Thursday, May 26, 2011

Long Beach...66 years old, and still innovating

Crabs are as synonymous in Singapore as is the hot, humid weather. Chilli crabs, are supposed to have been invented here even. And many restaurants have become world (?) famous for their culinary presentations of this crustacean.

Long Beach is one of these restaurants. Founded in 1945...I am wondering, this is a strange year to start a business, as it would have been just after WW2 and the Japanese surrender. I am sure money is tight in those days...but anyway, no good or bad timing to start a business...especially in the food space. Everyone's gotta eat. Anyway, Long Beach is one of the magnificent 5 seafood restaurants in Singapore...I would imagine the others being No Signboard, Punggol Seafood, Seafood Paradise, Jumbo Seafood.

My good foodie friend Larry "discovered" this place, and a group of close friends went to have lunch there...lunch? crab? isn't that too messy? Well, not here. They actually bring the cooked crabs to your table, and the expert-waitress peels it right there...

The White Jade crabs, presented above. We selected 2 large (more than 1kg each) Sri Lankan crabs, and they cooked and presented it as shown above. De-shelling was done in-situ, and all the meat is deshelled. They don't just peel the pincer, but the whole crabs...all the meat is presented back to us on the crab shell. What more delectable way to enjoy crab!

The pincer is presented beautifully with the amazing sauce:

The sauce is known as White something like a thickened, enriched, super power butter sauce...very rich, creamy. And with small bits of chopped chilli padi, packs a punch. Also bits of deep fried, almost crisp curry leaves heighten the flavour and aroma. Super dish. Fat, fresh crabs. Cooked perfectly. Dipped in this wonderful sauce.

You can also avail yourself to the sauce by soaking it up with the mantou.

We had the grilled otak as an appetizer...sorry got ahead of myself with the crabs...

Not bad otak. The bits of ground fish can be tasted within. And the banana leaf infuse its own flavour. Not world's best, but passable.

The next dish was another winner...a honey baked prime ribs:

Oozing, with a thick, beguilling sauce. The tender pork ribs were marvellous.

Looks a bit like coffee pork ribs, but tasted totally different. Less sweet, more piquant. The meat beautifully cooked. Excellent.

We had some vegetables as well, but that was di regeur...nothing to write about except it is an essential dish with all these meat and cholesterol to add some greens.

For starch, a special dish...hor fun, braised with lala (local clam) and topped with a deep fried crispy bee hoon.

Quite good. The braised hor fun was a bit mild tasting, but the savoury sauce packs some umami. The clams were fresh and sweet. And the contrast, counterpoint provided by the crispy bee hoon is a touch of genius. Superb.

For desserts, we had a durian pudding.

Quite good too...with the slightly fibrous strains of the durian used still detectable within the pudding. It is served sitting on a ball of dry ice, quite a sight, as it spouts a thick fog...providing some mystique to the dish.

Certainly well recommended for the occassional binge, and for bringing visitors to experience a bit of Singapore. Superb crabs. Great dishes.

Long Beach @ DEMPSEY
Tel: 6323 2222
25 Dempsey Road, opposite Singapore Botanic Gardens
Daily: 11am - 3pm / 5.30pm - 1.30am
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