Many years ago, along with my cousins, I braved outrageous queues and merciless heat at the original Mellben in Ang Mo Kio. It was worth it! Ahh, how I longed to savour the crabs once again, but there is no way I can achieve that with Hubby who will not queue for any food for more than 30 minutes. Plus, Ang Mo Kio and the other branch at Toa Payoh are way too far for us.
Thanks to Groupon, I discovered that another outlet has opened at Tanjong Pagar and reservations are accepted. I dialed immediately (and of course, bought the Groupon voucher).
Located next to Bestway Building, Melben Seafood is less than a 10 minute walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT. Beside the open-air coffee shop styled seating area (both indoor and outdoor available), are ample car parks. Contrary to many negative reviews with regards to the service, the young girl who served us was very pleasant and patient.
Mellben is famous for their crabs, in particular, Claypot Crab Been Hoon Soup ($55/ 1kg). As the portion of the soup and bee hoon is quite small for 4 of us, we topped up $5 for an additional bowl of soup and $3 for bee hoon. I peeled opened the shell with anticipation and was rewarded with chucks of succulent flesh. Each bite was pure bliss as the meat has absorbed the milky broth. However, the broth was not as robust as I’d have liked, but this was easily fixed with a little chilli padi and soy sauce.
This piping hot bowl of springy bee hoon brought us immense comfort.
Finger-licking good is the Butter Crab ($55/kg), drenched in an enticing creamy sauce, which was not at all cloying. Be quick to finish it, because it’s not as good once cooled down. The crustacean was well-cooked, with meat separating easily from the shell. Fried man tous were the perfect companion to this indulgent dish.
Behold! A massive crab claw. Drooling yet?
Who can ever say no to Salted Egg York Pork Ribs ($15)? Each piece of tender meat is generously coated with Salted Egg Yolk and so well marinated that I could taste the flavor right in the middle
Pea shoots with Garlic($8) and the classic Garlic Bean Curd Combo with fresh seafood ($15) were both satisfactory and I can see them pleasing most palates.
We were quite disappointed with the Chye Poh Egg ($8) because the preserved radish came in thin shreds, hence lacked bite and burst of saltiness unlike diced chye poh.
Mellben Signature Tanjong Pagar
12 Prince Edward Road