March 19, 2018
Of all the best places to eat in Singapore, JB Ah Meng is among the top players in zi char cuisine – the unpretentious hawker-stand type of home cooking, typically prepared using very high heat in an iron wok.
Today, I am teaming up with my Singapore foodie buddies Nik and Vanessa and pay them a visit. Below is my review of our dinner experience tonight JB Ah Meng from start to finish.
The JB Ah Meng Story
The moment you walk into JB Ah Meng, you can’t help but notice the huge posters on the walls. The posters proudly highlight the visits by World renowned Michelin 3-starred chef, Ferran Adria. Other well-known celebrities who have dined there include Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain.
JB Ah Meng in Singapore used to be a hawker-stand, which is like a Hong Kong dai pai dong style operation. Their current location is air-conditioned and is a lot more comfortable. However, the street food experience and atmosphere are somewhat lost. Either way, most foodies comment that there is no difference in the quality of the food.
White Pepper Crab
The food is almost literally out of this World. One of their best-known specialties is the white pepper crab, which is very good. I highly recommend this! This is somewhat more robust and peppery than the more famous and popular chili crab that you’ll find in most places in Singapore. It’s good to check out another dimension!
Remember that when you make your reservation for your table, you need to reserve your crabs at the same time as they do sell out early sometimes.
JB Ah Meng’s Other Specialties
Besides their famous white pepper crabs, we are also ordering several of the restaurant’s specialties.
Lala are Southeast Asia clams packed with rich seafood flavors and a mild sweetness. They are rarely, if ever, found outside of Asia so enjoy them while you are here. Wok fried in a black bean and red-hot chili pepper sauce; this is one memorable dish that you will love to take home with you.
Salted egg is a trendy thing these days! The prawns are dipped in a salted egg batter and deep fried to a bold dimension. The salt egg really does enhance the flavors of the fresh prawns, so it is indeed good stuff rather than just a trendy addition.
This is the tail portion of a very large fish (which is so large that these fish are often cut up and sold to several tables at a time). It is steamed just right, when the flesh of the fish is still moist and just begins to separate from the bone. A rich and slightly sweet soy sauce-based fish sauce makes the fish a much-welcomed companion of a bowl of rice.
Mee hoon a thin type of rice vermicelli, which can be served in soup or fried just like fried noodles or chow mein. It has plenty of wok hei, or what Americans like to call “fragrance of the wok”. The picture shown here may not look appetizing but let me assure you that this is really good.
One bit of a disappointment is that they do not serve alcohol. As of this writing, they do not have their liquor license yet, so I can’t have a strong pilsner beer or a dry Sauvignon Blanc to accompany the delicious seafood.
Nevertheless, the food at JB Ah Meng in Singapore is so good that it shines without the need of alcohol. This tells you how good they are, and why they are considered a foodie’s heaven in Singapore.