This stall is located in the hawker market known as the tourists choice, as it can be accessed easily by MRT just a few stops from many hotels.
We came here specifically to order the chilli crab – considered the national dish of Singapore – and chose to try Alliance Seafood because of its seafood focus. We learned later that the Michelin Guide suggests it as a place to try this very dish.
This crab dish is served shell on, in a tomato-based thick chilli sauce with bits of crab meat in the sauce as well. It’s savoury, sweet and fairly spicy. The crab they served to us had delicious, flavourful meat. They also serve it with freshly cooked mantou buns (fried, we think) for mopping up all the luscious sauce. These buns were super fluffy and a little sweet, providing a lovely complement to the sauce.
You will be given plastic gloves intended to keep your hands from getting covered in sauce as you savage the crab shell (and mop the sauce). But to be honest they just get in the way so we took ours off early in the match. They will also provide you with lots of paper napkins. That said, this is messy business, so we strongly recommend bringing wet wipes – and don’t forget to pull them out before you start eating!
And be fearless with that sauce. There is a washing station at the Newton Market so you can get all the sauce off your hands when you’re done eating. Also, wear a shirt you don’t mind getting splattered because there’s lots of potential to walk away wearing splooges of that delicious sauce. This is because you have to work hard with hands and, where necessary, teeth to get at all the bits of crab meat in the legs. They do break up the shell in strategic places, but we’re not gonna lie; you still have to do some hard work to get at it (we’re told that the one benefit of eating this dish at a restaurant is that they are more likely to give you a nut cracker to get at the meat).
We paid SGD $56 for the crab dish and found one was enough for a lunch for the two of us, especially since we mopped up every bit of sauce with the buns. We paid in cash. The dish is seasonally priced, so the cost may vary, ask before you order it.
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Singapore has a hawker food scene that’s internationally famous, for good reason!
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Singapore is so complex it’s hard to capture it in a few words. It’s legendary for futuristic architecture and incredible infrastructure. The food scene, vibrant ethnic enclaves and lovely green spaces make this a place worth visiting (but bring your wallet!).