If you are obsessed with BOTH Peranakan food and crabs, this crab-ilicious feast at Ellenborough Market Café is an event to mark on your calendar.
For the daily buffet dinners from the 4th to 28th of June 2019, the Ellenborough Market Cafe’s culinary team will prepare an abundant array of crab creations for all types of crab lovers.
Located at the 1st level of Swissôtel Merchant Court, right in the city centre by the banks of the historic Singapore River, Ellenborough Market Café is known to be a Peranakan speciality buffet restaurant offering a medley of all-you-can-eat Asian and Western delights.
And for a limited time, a crab-centric buffet feast.
Whether you fancy spicy dishes or lean more towards savoury flavours, you will find a crab prepared just right to satisfy your cravings.
With different varieties of crabs available on a rotational basis, you can expect the likes of Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab, Szechuan Spicy Crab, Thai Yellow Curry Flower Crab, Boiling Crab Shabang, and Sambal Flower Crab – these are all fiery flavours that you can enjoy.
For savoury options, you could have their Sweet Flour Crab, Salted Egg Crab, and Braised Crab with Bee Hoon.
The crustacean madness doesn’t end there. Go ahead and check out their Seafood on Ice station for more tempting seafood offerings, like the Chilled Prawns, Black Mussels, Crayfish, Whelk, Snow Crab legs.
But first, let’s take a sneak peek on the upcoming showcase crabs and classic Peranakan signature dishes (Note: Items available on a rotational basis.)
A crab feast in Singapore without Chilli Crab is unimaginable.
One of the national dishes of Singapore, this dish is often prepared using mud crabs that are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chilli-based sauce.
Black Pepper Crab
Compared to the saucy Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab has a drier consistency as it is not cooked in a sauce at all.
The spiciness is not the fiery type but more of a mild peppery taste.
Szechuan Spicy Crab
The key flavouring ingredient is Sichuan peppercorns which are notorious for its numbing spiciness, and known for their beautiful aroma.
This dish is prepared with the crab flash-fried in oil, then cooked with the peppercorns, chilli, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other seasonings.
The crab was not as fiery-hot as what I expected, but would still be great for those craving for a kick of spice.
Salted Egg Crab
One of the non-spicy crab recipes available in the menu, the Salted Egg Crab is a delectable dish inspired by the then-craze-now-standard flavour of salted egg yolks.
This is probably my favourite of all the crabs.
Enhancing the crabs is a creamy sauce made by combining mashed salted egg yolk, chopped garlic, chilli padi, curry leaves and butter.
Once the crabs are coated in this golden buttery sauce, be ready for an explosion of flavours. I would suggest just using your hands so that you can slowly lick the sauce off the shells.
Braised Crab with Bee Hoon
These fresh and tender crabs and bee hoon are braised together until the right amount of doneness – firm to the bite and not mushy.
The crab’s essence is captured in the broth, and there was that touch of Chinese Hua-diao wine for that added depth. The soup was light and sweet, not the rich and robust type.
Aside from feasting on crabs, a big draw here in their selection of local and Peranakan fare or Nyonya-style cooking. It is wise to include it in your To-Eat Bucket List to tick off.
Ayam Buah Keluak
The signature item, this poultry dish makes use of tamarind, a signature Peranakan ingredient prepared as part of the spicy gravy. The ayam (chicken) is braised in this sweet-spicy-tart gravy along with Indonesian black nuts.
The Babi Pongteh (or babi pong tay) dish is an evergreen Nyonya-style using pork braised pork with fermented soy bean sauce.
There is this home-cooked savour to this dish, and the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly is easy to love.
Nyonya Chap Chye
The Nyonya Chap Chye includes at least half a dozen kinds of veggies to contribute flavours and textures to the dish. What I enjoyed about this was the deep-fried tau-kee (beancurd skin) just like how my grandma used to prepare, but is less commonly found now.
Try this duck main course revered in Peranakan cuisine and often finds its way to the family table during special feasts like Chinese New Year.
It uses tamarind and a ridiculously generous amount of ground coriander. Though it looks simple, its flavour is anything but bland.
The duck is slowly braised until extra tender and coated in the thick, glossy, tangy tamarind-infused sauce.
Kueh Pie Tee
All all-time favourite in the buffet line, these crispy pastry shells are filled with a mix of cooked shredded turnip, prawn and egg.
This is from the DIY station, so you can choose the amount of radish you would like to fill your shells up, and topped with ingredients of chopped hard-boiled egg, shrimps, peanut and that touch of sambal chilli.
Once you’ve tried all these, you can likewise try these perennial Peranakan favourites like Black Fungus Kerabu Salad (spicy and tangy salad with black fungus), Nyonya Achar (Straits Chinese spicy mixed vegetables), Steamed Fish “Nyonya Style”, Nasi Kunyit (turmeric rice) and Nasi Ulam (rice with mixed herbs).
Not many diners would know that Ellenborough Market Café also offers La Mian (hand-pulled noodles), which are freshly pulled on the spot.
The toppings differ on a daily basis, from Sichuan spicy Dan Dan Sauce, Zhajiang Sauce made with minced meat and Chinese black beans, comforting Wanton La Mian, or even La Mian in local Laksa gravy.
In case you’re entertaining tourists or friends from the West, you may want to go local-icious. Check out the popular local fare available such as Beef Rendang, Coffee Pork Rib, Stir-fried Baby Nai Bai (Milk Cabbage), Masala Lamb Chop, and more.
Every cuisine has its own range of sweet treats to reward you at the end of satisfying meal.
At Ellenborough Market Café, the Kueh Dadar (sweet coconut pancake), Muah Cheese (Chinese-style mochi coated with crushed peanuts and sugar), assorted Nyonya Kueh, Bread and Butter Pudding are recommended Peranakan desserts.
If you are a DURIAN fan and only have room for a couple of desserts, go for the Deep-fried Durian and the signature Durian Pengat.
It’s time to bite into these deep-fried crisp-on-the-outside chewy-on-the-inside glutinous rice balls with a surprise within… filled with durian flesh.
Signature Durian Pengat
This signature traditional dessert is a durian-flavoured mousse with gula melaka and fragrant pandan flavours.
Ellenborough’s version of this smooth and creamy dessert (or snack if you like) uses aged durians. For first timer, the bittersweet taste of durian could take some getting used to, but for some, this dessert is divine.
CRAB-ILICIOUS FEAST + Peranakan Buffet Dinner
$78++ (adult), $39++ (child)
Ellenborough Market Café X DanielFoodDiary.com Promotion
Quote “DanielFoodDiary” upon reservation and enjoy complimentary Sugarcane Juice.
– Valid for buffet dinners from 4th to 28th of June 2019.
– Quote “DanielFoodDiary” during reservation to enjoy this complimentary drink.
The Crab-ilicious Feast Buffet Dinner is available from 4 to 28 June 2019. Perennial Peranakan, local and international favourites are available all year round from Monday to Sunday.
Ellenborough Market Café
Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore Level 1, 20 Merchant Road, Singapore 058281
Reservations: +65 6239 1847, +65 6239 1848
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore.