Peppercrab at the Grand Hyatt Dubai is an accurate representation of Singaporean cuisine. The infamous locale of Singapore is an amalgamation of its residents ranging from Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and European, and it's cuisine is an extension of that. This restaurant with it's welcoming facade and warm ambiance was a complete surprise, although it's reputation preceded it from many previous visitors. I had the pleasure of enjoying this scrumptious meal with a couple of friends and we did some serious damage at the table. I wasn't able to photograph each item, simply because the aroma had enticed us to indulge before I could grab my camera to capture the moment.
For starters, one of the most addictive dishes in pan-asian cuisine is the Fried Calamari with Salt and Pepper. No matter which restaurant I go to, if I see this item on the menu, it MUST be ordered. Everyone has there own take on it, but the key ingredients are chillies and deliciously fried calamari! Peppercrab did justice to this favorite fried treat of mine.
The assorted satay with achar peanut sauce lontong was another common item seen on many Malaysian/Thai/Indonesian menus, but the Singaporean way took the best of all three worlds and combined them into this tasty treat. The satay was a variety of beef, lamb and chicken, cooked to a juicy perfection. The "acahr peanut" sauce was a tangy take on the Thai peanut sauce I had grown accustomed to. They also served it with this lontong-is a dish made of compressed rice cake in the form of a cylinder wrapped inside a banana leaf, commonly found in Malaysia. The texture worked, although it lacked in flavor, a little more seasoning cooked have served that component well.
Next up were the Singaporean Roasted Duck Pancakes with cucumber, Spring Onions, and Hoi Sin Sauce. Also commonly enjoyed in many Chinese restaurants, and this one stayed true to it's origins. The pancakes were slightly more dry than usual, but the roasted duck was full of flavor as was it's crispy skin, that added that special touch when nestled into the layers of this great little "wrap".
The moment I have been waiting for, the star of the show finally arrived, the delicious Singaporean Peppercrab! The variety of crab itself is known as a Mud Crab smothered in black pepper, fragrant chili, and chili sauce......WOW! Getting down and dirty and enjoying this delicacy, to its fullest we rolled up our sleeves and tied on our bibs without any cares in the world. Licking fingers and slurping up the succulent crab meat was completely acceptable in this elegant restaurant, but to be honest, there really is no other way.....The sweetness of the mud crab meat, paired with this aromatic and flavorful sauce was exactly what I had imagined it would be, foodie bliss.
A couple of the other flavorful dishes we enjoyed were the Wok fried Singaporean Stir Fried Noodles, Soft Shell Crab, Spicy Prawn Curry, with fried Singaporean buns. The only bit I was able to capture here were the fried Singaporean buns. The Noodles were just the right balance between a curry and noodle dish. With the strong essence of spices tossed with the egg fried noodles, and juliened vegetables, there was no stopping once this dish hit the table. The Softshell crab was another decedent dish, covered in threads of wok fried butter, it felt like an artery clogger, but also put a BIG smile on my face.
These little beauties below, were just the icing on the cake. often found in Chinese dum sum, asian style buns are commonly steamed. These little morsels were a take on the traditional Chinese buns with a twist. The base was similar, but they were actually deep fried for a unique flavor, texture, and richness. It was paired with the spicy prawn curry as a vehicle to enjoy the sauce, however, they are rich enough to just enjoy on their own.
Pictured below is Peppercrab's version of Air Batu Campur or Ais Kacang, a sweet Malaysian dessert consisting of shaved ice with palm seeds, red beans, sweet corn, black jelly, and sugar syrup. For my Singaporean friend, this was a treat, for me, I would say this is more of an acquired taste. Many different layers of flavors and textures, and with the distinct red bean taste standing out, I understand why people from Malaysia to Singapore enjoy it so much.
Although this was my first time at Peppercrab, the sights, sounds, smells and tastes were all strangely familiar to me. From beginning to end they delivered on every course. Some dishes more exotic than others, I felt a comfort level with the food and could easily enjoy it on a regular basis, that is if my waistline will allow it!
For more information please click on the link below, you are in for a treat!
Peppercrab at Grand Hyatt Dubai