Monday, April 14, 2014

Crazy Crabs

I had mentioned in a previous posting that I would be featuring more makan places in the Oasis Square in Ara Damansara. This is yet another one. The Crazy Crabs is apparently owned by the same proprietors as the nearby Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock. We were eating in Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock one day when a service guy told us not to miss Crazy Crabs. And so we went.

Crazy Crabs occupies a prime spot in the central court of the Oasis Square. It is a big restaurant, with tables spilling into the walkway.

And they have a dining area up the stairs on the upper floor of the building.

We decided to dine alfresco and picked a table with a view like this.

The menu was simple, with not a whole lot of selections. What you see in my picture below were all they had to offer. Surprisingly, in spite of this name, they only offered 4 different dishes of crab - salt baked, butter milk, steamed and kam heong (金香 - a Chinese spicy concoction). The other options in the menu were very common and ordinary, and nothing interesting to look forward to.

Like a lot of seafood restaurant, the aquarium display was obligatory.

We made our choice in a jiffy. There was not much to choose from anyway. With such an elaborate set up and in such a prime location, I would had thought they would be more imaginative in their menu.

We started with the siong tong lala (上汤拉拉 - lala in superior soup). The clams were of good size. They were fresh and the soup tasted very delicious. Eating lala anywhere is really quite a waste of time. The shells occupied 90% of the dish and the morsels were hardly anything. I guess we enjoyed the soup more.

The seafood koay teow (Cantonese style) was very good. There was ample pieces of shrimps, squids and fish. The gravy was thick and tasty. I enjoyed this noodle. If I return, this would be the top of my list.

This was the 四大天王 -  a mixture of 4 vegetables fried in chilli and dried shrimps. In the plate were long beans, okra, brinjal and petai. It was not bad. Not too spicy and the fragrance of the dried shrimps was distinct.

We ordered the satay after we saw it delivered to a nearby table. It looked so good - big and juicy. But only the looks. The taste turned out disappointing. The satay tasted very curried and did not have the roast flavour. It was not authentic. The meat tasted like it was marinated with curry powder. The sauce likewise was not authentic. It lacked the peanut flavour. To me, this was a satay fail.

The finale was, but of course, the crab. We picked steamed for the original crab flavour. It was 2 huge crabs of about 600 gms each. The crab was super fresh. The flesh was sweet and firm. We took our time to relish the dish with our fingers. They provided a plate of chilli sauce. There really was no need for it. The crab tasted good by itself.

This restaurant has a nice lavish set up in a very well appointed location. But it did not have the food offerings to build up a reputation. I don't mean that the food was bad. In fact it was credible and worth a revisit. But the menu was so mundane and unexciting. They could certainly be more innovative. And where were the crab dishes?

Yet the crowd packed in. By nightfall, the place was almost full. Perhaps they enjoyed the ambiance more.

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