The Goonfather recently discovered this restaurant called Crab Shack when he went to attend a seminar at Bestway Building.
He didn’t eat there; he just checked out the menu and filed the info for future use.
It was a Saturday night when the topic came up.
My friends had been hanging out at my place all day and we were hungry. We had been talking about dinner for an hour but no one wanted to make a decision on a place. We joked about driving to Malacca and KL and Genting. But nothing came out of our discussions.
So, finally, I said, “What about Crab Shack?” (The Goonfather had mentioned it to me a few days earlier.)
Blur faces looked back at me. “What’s that?”
Anyway, the Goonfather managed to browbeat everyone into agreeing to try that place by telling them that the beer costs $4.50 a mug or $18 a jug ($16 happy hour) and you can get 6 crab claws for less than 4 bucks.
After half an hour of dilly-dallying which is so typical of Singaporean groups, we arrived at Crab Shack bright and early (8 pm).
The place was empty, as expected, because it’s in the CBD and nobody goes to the CBD on a Saturday night. And, in fact, we were looking forward to it being empty because we don’t like Saturday night dinner crowds.
But it was a little more empty than I had really expected.
We were the only customers in the whole place the whole night.
And then the menu came and all was forgiven (for the moment).
For a menu featuring crab, everything’s really cheap. Main courses for less than $10 and appetisers for less than $5. (There are, of course, more expensive items as well.)
The menu was pretty big, too. An abundance of choice. Besides crab by itself, there’s crab pizza, crab pasta, crab baked rice and crab sandwiches, among other non-crab things.
We got really hungry just looking at the menu, so we called the waitress over.
“Can we have the Stone Crab Claw…”
“Sorry, we don’t have that. If you want to order any crab dishes, you have to call us one day in advance to order.”
“Why is that?”
“We don’t keep crabs in here.”
“Your restaurant is called Crab Shack, right?”
“But you don’t have crabs in your restaurant.”
“We don’t keep live crabs here. If you want, you have to order one day in advance and we’ll bring the crabs in.”
“So, is there anything we can order today?”
“You can order all the other food that don’t have crab.”
“Tell me the name of your restaurant again?”
“You can order the crab pizza. We have frozen crabs for that.”
“Never mind. Can we have the fried shishamo?”
“We don’t serve shishamo.”
“It’s right here on your menu.”
“This menu is the old one.”
“Can we have the new menu, please?”
“Sorry, it’s not ready yet.”
It took us half an hour to figure out what’s available and what’s not. Virtually half of the menu was unavailable.
But we did get to eat some crab. We made four orders of crab baked rice and three orders of crab spaghetti marinara (featuring frozen crab).
And then, DJD Porko wanted to order coffee.
“Sorry, all the hot drinks are not available.”
“All of them???”
“We don’t have hot water today.”
What a riot.
I swear I thought I had walked into another dimension in another century, where it’s customary for restaurants not to serve what they advertise.
We stuck around, anyway, because we were too lazy to move.
While waiting for our food, the owner himself came out to speak to us.
Lucky thing he did, or we would have written off the restaurant forever.
The story is that he recently took over the premises and is still sorting out the menu and the logistics of everything. And the hot water machine (or something) had just broken down, which is why we couldn’t have hot drinks that night. And they don’t keep crabs in little tanks like other crab restaurants do because they only serve flower crabs, which die very fast, so it’s not feasible to keep them around and wait for customers to order them.
And he is very sorry for everything but business will be back to normal in a week or two.
He should have trained the waitress to explain all this properly, because her clueless responses had annoyed us.
But the owner was nice and apologetic, so we forgave him everything. He even gave us a complimentary dish of baked scallops, which was quite nice.
The rest of the food was mediocre, though, so there won’t be pictures and reviews.
But we like the place because it’s empty, and the beer and finger food are cheap. (You can’t go too far wrong with finger food, in terms of taste.)
And Morte likes the place because live soccer matches are projected on a huge wall for soccer fans.
But we made the owner play something else that night because the rest of us don’t like soccer and we enjoy torturing Morte. Haha.