Foodies in Beijing can now sample Singapore's so-called national dish－chilli crabs－at the newly opened Jumbo Seafood Restaurant.
The mud crabs are cooked in a tomato-chilli-egg sauce with spices such as garlic and lemon grass.
Then, wearing a bib with an orange cartoon crab on it, guests can sample the juicy crabs, with tiny steamed or fried buns to mop up the sauce.
The restaurant, at Beijing's landmark shopping mall SKP, is the first Jumbo Seafood outlet in the capital.
The seafood restaurant chain, established in 1987, is a household name in Singapore.
It has three outlets in downtown Shanghai and will open another one in the city at the end of the year.
At the entrance of the Beijing restaurant is a giant fish tank with Alaskan crabs, prawns and fish.
The restaurant, which covers an area of about 600 square meters, offers a refined dining experience.
"You can taste authentic Singapore seafood here. All of our crabs and much of the other seafood are imported from countries such as Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and our spices are from Singapore and Malaysia," says Chan Kian-Wah, the executive chef of Jumbo Seafood (China).
He says that the restaurant chain emphasizes food safety and quality.
Besides the chilli crab, another best-seller is the black pepper crab. The dish has a pungent and fragrant flavor.
Singapore boasts a diverse culinary culture that has been influenced by different ethnic groups that live there. And that is what Jumbo wants to present to gourmets.
Chan says they have five kinds of crabs and 10 ways of cooking them. Each crab typically weighs between 1 and 3 kilograms.
As for choices, guests can even have steamed crabs and crabs with spiced salt. There are also dishes comprising big crab claws.
Other than crabs, guests can also enjoy seafood like king prawns coated with a toasted cereal, with a garnish of sliced chilli and curry leaves.
As for the deep-fried Alaskan cod, its piquant sauce is made from a blend of Southeast Asian spices.
Meanwhile, just like in Western cuisine, the restaurant serves guests with dishes in order, ranging from appetizer to main course. And, on the table is a set of tools to crack open the crabs.
Guests can also savour wines to match the food.
IF YOU GO
L6-D6005, SKP Mall, 87 Jian'guo Road, Chaoyang district, Beijing. 010-6501-3435