When you talk about some of the best White Pepper and Chilli Crabs in Singapore, No Signboard Seafood will certainly be a shoo-in.
Famed for its crab and seafood dishes, No Signboard Seafood had humble beginnings in 1970s when founder Mdm Ong Kim Hoi started a seafood hawker stall at Mattar Road Hawker Centre.
It currently has an overseas branch at Shanghai, and four outlets in Singapore – the original at Geylang, Esplanade, The Central (Clarke Quay) and Esplanade Mall.
The outlet at Esplanade Mall is an ideal venue for locals and tourists craving for East-Meets-West style seafood delicacies with a view, and it has recently revamped both its interior and menu.
Its décor takes on a spacious contemporary look, with a view of the open kitchen. Look out at the ceiling and you would spot an electronic river with ‘fishes’ swimming through the top.
More effort has been placed on the dishes’ presentation, to appeal to younger diners looking for an insta-worthy meal as well.
Discover your next favourites from their revamped menu – melding Chinese dishes with Japanese and Western influences.
You will find signature and new dishes such as the Alaska King Crab with Lobster Infused Steamed Egg, Wagyu Beef Cube in Sichuan Style, Pan Seared Foie Gras with Cherries, and Japanese Uni with Oba Leaf Tempura, stylishly plated to elevate your dining pleasure.
Here are some of the No Signboard Seafood recommended dishes, some exclusively available only at the Esplanade Mall outlet:
No Signboard White Pepper Alaska King Crab ($23 per 100g)
This is perhaps No Signboard Seafood’s most iconic dish, so much so that Madam Ong is often credited for creating the White Pepper Crab dish in Singapore.
The idea came about because many restaurants were offering the black pepper version, and the white pepper crab would be more unique, flavourful and still bring out the natural flavours of the crab.
I thought that what makes this stand-out was that there was a distinct fragrance and taste of the white pepper, but it does not overwhelm the sweetness of the meat.
Imagine the sensation when you suck the juices off the succulent and meaty crab legs, with that touch of mild peppery-kick.
The crabs also come with a base of Korean rice vermicelli, something you would find in a dish of japchae. The vermicelli is simmered with the crab and sauces for some time, so that it absorbs those flavours, while still staying slightly firm and chewy.
Chilli Sri Lanka Crab with Macaroni ($10 per 100g for medium crab, $13.80 per 100g for large crab, $128 for Dungeness crab)
You often find tomato ketchup in other version of the Singapore Chilli Crab, but No Signboard Seafood’s take is created with an own Peranakan-inspired recipe with herbs and spices. The recipe has been maintained over the years.
What you get is a slurp-worthy and rather eggy version of the sauce, slightly on the sweet side and not too spicy.
Worthy of mention are the mantou which are larger than usual, no less crispy and still very fluffy on the inside.
Interesting to know is that the crab sauce is also wok-fried together with macaroni, which is quite an unusual take.
Seasonal Fish in Claypot (Seasonal Price)
This turned out to be one of my favourite dishes. Cooked in a pot which allows the heat and moisture to circulate, the fish was tender, juicy, and evenly cooked.
Instead of the typical thick sauce as a base, and you can almost treat this like a soup dish, complete with white peppery punches that is quite shiok.
The other accompanying ingredients such as the beancurd skin and fried yam after simmering and absorbing all that sauce, were very enjoyable as well.
Duo of Hyogo Oyster ($28)
Oysters from the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan are known for their strong sweet and fruity flavours, aside from being famous for their large size and higher meat-to-shell ratio.
Order a duo of this Japanese delicacy and experience two unique taste profiles – one topped with cheese and baked, the other deep-fried with spikes of wasabi.
Steamed Prawns with Garlic Puree ($5 per live prawn minimum order 8; $13 per king prawn minimum order 4)
I would say this is an East-meets-West style that I never quite experienced before.
For diners to indulge in the succulence of these fresh prawns, their natural sweetness blending with the aromatic flavour of pureed garlic. Available two ways using live prawns and King prawns.
Gold Karat Leaf on Japanese Wagyu Beef ($99 for 110g; $188 for 220g)
Take your meat-eating to the next level with this rendition of gold karat leaf on Wagyu beef. Prepared with premium BMS 4-5 Grade Japanese Wagyu beef, this dish will satisfy you creamy white fat marbling cravings.
Indulge in its mouth-watering flavour and buttery softness without being overwhelmingly rich.
Braised Cabbage with Chestnut in Saffron Sauce ($25 medium, $48 large)
Complement your specialty seafood dishes with this recommended vegetable dish, prepared with fresh cabbage braised until very tender yet mildly crisp.
Adding another layer of flavour and crunch are chestnuts blended together in a saffron sauce. Choose from between two sizes to cater to your dining preference.
Homemade Beancurd ($28)
For those who love bean curd, try No Signature Seafood’s Homemade Beancurd, a house special.
For far most of the other dishes I tried had some form of modern touches, while this sticks to the safe, tried-and-tested. Tofu with a crisp outer layer and soft inside, topped with wok-fried saucy minced pork.
Red Bean Paste ($6 per person)
Before you hit menu item number 100 in No Signboard Seafood Esplanade’s menu, stop by number 96 and order Red Bean Paste.
This traditional East Asian dessert is prepared by boiling, mashing and sweetened red-coloured beans. There is a tinge of saltiness within which differentiates it from the usual – some may like it, some won’t.
Its smooth, rich texture should give that wonderful mouthfeel to perfectly end your meal.
If you love Shanghainese fare, you are also in luck – No Signboard Kitchen Shanghai’s unique and popular items will be part of the Singapore menu.
The Esplanade outlet is also where you can savour popular dishes from Shanghai such as like 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.
No Signboard Seafood – Esplanade
8 Raffles Avenue #01-14/16 The Esplanade Mall Singapore 039802
Tel: +65 6336 9959
Opening Hours: 11am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10.30pm (Sat, Sun & PH)
Other No Signboard Seafood outlets:
Geylang: 414 Geylang Singapore 389392
VivoCity: 1 Harbourfront Walk #03-02 VivoCity Singapore 098585
The Central: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #04-63 The Central @ Clarke Quay Singapore 059817
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with No Signboard Seafood.