Mellben Seafood: Chill Crab!

Mellben Seafood needs no further introduction in the local scene. Renowned for their claypot crab bee hoon, many food lovers have braved rain and storm to queue up in its heartlands outlet, all just for their crabs. The first Mellben Seafood has been around at Ang Mo Kio for several years now, and it’s until last year where they open this one at Toa Payoh, and i recently also heard that they have a third branch at Pasir Ris.

Media reports, celebrity endorsements, enough said!

Prawn paste chicken ($10)

The prawn paste chicken or “har cheong kai” is always a dish on our list to order when my family had zi-char. Personally i’ll prefer sweet sour pork to this anytime, but my brother is a fan of chicken. The chicken came pipping hot and the fermented puréed shrimp taste was very evident in the crispy skin. But at $10, the price is slightly higher, as most zi-char stalls offer this dish at $8.

Fried sambal Kangkong ($10)

We also seem to have the habit of ordering sambal kangkong. Mellben’s rendition was truly hot and spicy. Again at $10 for a vegetable dish, it was priced higher than the usual $6-8 repertoire.

Chili Crab ($41.80)

While patrons to Mellben always order their signature claypot crab bee hoon, we decided to buck the trend and had the chili crab ($38 per kg) instead. Our decision was vindicated, the chili crab proved itself no less than the more popular claypot crab bee hoon counterpart. The thick chili gravy was spicy and slightly sweet, and i particularly enjoyed the eggy taste.

My family’s always has a soft spot for crabs, not me though, i’m too lazy to eat crab. But when i do eat crab, i always take the big pincher, because they are by far the easiest to eat and with the most meat. One bite settles everything, all the fleshy meat into my stomach!

i’m a sucker for those fried mantou that always come together with the chili crab. Some people will like to drench the whole bun into the chili gravy, but for me i always like to poke a hole in the middle of the bun. After which i’ll put some thick spicy eggy gravy into the middle and let it flow inside. And after the first wonderful bite, i’ll then dipped the remaining bun to get the maximum soak of chili gravy. Heavenly!

Total Bill was $71.50 for 4 people. This is actually quite reasonable for 4 people, but if you examine closely, the price range of the food at Mellben is substaintially higher than the normal zi-char store. This is partly due to the popularity of Mellben, and they are able to commend a slight premium over the rest. The chili crab was excellent, and we will be looking to try the rest of the crab-mates next time.

One thing to note about Mellben though, the two branch at Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh are both not within walking distance from the MRT station, which means to say you will need to take a feeder bus in from the interchange which can be quite a chore. Nevertheless, they are selling out the crabs every night, this tells you something about them!

Mellben Seafood
Block 211 Lor 8 Toa Payoh #01-11
Tel: 6353 3120


The best among the 3 would be the brother’s original coffeeshop at blk 232. But currently it’s undergoing renovation.

Should try that when u have the chance =D

I had the claypot crab bee hoon and butter crabs. I totally love them! And friends told me standard had dropped, and I was like OMG, you mean it was even better?!

However, I find the sambal kangkong too spicy, and too wilted. The rest of the dishes are ok only.

darkness: yeah i know the so call “original” one is at AMK, the toa payoh one is his brother, the pasir ris one is his sister.

didally: lol! same sentiments, we find it good but it was better last time. haha! yeah sambal kangkong a tad too spicy for me, the others are okay but still priced above average.

im not veri sure whether there’s ani at pasir ris but the toa payoh one is actually the sister’s. the amk blk 232(original) is the elder brother and amk blk 233 is the younger brother. the younger bro is my dad’s fren =D

ya, tat’s wat i heard to. alot say it use to be better. but it’s still not bad now

wah! melben seafood has so many branches now! and they have so many siblings! haha!

although i live opposite 232, i only tried it a few times cuz the queue is so super long sometimes!

and to me, i felt the elder brother (blk 232) crabs and younger brother crabs (blk 233) got no difference. though i agree that their standard drops.

try their claypot crab bee hoon and butter crab next time. its their most popular dishes! u will drool…LOL

yep.. just checked.. there’s one at pasir ris, it’s the younger brother’s… u can visit the newly renovated 232 branch.. i went there today for their opening.. veri veri nice i must say…

darkness: oh really ah? then i mixed it up liao, because i heard from others that the sister one is at pasir ris. lol! confusing man. hmm, used to be better, but i still find it quite good, although prices are rather on the high side for zi char.

haha, how you check one? the amk is open already? must have a large crowd for opening day? haha

Jaime: lol! yeah good business then keep on expanding ma. thats so irony, you live opp but never try, the rest live so far away travel all the way there just to try. Singaporeans. haha

wow .. the food looks really good. but i think melben is more famous for their crab beehoon. i tried their chillie crabs quite a while back and i still prefer red house’s version.

hi there! I just went there for dinner a few hours ago and finally knowing which stall/shop were you talking about the other day. I find the food’s alright only. Not really worth the high price. But I really like the crab (I ordered the claypot bee hoon crab) and was shocked when I saw such a big crab!

trixy: HAHA! now then you know! how come suddenly went to mellban for dinner? yeah prices are steeper than normal zi-char stalls, which i probably won’t go back, i prefer NoSignBoard. heh

tried house of seafood after much convincing by my colleague. but was a total disappointment. the black pepper crab was swarmed by too much gravy (yeah, quite weird as the ones i’ve tried are usually served dry)

perhaps we should start a poll on the best chilli crab/ the best crab dishes in sg…

Mellben first shop is at pasir ris 440. Followed by amk(eldest bro) and tpy(sister) and uncle leong seafood(2nd bro). Now there’s a new branch at east coast parkway. The youngest brother is the founder of Mellben and not the amk eldest bro. All the recipe come from the youngest bro Melvin. Should go and try their new dish laksa crab bee hoon. Only available at ECP and pasir branch.

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