Lifestyle

4 dishes you really have to try at this crab buffet

UPDATED: Make your reservation soon; Plaza Brasserie at Park Royal on Beach Road is already fully booked for June, thanks to its crab buffet dinner spread

Updated on 19/6/2014:
We've just got word that Plaza Brasserie is now fully booked for the month of June and the weekends for next month. Crab fiends however, can still place your reservation for weekdays in July, so we'll highly recommend that you make your table booking soon! 

First published on 13/06/2014:
As far as buffets go, the annual Ultimate Crab Feast at Park Royal on Beach Road is definitely not lacking in variety when it comes to this shellfish so beloved by Singaporeans.

To be held from June 13 to July 27, 2014, this sumptuous seafood spread will feature Sri Lanka  crabs and mud crabs prepared in 14 different styles on top of the regular Best of Asia spread at the hotel’s Plaza Brasserie restaurant.

4 dishes you really have to try at this crab buffet

The Crab Kut Teh dish, which is spiced with traditional bak kut teh herbs. Image: Park Royal on Beach Road

The most unusual dishes include crabs soaked in peppery and flavourful bak kut teh soup (the pork ribs-based broth so popular in Singapore and Malaysia), the signature deep fried soft shell crab in tobiko mayonnaise as well as a marmite crab dish that we really loved; but more on that later. You’ll also get to dine on seafood on ice, an array that includes flower crabs, snow crabs, spanner crabs as well as green mussels and scallops.

To make sure that you don’t miss out the best dishes — in case you overeat before getting to the good stuff — we’ve picked four crab dishes that you absolutely should not miss out on.

4 dishes you really have to try at this crab buffet

The Butter crab dish at Plaza Brasserie. Image: herworldPLUS

1. Butter crab
While it is prepared quite similarly to the stir-fried cereal and salted egg crab dishes at Plaza Brasserie, the butter crab still stands out from the other two by being so deliciously creamy, without being that heart-stoppingly rich that you’ll stop at having just a claw. Although all three dishes do feature a bit of salted egg, the butter crab stood out in terms of the buttery smooth consistency of its broth and the palpable fragrance that the dish exuded.

The cereal crab on the other hand, felt a bit dry as the cereal used were mashed into super tiny bits that clung to the shell. Call us biased but yes, we do like our cereal crabs to come with large cereal flakes, to add to the overall crunch of the old-school dish, since cereal on its own does little to flavour the crabmeat within. The salted egg crab on the other hand, was coated in a watery broth that lacked the oomph in mouthfeel of the butter crab dish.

2. Curry crab
If you’ve noticed, we skipped on the ever popular chili crab dish in this list. But before you can shout “crab sacrilege” for us excluding the iconic Singapore dish, we’ve several good reasons to share. First up, you really must try the curry crab at this restaurant. The complex mix of Indian spices used made this crab dish one of the spiciest and most flavourful of all 14 crab dishes at Plaza Brasserie and these intense spices cover more than just the shell, seeping well into the fleshy crabmeat.

Secondly, the chili crab at the restaurant did disappoint by being overwhelmingly sweet; we wished the chefs could have gone easy on the amount of tomato sauce doused on this dish when we tried it. Even the name itself felt like a misnomer as we could barely taste any hint of spice in the chili crab dish; only more reason to have more of the curry crabs instead.

3. Nyonya crab
If you’re looking for a strong fragrance of lemongrass or tangy assam flavour in the Nyonya crab, then be prepared to be surprised. Oddly enough, the Nyonya crab tasted more like your typical fish curry with a rich coconut flavour; much to its flavourful advantage. While most of the other crab dishes were merely coated on the outside with a layer of gravy, only the Nyonya crab had its flavourful sauce so fully steeped into the meaty flesh. Soaked with the thick, spice-filled gravy, the succulent flesh of the premium crab tasted even sweeter, which was what differentiated it from the other spicy crab dishes.     

4. Marmite crab
Thick, sticky and so strongly umami, Marmite is just one of those things you love or hate. But we think that its use in this well-marinated crab dish does transcend that typical love-hate relationship towards the yeast-based food spread. When cooked with fresh crab, this paste results in a caramelised glaze so deliciously sweet and savoury, thanks to the addition of maltose and honey for the crab dish, that you’ll find it hard to recognise. It’s not too dissimilar from the marmite pork dish that you find at certain hawker centres here and in a good way. Even if you’re not a regular fan of Marmite, we think you’ll be dipping the crab meat into as much of this yummy gooey sauce as you can too.

The Ultimate Crab Feast buffet
Date and Time: June 13 to July 27, 2014, from 6pm to 10.30pm daily
Price: $39++ per child and $65++ per adult
Where: Park Royal on Beach Road, 7500 Beach Road, Level One, Singapore 199591, Tel: 6505 5710 or email dining.prsin@parkroyalhotels.com. For more information, visit the Park Royal Hotels website.

What were your favourite dishes at this crab buffet? Tell us all about them in the comment box below.

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