rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

black pepper party at eng seng

with one comment

We rented rollerblades and bikes at East Coast Park today. I’ve wanted to do this since my first visit (I’m one of those weird people who still likes rollerblading even though the last time it was seen in cool pop culture was in the Mariah Carey video ‘Dreamlover’ about a millenia ago) so I was pretty excited to finally get the chance to strap ’em on and rollerblade up and down the park. Imminent rain be damned.

Too bad that saying ‘imminent rain be damned’ doesn’t actually *stop* the rain. We got about an hour of rollerblading in before the rain came. We hid out at a pub type place before hoofing it to the black pepper crab place frequented by Pearl.


This place is about a 15 minute walk from the Marine Parade Library on Still Road next to the giant durian eatery. Poor Erika waited an hour in line to snag us a table.


The place was packed and while there were a few other stalls along the side that selled rojak and satay, most of the diners were feasting on the famed BPC. By all accounts, this scene makes it a promising meal.

if you’ve ever been to LA you’ll know that LA County grades restaurants on cleanliness. They do this in Singapore too. A’s are hard to come by unless you’re in a mall and B’s are pretty standard for most hawker stalls. This place has a C. You can see it in the picture above – on the right under the ‘Eng Seng Restaurant’ sign. There are generally 2 reactions when you are at C-grade restaurant.

Reaction 1: Oh shit, this is probably going to be good.

Reaction 2: I’m glad I have my hepatitis shots. Did I bring my antibacterial hand sanitizer?


Honestly though. Are you going to turn this down? Sorry, I’m skipping ahead. There were a few other dishes that made their way to the table first.


A giant plate (we’re talking bus steering wheel sized) of fried rice with overcooked egg and green onion. I prefer white rice but this was acceptable.


Remember you tiao? From the hypothetical Taiwanese breakfast that may or may not have happened? Take those, cut them up, fill them with squid paste, fry them again, and then drizzle them in mayo. Sounds kind of gross, tastes really good. The double frying is questionable but the result was not overly greasy. The squid paste has a balance of snap and softness and the mayo adds a little zing.


Veggies came too (kangkong with shrimp paste) but I’m not going to take a picture of kangkong everytime I have it. That would be overkill.

Yuuuuum, black pepper crab. I easily prefer this to its slightly messier chili crab cousin. There is hella pepper on this sucker. After you’re done it will be all up in your teeth like you’ve been chewing on charcoal. The sauce is oh my goodness good – slightly sweet and sticky with a dark soy sauce base. The pepper is tingly hot. Hits you hard at first and numbs a bit over time. It’s nicely tempered with rice and some of the extra sauce at the bottom of the dish. The claws come cracked but you’ll need extra strong teeth, clean fingers, and stealthy chopsticks to get to the goods.


We also had some fish. Pearl says it was grouper. It was gingery and tender but I only had a few bites. Obviously I was saving stomach space for the BPC. No room for this fish nonsense.

The meal was SGD340 for 8 people – 6 big crabs, fried rice, veggies, steamed fish, and veggies for all. We had about SGD10 worth of wet naps. Ha!

Lastly, I leave you with the aftermath. Hot mess.


Eng Seng Restaurant: somewhere on Still Road near the Four Seasons Durian place. 😛


Written by joann

November 23, 2008 at 1:16 am

One Response

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  1. whoah! i have never seen crabs this big before!


    November 23, 2008 at 10:48 am

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