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Last Saturday, I had a novelty experience at Crab in da Bag, a “Southern Louisiana and Asian influenced seafood restaurant concept located at Big Splash, East Coast”, according to the restaurant’s website.
What used to be a KFC outlet, this place has now transformed into a nautical-theme Louisiana-styled seafood restaurant. The interiors are decked out to resemble a ship. There is even a giant ship’s wheel right at the entrance of the restaurant! To the uninitiated, this kind of decor might appear rather kitschy but is actually rather typical of casual family restaurants in The Big Easy.
It was a Saturday night and the place was packed. We got to the door and were told the average waiting time for a table was about an hour or so. Undeterred, we decided to leave our names and wait for a table. I counted (at least) another six parties in the queue who were hanging around waiting for a table. We were seated in 45 minutes and I was impressed. The staff were friendly despite how busy they were. We had to wait to get service.
While waiting for our order to be taken, we browsed the menu and decided that since we were a party of five, the best item on the menu for us to share and yet sample a large variety of seafood was the Caboodle Boil, a seafood boil comprising one medium-sized lobster, two Sri Lankan crabs, King crab legs, yabbies (crawfish), prawns, clams, squid, chicken bratwurst sausages, corn on the cob, potatoes and onions boiled in the restaurant’s signature “blend of Louisiana herbs and spices”.
This dish is served in a giant pot where the contents are then poured onto the table (laid with waxed paper) and communal dining is part of the experience. Each patron is also provided a plastic bib, so that helps with preventing any mess, spills or splatters. And trust me, it gets messy. Every time the restaurant serves a Caboodle Boil, the bell is rung and all the staff shout, ‘Ahoy! Welcome aboard!’ Watch my video below for more!
The Caboodle Boil is served with three types of sauces: garlic butter, Thai chilli sauce and sambal belachan, the latter two being quite localised tastes. I would’ve preferred if they just served us light soya sauce, but that’s me.
That night, we also ordered a serving of Crispy Chewy Bay Squids but I didn’t get a photo of that dish – clearly, my hands were busy with all the seafood from the Caboodle Boil.
The seafood was delicious and tasted of the ocean: sweet and slightly salty. We were really lucky too because both our crabs had roe, it was almost like cracking open a christmas present at the table, I was thrilled. Even the crab roe was cooked so well, it tasted creamy and bittersweet, not overly bitter or fishy. I was in seafood heaven.
The dining experience is definitely interesting and I would recommend trying this place out just because the Caboodle Boil is such a novelty. I did find that while some of the seafood items in the boil were fresh, other items that are harder to get in Singapore, such as the yammies, weren’t quite as fresh. It would’ve been nicer if they had included new baby potatoes instead of the medium-sized ones which were just a tad too much to me. And personally, light soya sauce might’ve been a better alternative to the heavy taste sambal belachan, but that’s just me.
No matter, I was happily stuffed at the end of the meal. The seafood was good, service was warm, and now I’ll have to lay off seafood for a while. Just check out how much I ate that night!
If you are planning on going down, it is recommended that you call for reservations especially if waiting proves to be a challenge for you.
Crab in the Bag is located at 902 East Coast Parkway, Big Splash Block D #01-25, Singapore 449874. Tel: 6440 0083. You can also check out their online menu here.
Thanks for reading!