It's interesting to observe the trend of traditionally hawker local favourites being reinvented, then sold in air-conditioned, English-speaking restaurants, what more at a higher price. Such is what's happening with Momma Kong's Crab Shack, where a 650g crab retails at a hefty sum of S$48++.
Founded by the Kong brothers and their cousin, Momma Kong's was born with the idea of recreating amazing home-cooked dishes so that they can be shared across generations. Thus really interesting homely items like Belachan Ikan Bilis and Salted Fish Bean Sprouts can be found on their menu.
As a crab shack, Momma Kong's focus still lies on crab-based dishes. From the usual flavoured crabs to crab bee hoon, crab fried rice, and crab porridge, it's the ultimate haven for crab lovers. Besides what's offered on the regular menu, Momma Kong's features a monthly special for their crabs. You can expect really innovative flavours like White Pepper and Peranakan.
Unlike the usual seafood and crab restaurants, Momma Kong's doesn't have a range of different crabs (ie. Sri Lankan crab, etc.) to choose from. Since comparisons can't be made between crabs, the spotlight falls to the sauces they are served with/in. Having tried almost all the flavours they have, it's very safe to say that Momma Kong's dishes up some really mean crabs. The White and Black Pepper crabs are amazing, and so is the Crab Bee Hoon. But if I'd have to endorse one, it would be the Red Chili Crab hands down.
Red Chili Crab (S$42++), deshelled above at an extra S$10++
A phenomenal sauce that nailed the balance between sweet and spicy. Every bite is a burst of flavours that'll leave you tearing halfway through, yet begging for more. What's really special about Momma Kong's sauce is that it's less starchy and gelatinous than most. That makes it packed with real ingredients and undiluted flavours. I'm not usually a fan of chili crab because of how starchy it gets, but Momma Kong's made me a convert.
Another bonus of Momma Kong's is the deshelling service they provide. For those who come with perfectly manicured hands, or just don't want to look like an utter barbarian when impeccably dressed, this is the perfect way to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Fried Mantou, Set of Two (S$3++)
3 photos, cause that's how good they were. Super crispy, slightly oily - in a very sinfully good way - on the outside; delicate, soft, fluffy and sweet on the inside. This is what brings us back every single time. Not the crabs, but these mantous that soak up the sauces so well. I'd go as far to say that they are the best fried mantous in Singapore. Trust me when I say these are more than worth the calories.
With that many seafood and crab restaurants in Singapore, it takes a lot to be able to justify a price tag that big. While delicious, Momma Kong's crabs simply aren't revoluntionary enough to warrant the price - at least all but one. Expensive it may be, but any crab lover should try out Momma Kong for their Red Chili Crabs and Fried Mantous. They are worth it.
Momma Kong's Crab Shack
34 Mosque Street
Opens daily from 5pm-11pm