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Dubai: Singaporean chili crab at Chimes

by Sanne
Singaporean Chilli Crab, Chimes, Dubai

// I was invited to try the chili crab at Chimes and I didn’t pay for the food //

When I was a child, my parents had a holiday home close to the sea at the Danish west coast, so this was where we spent most of our vacations. In the weekends, we would go to the fishmonger and buy crab claws. Then we spent hours picking out crabmeat from the claws, until we finally had enough to top a slice of white bread.

In Denmark we only eat the claws and the rest of the crab is thrown away. The claws are boiled in salt water with dill. It’s simple to make and tastes heavenly, so I have never considered experimenting with other means of preparation.

With that delicate, salty-sweet, freshly cooked crab from the North Sea in mind, I found it hard to imagine, how you could add a bunch of garlic and chili sauce without destroying the subtle flavor. I was therefore both excited and a bit skeptical, when I was invited to try Singaporean Chili Crab last week at Chime’s crab fest.

Chimes is a cozy restaurant in Seven Sands Hotel Apartments, Al Barsha, only a short walk from Sharaf DG metro station. The restaurant serves a variety of Asian dishes with a focus on Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, and throughout October, they celebrated their annual crab fest, giving diners the opportunity to try a variety of Asian crab dishes at particularly low prices.

The crab used for the chili crab dish at Chimes is a so-called mud crab, which is widely used in the Singaporean cuisine. The crab I had was huge and covered in a rich and delicious chili/tomato sauce with plenty of garlic. The meat was white and firm with a slightly sweet taste that was perfectly accentuated by the spicy sauce.

The crab shell had suffered some strategically located blows upon serving, so most of the meat was easily accessible. I was offered a bib from one of the sweet staff members, but to me, part of the pleasure of eating crabs comes from getting all greasy and sticky-fingered, so I refused and insisted on getting my shirt stained with crab broth:)

I wish I had come with a bigger appetite, but already after one claw and some bites of the body, I was full. Though, I couldn’t bear the thought of letting all that delicious chili crab go to waste, so I asked for a doggie bag, so I could take home the leftovers for Poul to finish.

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