My friends were treating me to dinner and I requested for the famous Singapore chili crab. Every self-respecting seafood restaurant in Singapore would claim to serve the best chili crab, but my friends told me one of the more consistent restaurants to actually deliver is No Signboard Seafood at Geylang. So we headed to the more colourful corner of town where most visitors are not there for the food.
No Signboard is a typical Chinese seafood restaurant where the emphasis is on the food and not the decor. In fact the bright fluorescent light tend to make everything look rather unappetizing. But when it comes to flavours, they actually deliver.
We started with a humble-looking dish - deep fried kailan leaves. It was actually very good - the kailan which is normally a bit bitter has taken on some sweetness from the deep frying.
Next came the prawns with salad sauce. I've had this same dish countless times back in Malaysia, and No Signboard's version is quite good.
The steamed fish was very fresh and perfectly cooked, and had the typical Cantonese steam fish sauce used in most seafood restaurants.
The homemade tofu was another familiar dish done very well here.
Finally came the chili crab. Crab is normally served last as you need to use your hands and it can get quite messy. I have to say this was one tasty crab dish - the sauce had just a hint of sweetness and heat from the chili, and it was thickened with egg white. A great sauce for dipping the accompanying deep fried buns.
Whenever I go to a Chinese seafood restaurant whether in Malaysia or Singapore, I can't help thinking that all the chefs have been to the same cooking school. You get almost similar dishes, and the flavours are also very similar. It would be great if some of them can be more inventive in their cooking - but then customers would probably complain that they are not getting what they expected. You just can't please everyone !