Whilst on our trip to Singapore, my friend Anna suggested that we meet up with her parents who live there – Elena and Mikhail (they are Russians who have lived there for over 20 years). They took us to Chin Huat Live seafood Restaurant (their location here) in Clementi neighbourhood in the west of the city – definitely off the beaten track and worth the ride.
As you enter the restaurant, you see HUGE tanks full of live seafood, some of it are the kind that I have only seen Marine World before back in Europe. These tanks were teeming with Lobsters, Crabs, Razor Clams and most scary Giant Grouper Fish which looks like a real sea monster.
The restaurant itself is a family run affair, established in 1995 and apparently one of Singapores first “steamboat BBQ” concept eateries – our hosts have been coming there for 15 years. Its not a formal place and is modest in decor with some harsh lighting but I think that ambiance isn’t really a priority for these guys, which is fine because the food is centre stage.
Elena and Mikhail ordered for us, telling us that until we try the Chilli Crab our trip to Singapore doesn’t count. They themselves are committed seafood fans and don’t visit Western restaurants anymore, I couldn’t have asked for better hosts with local knowledge. A large feast of dishes was ordered and I didnt manage to get photos of each dish but here are the ones I did get:
So I think this is what was ordered for the four of us:
- Chilli Crab
- Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup
- Deer with greens
- Dry Chilli Pork
- Tempura style squid
- Salad Prawns, tempura style but the pastry was soft, in warm mayo type sauce.
- House Signature Mango Sago
Beautiful food. Even though Jon isnt normally so much into squid, this one was so fresh that even he liked it – not rubbery at all. Sichuan Soup – yum. I was given the meatiest parts of the crab by my guests, and though the tip of the claw was a little too salty the rest of if was really delicious – so much meat, it took me a while to get through that plate. Pork, deer and prawns were tasty too. The Mango Sago is the only decent Asian dessert that I have tasted so far – very refreshing.
Basically we were there for a while.
While I was attempting to eat more than my own weight in seafood, I saw a giant black lobster being carried on an ice tray into the private dining room, it was clearly still alive and moving its “whiskers” – my hosts told me that it would be consumed while still alive. Apparently its continues to move while it is still being eaten. Think that level of “live” could be a bit extreme even for me. On that note, I also saw shark’s fin dishes on the menue, was tempted to try Ill be honest, but didn’t ask remembering all those horror stories of how unethically these are obtained.
Yes so in conclusion, if you are in Singapore and looking for a hardcore seafood experience please go here.