I do not remember when it was that I last step foot into Fatty Crab. It must had been at least 15 years ago. Fatty Crab is an old restaurant on Jalan SS24/13 in Taman Megah, PJ. It probably started in the late 80s or early 90s.
I remember it as a very popular crab restaurant, where there were long lines of queuing crowds waiting for tables. After nearly 15 years, the same queue greeted us when we went there for dinner one Saturday evening. We waited about 15 mins for a table. I guess we were lucky as we were only a threesome and a small table happened to be available.
The place appeared not to have change one bit. The same set up, same decor, same crowd, same tables and chairs and most of all, the same menu.
Actually they do not have a menu. They serve a very limited selection and had been like this since the 80s or 90s. They have 2 types of crabs (chili or steamed), one type of fish (steamed red snapper Teochew style), one type of prawn (steamed), fried rice, fried chicken wings, satay and toast. That is all. They don't have any thing else. No vege, no noodle, no nothing.
We started our meal with some chicken wings. They had a distinct curry powder flavor. Not too bad. Quite ordinary and, believe it or not, they were actually the dish that I enjoyed most that evening. The rest to come were big disappointments.
After the chicken wings and while waiting for our other dishes to arrive, I ordered some satays. They were pieces of soggy meats on sticks. The sauce was dilute and tasteless. Boo... Nonsense.
The chili crab was a big let down. The biggest flaw was that the crab was not even fresh. The flesh was not firm and was soft and powdery. When eating crabs, freshness is primary. For a establishment serving almost exclusively crabs, it was totally not acceptable. We were there for crabs. Real good solid crabs. Not some semi fresh crustaceans that had seen better days. I really did not enjoy it at all.
I enjoyed dipping toasted breads into the sauce more. But we were not there for the toasts!
The fried rice was another disappointment. I used to like the fried rice there. I remember there were lots of crispy fried ikan bilis in the rice. I did not find a single fish that night. The rice was rather soggy and tasteless.
Our last dish was the steamed prawn. I wasn't even sure if the prawns were fresh. The meat was firm and not fishy. But they lacked the sweetness of fresh prawns. I found the whole dish rather bland. It was a dish to be eaten, not enjoyed.
The whole dining experience was a big disappointment that evening. I simply could not understand why so many people actually queue to eat there. For me, I think I know why I did not return there for the past 15 years. I would not be surprised if it is another 15 before I next step foot into Fatty Crab again.