The last stop on my Singaporean express to the diabetes funhouse was a late dinner with a few college pals at Sin Huat, an open-air restaurant on Geylang Road that’s become renowned for its crab dishes and a bit notorious for its supposedly intense chef-owner (intense in the way of the Soup Nazi stereotype).
I experienced a bit of that as I had arrived about 45 minutes early and was standing near the kitchen watching two chefs in grease-streaked tank tops make crab bee hoon from scratch. But after standing there for a few minutes, I caught the eye of one of the chefs, who yelled at me to leave.
Fair enough. The lady out front had been pretty nice, and most restaurants don’t let you stand in the kitchen and watch the chefs cook anyway, so I didn’t feel particularly insulted or anything.
I meandered across the street to a neighboring supermarket to pick up some kaya jam and mi goreng, and when I returned my friends were nearby. When we all sat down, the chef came by to take our order: stir-fried gailan and one order of crab bee hoon.
The gailan arrived first, a bit of leafy crunch stir-fried with garlic and topped with savory fried shallots for us to nibble on while we waited anxiously for the crab.
Boy, was that crab worth it. If you’re there while the restaurant is busy, you can see the tables you’ve arrived before you – some families, some groups of friends or coworkers, gatherings large and small, hunched over a platter or several of these red-shelled beauties, snapping and slurping and picking away. But when your own crab arrives at your own table, plopped atop a steaming bed of hot vermicelli noodles deeply infused with stock and ginger and scallion flavor, it is something else altogether to behold.
I don’t have much to show for as far as aftermath photos, but let’s just say that we were plenty happy with our choice. The noodles were some of the most amazingly and richly flavored I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, and breaking down the crab was not so bad either. A bit difficult at times because of how thick and sturdy the shell is, but incredibly worth it for all the succulent, sweet goodness on the inside.
ieatishootipost has the interesting backstory on Sin Huat’s chef-owner, Danny. The rest you can catch on Anthony Bourdain’s Singapore episode.
Sin Huat Seafood Restaurant
659/661 Geylang Road
Junction of Geylang Lor 35