Looking for seafood that is cheap, fresh and good? Too bad it’s not in Singapore…
Singaporeans love their seafood. How else would you explain the proliferation of seafood restaurants throughout the country? In fact, Singapore probably has more seafood restaurants per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world.
(Actually, Singapore probably has more anything per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world, due to its small size…)
Seafood in Singapore is generally quite good. The bad thing about seafood in Singapore is the price. Based on current estimates, a 1kg Sri Lankan crab will set you back about $50 to $60. For that amount of money, you can probably get a full seafood dinner at one of our regional neighbours.
Case in point, during our last night in Jakarta, our friends brought us to this seafood restaurant that is walking distance from their home. It was a good thing they called ahead to make reservations, as the place is usually packed every night.
Like any good seafood restaurant, there will be a place where you can pick out the “live” seafood that you want for dinner later.
Picking your dinner is an experience in itself
After you have picked out what you want, the staff will take it to be weighed, and then to the kitchen for preparation. There’s nothing left to do but wait…and eat, of course.
The first dish out of the kitchen was the chilli crab. Most versions of the dish in Singapore are usually too sweet, and not spicy enough (for me at least). The chilli crab at Saung Grenvil came with their own interpretation of the sauce (which they call Padang sauce). It wasn’t the best chilli crab I’ve had, nor the meatiest (the best is still my mum-in-law’s…hint, hint), but the sauce had a kick to it! I was practically drinking the sauce like it was a soup.
The chilli crab seemed to be the house speciality as every table had a dish of chilli crab.
Chilli crab with kick!
Next were the fish dishes…the ikan gurame and ikan bakar. These are the two fish dishes that you MUST have when you are in Indonesia. Ikan bakar is barbecued fish, and is eaten with chilli and a sweet black sauce. Ikan gurame is…well…fish that is sliced, fanned out, and deep-fried. As with everything else in Indonesia, the secret lies in the chilli…
Ikan Gurame…it’s the presentation that counts
Our friends also ordered bamboo clams, which would normally have cost a bomb in Singapore. I’m not a clam person, so I didn’t really fancy this dish…but I did try a bit. And with both green and red chillies, you can imagine the spiciness level on this one.
Bamboo Clams…the chilli is enough to make anyone clam up
It was a good meal…but the best part was, it cost about SG$60.
Ikan Gurame, beheaded
The next time you need cheap and good seafood, it might be best to leave our shores. As they always say, the seafood is cheaper on the other side…
Saung Grenvil is at:
Kompleks Greenville Blok AV 12A
Tel: +62 21 5659517