Rasa Sayang Singapore Chilli Crab
I have recently discovered that the Singaporean untold national dish is served here in London : time for a review of the Singapore Chilli Crab at Rasa Sayang.
Rasa Sayang is one this place you wish you had discovered sooner. A small joint providing good value for money. Do not expect anything fancy, the tables are modest, the service is efficient, the main distraction here is the good food.
Most of you probably know that it is hard to find a good Malaysian / singaporean restaurant in London and even more difficult to find a restaurant which serves Singapore Chilli crab.
Rasa Sayang is a restaurant specialised in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine. It is located in Chinatown, Macclesfield Street, and it is advertised as the only halal restaurant of Chinatown (which makes sense considering that the principal religion in Malaysia is Islam).
Rasa Sayang is not the type of fancy restaurant where you would go and sit for two hours with your partner. It is a small restaurant dedicated to provide good food at a very competitive price.
Rasa Sayang serves a wide variety of classic Indonesian and Malaysian dishes such as Nasi Lemak, Nasi Goreng, Beef Rendang, with a price point around £7 – £10. They also have very competitive menus starting at £14.90 for a 3 course meal.
One of the good point about Rasa Sayang is that their is a lot of “Locals” customers (Meaning Asian and Malaysians) eating there; Probably missing the taste of home cuisine, which is always a good sign in a foreign restaurant.
The Singapore Chilli Crab
The Singapore Chilli crab is potentially the most popular crab dish in Singapore. It is a must eat while travelling to the Lion city .
Back in the 1950s, the Chilli crab has been invented by Cher Yam Tian when she added Chilli sauce to her usual recipe of tomato sauce stir fried crabs. A Few years later in 1956, Yam Tiam and her husband started to sell their Chilli Crabs from a pushcart along the Kallang River. The dish became so popular that they opened a restaurant in 1962 called Palm Beach. The rest is history…
The recipe of this dish consist of deep fried crabs, served in a chilli-tomato sauce base. Multiple variations of the recipe can be found depending on the restaurant and the chef.
The chilli crab is not known for being a cheap meal at all in Singapore; However the Singapore Chilli Crab at Rasa Sayang is priced at £15.90 which is really good value for money.
As mentioned in the presentation of the Restaurant, Rasa Sayang is a small place with a quick table turnover. The dining room is small, often packed and they have a lot of customers coming. They expect you to eat, enjoy your food and leave. I have eaten at Rasa Sayang both at lunch and dinner, and the experience was the same, and both time the service was friendly and efficient.
Despite the name, the chilli crab at Rasa Sayang is not particularly hot (i have a to admit i have a pretty good tolerance to hot food so my review might be biased).
In order to fulfill your mission you will be provided with several tools including a nut cracker, a lobster pick and not enough tissues.
The Singapore Chilli Crab that day was delightful, perfectly cooked, well seasoned and served at a good temperature.
Each chefs have their own variations of the Chilli Crab sauce. The sauce is usually made of several ingredients always including chillies, tomato and eggs. The one at Rasa Sayang is absolutely delicious, creamy, flavourful, spicy but not too much (I can attest that you will end up licking your finger, #NoMannersNoShame).
The crab portion is really generous especially for £15.90. I would recommend you to start with the head first, the meat in the head (also called tomalley or Crab butter) is marvellous, buttery, full of taste,… it is my favorite part of the crab. Just mix it in the sauce and you’re in for a real treat.
The pincers are full of delicious tender crab meat . You will end up fighting with the tools provided in order to extract every last bite.
From my perspective, due to the size of the portion this dish alone is sufficient to have a great lunch or dinner. Prepare to get your hands and shirt dirty. Unless you are a real pro Crab-eater, expect to be occupied for a moment while fighting with this little beast.
I would recommend you to avoid wearing fancy clothes in order to fully enjoy the experience.
If you are not familiar with this dish, the Singapore Chilli Crab at Rasa Sayang is A must try in London !
No hype here, a humble restaurant providing a great experience for a very competitive price.
My only recommendation, avoid this dish for a first date (unless you really want to challenge your partner).
Taste : 5/5
Price for value : 5/5
The Restaurant : 3/5
5 Macclesfield Street London, W1D 6AY
Tel: 020 7734 1382
Opening Hours (7/7) :
- Monday to Thursday : 12:00 – 23:00
- Friday – Saturday: 12:00 – 24:00
- Sunday : 11:30 – 21:30