You may think you’ve eaten crab…. in Cornwall….?…. San Francisco?…. Australia?….. Florida??…. Let me tell you. You haven’t. You have NO IDEA what crab can be like until you’ve eaten Singapore Crab. Sensational doesn’t even begin to describe it…. but more of that later…..
We had a great night’s sleep and a lovely (free) breakfast in the hotel. Then we set off walking to the Marina area, about 15-20 minutes from our hotel. It’s hot here. And humid. Not as bad as I remember to be honest, but definitely HOT. The skyline around the Marina area is extraordinary. Like some spaceport in a futuristic film. Hugely tall, strangely shaped buildings. Avant garde, massive sculptures. Upside down fountains.
We were first visiting the Marina Sands hotel which has a park built on top of it!!!! Yes, a massive park deck, complete with swimming pool, restaurants, gardens and a viewing platform. As non hotel guests we could only access the viewing platform (for a fee) but it was worth it! An elevator whisks you nonstop from the ground floor to the 56th floor. My ears popped! Once on the viewing deck the views in every direction were just amazing. We were looking down on the Gardens by the Bay complex which we will visit tomorrow. On the other side, across the marina lake, we could see the old colonial era buildings and cricket ground nestled amidst the CBD towering around it. Glad to see it still there. A cricket match was actually taking place.
We are really liking Singapore this time. It’s come on enormously in the 20 years since we first visited. The architecture is just amazing, so modern, and yet….. you can still walk around a corner and find yourself in a street with chopshop restaurants and everyone crammed in around communal tables…. not many though…..
We had a good wander around the Marina area, admired the shopping and the fountains and then by about 1it was getting hotter and we decided to get back in time for a swim. Wnt up to the 6th floor infinity pool and set up camp there. Odd to be swimming with your eyeline surrounded by buildings and shops. Felt good to be in the water though.
Managed to get a FaceTime call in with Lucy, whose birthday it is today. Gosh 28 years since she was born in St Charles, Illinois. It’s gone in a flash really, although I can’t imagine life before her. At 330 we met up with our dear old friends John and Connie, who came for tea in our hotel. It was so very lovely to see them again and we had a wonderful couple of hours catching up. They were so pleased to see us too. It has been 7 years since we saw them last. Mustn’t leave it that long again. A wonderful couple.
Got changed, had our cocktail hour in the Concierge Club and then it was time to wander out for dinner. We had identified a Crab restaurant we wanted to try that was about 10 minutes walk away: Holy Crab website. Crab is massive here in Singapore. It’s the national dish, especially Chilli Crab. Lots of restaurants from street carts upwards do it, each a little different. Recently though, variation has hit big. Black pepper crab is very popular. Various fusion crab dishes. We liked the sound of Holy Crab because as well as their take on the traditional, they also offer creative crab variations. It’s a small place and when we got there it was reassuringly full of locals dining family style.
We ordered one massive mud crab prepared in two different ways: Singapore chilli crab and a variation called Devils Crab. Singapore chilli crab is a boiled crab liberally slathered in a thick tomato, chilli and herb sauce; Devil’s Crab is a boiled crab likewise slathered in a creamy sauce with curry leaf infusion. The crabs came with the most amazing bread rolls. Not regular bread. Like savoury doughnuts. OMG – disgustingly divine. The crabs are dripping in thick sauce. We wore bibs! This is not food for the finicky or dainty. You have to get stuck in with fingers, well…… wrists and arms too, to be honest! There is no escaping the sauce. But the crab…. it’s soft and succulent and juicy. There’s lots of it. Not dark meat crabs like the British ones. All white meat. Soft. Better than lobster by a country mile. We dunked the lumps in the sauce along with the doughnut bread…. heaven…..
Afterwards we walked back through some of the small restaurant streets around there, tiny restaurants crammed with eaters… tables spilling onto the pavements…. A delightful mix of the old amidst the new.
So…. loving Singapore this time around. If you come… eat crab. You won’t regret it!