherwise, S$8 for same-day delivery or S$18 for express delivery) and I was prompted to select my preferred delivery time slot at checkout: 12:30-13:00 (lunch), 18:00-19:00, 19:00-20:00, 20:00-21:00, 21:00-22:00 or 22:00-23:00. Since this was meant to be dinner, I opted for the first evening time slot (18:00-19:00), bracing myself for a possible delay during that peak hour.

The doorbell rang. Time check. It was only 5.45pm and the deliveryman was already at my door with plastic bags containing my dinner in his hands. For a moment, I panicked because my mother was still in the kitchen preparing some other dishes to go with the crab feast and she wouldn’t be done until at least 30 minutes later. Oh well.. I guess that’s a small price to pay for not taking their promise of one-hour delivery seriously! I mean, they even promise a full refund if they are late!

8 Crabs' pledge of excellence!

8 Crabs’ pledge of excellence!

So.. what did I order? (Warning: do not proceed if you are burning the midnight oil)

Black Pepper Crab (Large, S$68)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view) – LOOK AT THOSE PINCERS!

Salted Egg Crab (Large, S$68)

Salted Egg Crab (aerial view)

Salted Egg Crab (aerial view)

Salted Egg Crab (zoomed in)

Salted Egg Crab (zoomed in) – soaking in salted egg goodness

The crab menu is streamlined to increase efficiency in the kitchen and perhaps, save customers the headache of deciding on the flavour since there are only three to choose from: black pepper, chilli and salted egg. Is anyone else mildly disappointed that creamy butter flavour didn’t make it to the list? No? Just me? 鈽癸笍

A large crab at 8 Crabs weighs approximately 750g which I reckoned was just about right for three people. But as a family of crab lovers, one was definitely not going to cut it to satiate our appetites. Therefore, I got two in different flavours so that I could have at least one pincer all to myself! This may sound treacherous but I am not big on our national crab flavour at all so I went with salted egg and black pepper. The salted egg one was a mix of chunky and creamy, and wasn’t overwhemingly sweet (kids friendly!) while the spice in the black pepper carried some kick (your fiesty folks will love this!). Both boxes came with a generous amount of sauce in them.

The size of the crabs met my expectations and both crabs were delightfully meaty. Thankfully, most, if not all inaccessible and obscured parts of the crab were already cracked so crab crackers were absolutely unnecessary during the span of our meal. Furthermore, since both crabs were so fresh, the succulent meat just slid off the shell without the aid of any seafood picks! Yes, even the hard-to-reach meat in the fingers and pereopods (those little legs)! Ah-mazing, right?!?!

Sorry, no additional pictures of the crabs because my hands were tied and I didn’t want to soil my camera! But take my word for it – they were good.

Fried Man Tou (a set of 5, S$6)

Fried Man Tou

Fried Man Tou

Where crab dishes are concerned, it is almost an unspoken rule that they must be paired with fried man tou, or fried buns in Mandarin, for dipping into the savoury crab sauce (or condensed milk at your own expense, if you’ve more of a sweet tooth). I was thrown off by the price (as a benchmark, restaurants usually sell fried man tou for 80 cents each) at first but when I saw the buns, I understood why – these guys were humongous; each was about the size of my palm! They were deep fried to a golden brown and despite being left on my dining table for an hour, they were still crispy on the outside and light and fluffy inside. Be careful not to over-order, though, as these buns – I repeat – are super-sized.

A side-by-side comparison against the other dishes. Those man tous are HUGE.

A side-by-side comparison against the other dishes. Those man tous are HUGE.

Prawn Paste Chicken (Medium, S$18)

Prawn Paste Chicken

Prawn Paste Chicken

In contrast, the prawn paste chicken was a bit of a let-down. The prawn paste smelt slightly burnt and wasn’t as aromatic as I hoped (the unmistakable聽har cheong fragrance was largely absent). Although juicy, the mid-joint wings were pretty much meatless and the crust (or lack thereof) wasn’t crispy (to be fair, they probably lost a lot of crunch in transit, but the texture was just.. flat). I wouldn’t recommend this. Stick to their crabs, if you may, or try other dishes on the menu!

That said, dinner was a blast and went well beyond my expectation. My parents, who never had the chance to attend tasting events with me previously (thank you, 8 Crabs for making this experience possible!), enjoyed the crabs tremendously and wouldn’t mind having them again. Hopefully, 8 Crabs would consider adding creamy butter flavour to the menu before that happens 馃槵

What are your thoughts about 8 Crabs? Would you give them a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

8 Crabs8CRABS.COM 路 Delivery hours: Lunch – 12.00 am (daily) 路 For more information, please visit 8 Crabs FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE聽路 Click HERE to access their Mother’s Day Special.
PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED BY 8 CRABS FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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[CHINESE RESTAURANT] Revamped Menu @ No Signboard Seafood at Esplanade

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Now that winter break is in full swing, you may be expecting to play host to some of your friends from temperate countries. With iconic landmarks like the Marina Bay Sands and the Merlion statue already on the itinerary, the next step is probably to look for a nearby place to dine and cool off while at the same time, show off some of our famous delicacies. If this describes your situation now, look no further.

Some orange juice for you?

Some orange juice for you?

After undergoing more than two months of refurbishment, No Signboard Seafood (NSB) at Esplanade has finally reopened its doors to the public, but not without a revamped menu to tempt your palate!

Exclusively available at the Esplanade outlet (for now) to enhance and refresh diners’ experience, the new menu takes inspiration from crafting Chinese with Western and Japanese cuisines. The latest culinary creations not only include a selection of unique and popular dishes from its overseas outlet in Shanghai, but also feature a stylish plating upon serving (likewise for existing dishes).

Be prepared to salivate at the sight of Shanghai favourites such as Glazed Australia Tomatoes Stuffed with Crispy Mushroom Salad, Heirloom Beetroot Foie Gras, Braised Cabbage with Chestnut in Saffron Sauce and Marinated Seasonal Hairy Crab in Shanghainese Style, or west-meets-east classics like Wagyu Beef Cube in Sichuan Style, Pan Seared Foie Gras with Cherries and Japanese Uni with Oba Leaf Tempura, all of which is a testament to NSB’s commitment to provide their guests with exciting reasons to return.

Chef recommended deep-fried butter prawns ($6++/pc, min. 6 for live prawns OR S$15++/pc, min. 4 for king prawns)

Chef recommended deep-fried butter prawns ($6++/pc, min. 6 for live prawns OR S$15++/pc, min. 4 for king prawns)

Petite Abalone & Scallop with Yam Nest (S$10++/pc, min. 2)

Petite Abalone & Scallop with Yam Nest (S$10++/pc, min. 2)

A closer look at the scallop buried in the nest

A closer look at the scallop buried in the nest

Wagyu Beef Cubes in Sichuan Style (S$68++)

Wagyu Beef Cubes in Sichuan Style (S$68++)

With mala being all the rage right now, it won’t be surprising to have at least one dish on the menu that is cooked with Sichuan peppercorns. While you certainly can’t go wrong with mala, caution needs to be taken to ensure that these proportionally-diced beef cubes are cooked to the desired tenderness – something which NSB has nailed perfectly.

Espresso Kurobuta Pork Ribs with Hazelnut Crumble (S$15++/pc, min. 4)

Espresso Kurobuta Pork Ribs with Hazelnut Crumble (S$15++/pc, min. 4)

Grilled Portobello Mushroom (S$32++)

Grilled Portobello Mushroom (S$32++)

The Grilled Portobello Mushroom is lightly seasoned so the taste of the mushrooms can be enjoyed to the fullest. Although grilled to the right crispness, sufficient amount of moisture is still locked within the mushrooms.

The mushrooms were glistening...

The mushrooms were glistening…

Regardless of any new dishes that NSB is betting on, the unspoken winner is ultimately the Chilli Alaskan King Crab which chilli paste recipe has meticulously been maintained true to its original over the years despite the menu having gone through an overhaul. However, if you are itching for a change, there is always the option of White Pepper Alaskan King Crab聽which NSB is more known for. In any case, ordering crab(s) is a must-do when you are playing host because, heck, that’s probably the national dish your foreign friends are dying to try in Singapore!

Chilli Sri Lankan Crab with Macaroni (Medium: S$10++/100g, Large: S$13.80++/100g, Dungeness Crab: S$128++/ea)

Chilli Sri Lankan Crab with Macaroni (Medium: S$10/100g, Large: S$13.80/100g, Dungeness Crab: S$128/ea)

Singapore may be touted as the land of chilli crabs, but there are people among us who find it a chore to eat them. Therefore, I actually thought it was very clever of NSB to come up with a chilli crab dish that is served with macaroni (in the carapace) so that it can be enjoyed by everyone.

Signature Fresh Mango Compote with Coconut Sago & Pomelo (S$10++/ea)

Signature Fresh Mango Compote with Coconut Sago & Pomelo (S$10++/ea)

Unlike typical mango pomelo sago you see at other restaurants, NSB’s rendition separates the pomelo and coconut sago from the mango compote so you can adjust the amount of these dry ingredients you want to add into the bowl, and it also comes with edible flower petals. The interesting presentation aside, I would expect this to have a more varied taste (considering that it contains some unusual ingredients like the petals and coconut sago) and a thicker, not so watered-down consistency. But on the plus side, it is not overwhelmingly sweet which is great for people who need to control their sugar intake. Quite frankly, the Signature Fresh Mango Compote with Coconut Sago & Pomelo is just a glorified version of mango pomelo sago. I say pass on this one and get orh nee (yam paste) instead for the same price 馃槣

Apart from the food, what’s also worth mentioning is, perhaps, the interior design of the restaurant. Gone is the gloomy Victorian-era decorating that used to adorn the restaurant. Upon entering the newly renovated outlet, guests will be greeted by a bright and welcoming dining area with a virtual ceiling aquarium on the left and a glass window that looks into the kitchen on the right to proudly exhibit the dexterity of the chefs while they are preparing the dishes.

Open kitchen concept

Open kitchen concept

All the tables would be readied with the necessary tableware such as crab crackers and meat pickers (because who doesn’t order crabs at NSB, right? But don’t worry, no one’s gonna judge you if you don’t 馃槅), and a really cute crab-shaped chopstick rest for each diner. In addition, wet wipes individually packaged in plastic packets are replaced by not one, but TWO tablet napkins which expand to full size when they come in contact with water (although I’m not quite sure if these napkins are still chargeable to the diners so please check with the staff before you proceed to use them 馃檴). Take notes, prospective restaurateurs – that’s one way of being more environmentally-friendly without compromising on the diners’ experience! *cough*nostrawmovement*cough*聽

Tablet napkins - 2 per person. Just drop the "tablets" into the little pond and watch them grow!

Tablet napkins – 2 per person. Just drop the “tablets” into the little pond and watch them grow!

Adorable crab-shaped chopstick rest. Look, it even has a baby crab next to it to support your meat picker!

Adorable crab-shaped chopstick rest. Look, it even has a baby crab next to it to support your meat picker!

All in all, the food lived up to my expectations and the incorporation of fusion cuisine is certainly a refreshing change. Given that the tastes and elements of the different cuisines are notably present in the most of the fusion dishes, it is evident that considerable thought was put into the recipes.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

No Signboard Seafood 路 Esplanade 8 Raffles Ave # 01-14/16 Singapore 039802 路 Operating hours: 11 am – 2.30 pm & 5.30 pm – 10.30 pm 路 Nearest MRT station: Esplanade (cc3), City Hall (NS25/EW13) 路 For more information, please visit No Signboard Seafood FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE. Alternatively, you may download the menu HERE.

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馃榿