had heard about the increasing popularity and seen on various instagram and facebook feeds quite a bit about this place recently, so decided to drag (okay fine i didn’t have to drag; the fam bam is always willing to hunt down good food teehee) my family there for a meal one sunday evening.
we had previously visited this place once, but it was a long time back before it became the popular seafood haunt that it is today. i remember being very young and bewildered that we were having dinner in a coffeeshop-like setup in the middle of a bunch of car workshops!
the set-up remains the same today, but i now see the place as being charming in its own way, the kind of casual family place which people visit in their shorts and flipflops, with the menu scrawled in multiple colours on a chalkboard that stretches across the wall. its a bit like a secret shack hidden amidst car workshops nestled in sin ming, which i guess some might find appealing since it offers something very different from the usual modern set-ups that we so often visit these days.
we ordered 3 types of crabs, their famous beef, a plate of hokkien mee, and of course some glorious fried mantous (cannot live without, especially when there’s chilli crab sauce to be slurped up) for the 5 of us. they were having a buy 2 crabs get 1 free offer when we visited (there was a huge banner outside announcing this deal so i won’t be surprised if its a perennial offer) so that’s why we went for 3 crabs; if not for the fact that anything more would have been too much food, i think we might have given the other interesting options on the menu (like the pork knuckle) a try!
the crabs were all rather small and the meat was not particularly sweet or firm, though they were reasonably fresh. they were decent crabs though, and very reasonably priced if you take up the buy 2 get 1 free offer. the highlight of the crab dishes for me was definitely the different sauces of each style of cooking.
the first kind of crab we got was the black pepper crab:
besides the fact that the crab was on the (very small) side, we all thought the sauce was really delicious! it wasn’t the kind of black pepper crab that is very dry. instead, it was a little more sauce-y than usual (though from the pic it doesn’t appear to have much sauce at all on the plate i know); i prefer it this way but i’m not sure if everyone has the same preference! the sauce was very tasty and of the right consistency and pepperiness. i generally prefer crab done in other ways, but thought this was good nonetheless!
we also got a salted egg yolk crab:more tiny crabs! i’d like to think it was because they chose the smaller ones for us since we were a relatively small group attempting to eat 3 crabs? i am generally in love with anything that has salted egg yolk in it; i absolutely adore salted egg yolk and all its super savoury and tasty goodness. this dish was certainly no exception and was in fact one of the better salted egg yolk dishes i have had. they were generous with the egg yolk coating, and in my opinion, totally nailed the rich and grainy texture of the salted egg yolk paste. i could not get enough of this and am also guilty of licking the crab shells clean. shell-lickin’ good? i also polished off every single bit of the paste left on the lettuce leaves. am definitely getting something in this style the next time i visit, if not crab then squid!
the third type of crab we ordered was the quintessential chilli crab which no seafood dinner in singapore is ever complete without:
the chilli crab gravy was also very yummy and i loved the fact that there was plenty on the plate for us to drench our fried mantous in. it was of the right consistency – thick enough but not too heavy, and was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy! super yummy.
next, we had what nearly every beef-eating patron at ubin seafood orders, the rib eye steak!
this was DELICIOUS. seriously good stuff. the beef is black angus rib eye from the states and is reasonably priced for its quality. we requested for it to be done medium-rare, and it was broiled to perfection – super yumz! i loved how the outside was done till it was just very slightly charred and hence crispy with a hint of smokiness, while the inside remained super moist and juicy. served on a large wooden board accompanied by wedges and caramelised onions, the smallest serving of this that you can order is 500g so this is perfect for sharing! it seems like this is the star dish of ubin seafood, and rightly so. a must-order when you are there!
besides the onions and wedges, the beef also comes with a complimentary plate of beef fried rice:
they use the beef fats that were cut off from the meat served to you to fry this super sinful plate of rice. it is a very simple dish with a bit of a smokey taste which really reminded me of claypot rice. though there are many others that rave about it, i thought it was pretty good, but definitely didn’t think it was outstanding enough to warrant having an entire bowl of something so sinfully unhealthy!
we got a plate of hokkien mee to end off the meal:
look at all that pork lard on the top screaming unhealthiness hahaha. this came highly recommended by the staff at the restaurant, and i thought it was pretty good! they were generous with the ingredients and i liked how it was the wet kind of hokkien mee, not the kind that’s fried dry. the sauce was tasty and despite the substantial amount the noodles came with, it remained rather light and wasn’t heavy. not a bad choice if you’re looking for some carbo to order.
all in all, it was a satisfying dinner with food cheaper but as good as that at the usual big seafood chains! i will definitely be back to satisfy future seafood cravings if i’m in the mood for somewhere casual and slightly off the beaten track. not sure if i’ll bring tourist friends here for seafood though; i feel it’ll be nicer to take them somewhere by the water instead and will probably be worth paying that bit more for a nicer ambience.
oh and be sure to make a reservation early before you go; the place is packed on weekends!
New Ubin Seafood
27 Sin Ming Road
#01-174, Sector A Sin Ming Industrial Estate