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Jun 9, 2007 07:58 AM

Black Pepper Crab where oh where

OK so someone just showed me this dish, its her favorite dish and I simply must try it. She had it in Singapore is there anywhere in LA I can try this....... yum makes my mouth water.


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  1. Black Pepper Crab in Singapore? That's probably one of the best things you can eat anywhere in the world. I've had it is few times there at the outdoor food circuses. That's one thing that LA needs, really amazing food courts. Some of the best food I've had in my life is at Singaporean food cirucses and food courts.

    1. its an awesome dish, but ive never seen in the US, not even listed on a menu, sometimes you can find chili crab (its the more popular dish at all the crab restaurants in singapore), but its usually not good. sorry, can't be more helpful, but thats a dish thats going to be very hard to find

      1. Belacan Grill in Redondo Beach/Torrance does a very respectable rendition of black pepper crab, but my fear is that you will be expecting to see the same crab as they use in Singapore/Malaysia. These are monsters with plentiful succulent meat and I believe are available only locally there. While I am very happy with Belacan's version, precisely replicating this dish, as well as the equally if not more popular chilli crab, is not an easy do here for lack of sourcing.

        The photo appears to be one shot while eating at one of the zillions of plastic tables at the hawker centers in Singpapore. Incredible food can be had at so many of these places that are humble in appearance, yet sophisticated in taste. Crab is king when it comes to seafood here. There are places that do nothing but crab. And to sit down around a huge bowl of luscious spicy peppery crab and bread is an experience worth saving your daily Starbucks stippend toward a trip to Singapore. Once you get there, ask the locals where they think the best food is. Their answer will almost always be Malaysia.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bulavinaka

          Just an added thought - I'm hoping fellow CHers chime in about places possibly in SGV that do crab well in a similar fashion... it has to be out here - I just don't know where...

        2. I am afraid you will have to buy a ticket to Singapore...I have had inadequate "approximations" at a number of restaurants...of both black pepper and chilli crab...they did not come close to what you can get on the East Coast Parkway in Singapore...Incredible!!!

          If you must try our California version...Straits Cafe in San Francisco is OK...just OK...I believe Little Malaysia in El Monte had it a long time ago as well (did not try, but my Singaporean friend did not like it) as did Belacan Grill in Redondo Beach (chille crab...OK but an entirely different taste!!). You my want to give these two a try and see how you like them!

          1. Wow I am going to have to go to Singapore now, i'm a foodie and I think I would go there just for the food after reading how this post has started. I'll definitely try out some of these places. Hope the recs keep coming. On another note what kind of crab is this in the picture?


            You all mention it is a large crab would a king crab suffice if I was going to attempt to make this myself? I don't know where I would find a pot large enough for king crab but maybe I can create a rendition on my grill. Although I have no clue what goes into this dish i'm sure there is something on epicurious or somewhere on the net.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Ben7643

              the crab should be a sri lankan crab...the biggest, juicest, meat-iest crab i've ever had...

              and i agree with Lau that the joo chiat road crab is fantastic...but the one at AMK is just as great too...all these places make me not want to pay the high prices (for lesser quality crabs) at the Seafood Centre in ECP...

              the Malaysian resteaurant in El Monte is Penang...ok of the better places (given the lack of choices)...

              I must try the Belacan Grill...thanks for the rec...

              all this crab talk is making me hungry...

              1. re: Ben7643

                The crab in Singapore is reminiscent in size to the Dungeness crab of the Pacific Northwest. It's big, but nowhere near as big as a king crab. Incidentally, the best pepper crab I've had in Singapore was at the Long Beach restaurant on the way toward Changi Airport. That's what the place is famous for, and its reputation is well-earned!

                1. re: bagdoodle

                  Folks, please help us keep this board focused on great chow you CAN find in LA. If you'd like to share tips on great chow in Singapore, please post on the Greater Asia board. If you'd like to discuss great Singaporean dishes, we've moved a digression on that topic to the General Chowhounding Topics board, at