Adventure is the spice of life, and I have stumbled across an exceptional adventure that will not only have you returning back for more, but will also have you eager to share it with friends and family.
The Grand Hyatt Dubai which towers over the sparkling waters of the Dubai creek has nestled in its downstairs tropical garden hide out a stunning example of a real life dinning adventure that you don’t have to go far to enjoy.
The Peppercrab restaurant at the hotel offers you the chance to sample and enjoy some of the finest Singaporean seafood delights that is on offer in Dubai.
The journey to this restaurant starts as you wind your way around the tranquil gardens with its tall tress, quaint timber bridges and trickling soft water. The fine work and craftsman ship that has gone into building this whole environment has been transformed into ever nook and cranny of this hotel. Each restaurant has been designed in such a way that it is hard to tell when u have left the gardens and entered the restaurant. Peppercrab is aptly named after the speciality of the house and I think is a rather catchy way to entice you into trying this mouth-watering treat.
The Singaporean style of eating is one not unlike many found in this region where food is best ordered to be shared among those sitting at the table. And with this in mind, all the tables at Peppercrab are designed round which allows for the best sharing atmosphere.
The colours inside the restaurant offer a warm cozy and relaxed feel with its burnt oranges, bones and dark marble tables. The chairs although offering very similar colours each have a different pattern in the fabric design. The entire setting gives you the feeling that you have entered an uncluttered, simple but very stylish dinning environment.
The walls have many interesting examples of modern brightly coloured artwork that complete this setting.
The restaurant has large windows that offer full floor to ceiling views of the outdoor garden setting on two sides of the restaurant. And with them being so large, it does not matter where you sit, you will see beautiful green gardens without having to endure the heat to do so.
The staff at Peppercrab are some of the most friendly and welcoming people I’ve encountered who treat this environment not just as a work place but an extension of who they are.
There are many different dinning areas in Peppercrab ranging from a large family or group room to two other separate rooms that can be used for smaller groups or those who just want to get away from it all.
The rest of the restaurant is split into two large areas, one with a superb view of the kitchen and all the activities that go on in this area, and the other slightly smaller area offers you a more quiet setting.
As you enter and walk past the kitchen you cannot help but notice the large fish tanks that line the front of the bench and hold the fresh crabs, lobsters and fish. I must say I was not the only one to be fascinated watching these amazingly large creatures. These crabs were defiantly bigger than any I had found at the fish market of late.
The menu is rather extensive and gives you a wonderful sample of these seafood delights.
Now I must say that if you are a true seafood lover than this is the place for you. Order yourself a serve of the pepper crab and be set to indulge in a taste sensation.
But before I tell you about the mouth-watering crab let me give you a taste of some of the other items we indulged in. If you want to try something a little different than you must have the crispy fried baby squids for appetisers. These taste sensations were served in a crispy fried potato basket that was also rather tasty to eat. The squid was, as the name suggests, “crispy” and had a rather sweet caramelized flavour with just a hint of black pepper to add a little bite.
For lovers of spring rolls and wantons, I must say these must definitely be the “fullest” in size and flavour I have tasted. Served with a sweet and sour dip, they were cooked to perfection and tasted wonderful.
And now back to the main course where you have to try the restaurant’s delicacy. To enable you to have as much or a little as you feel your table requires, the crabs are served according to their weight.
After selecting your crab the helpful staff will then fit you with a bib style apron that is there to protect your clothing as you delve into this tempting dish with all your might. This is not just a meal; this is an adventure that needs to be tackled head on with all your enthusiasm and the bib gives you that freedom.
The staff encourages you to dive in headfirst so to speak and not worry about the mess. The mess can be cleaned up but the pleasure of what you enjoyed will remain a long time.
I almost felt like I needed a bath not a finger bowl after my meal, but the staff were there to offer extra finger bowls and also ensured me that this was a sign that we had really enjoyed our meal.
The live mud crab is stir-fried with salt and black pepper, chilli, sambal nonya style, milk sauce and steamed. The end result is a taste sensation.
These crabs are full of juicy tender meat that has a sweet yet mildly spicy flavour thanks to the black pepper. The sauce that has been created for this dish is also a wonderful accompaniment with rice, or bread, but be sure to watch out for the pepper.
To paint a picture of this stunning culinary masterpiece is like asking me to catch the feeling you get inside when you see a beautiful countryside or feel the fresh rain on your face. Chef Wai Meng and his team have taken some of natures finest gifts and made then into works of art for us to enjoy.
This truly is a menu that you need to explore and one that would best be enjoyed in a group so as to taste a large variety of different dishes in one go, or better still you could always make weekly visits till you had eaten your way through the menu.
With the weather so hot outdoors here is a dessert that you really must try. The Ice Kachang is a very interesting blend of ingredients that when put together create a delight that is enjoyed by many. A combination of shaved ice with palm seeds, red beans, sweet corn, black jelly and sugar syrup creates what looks a little like a rainbow in colour and tastes that way too.
Pepper Crab is open nightly from 7pm till 11pm on week nights, and 7pm till 12.30am on weekends. This truly is a place for the avid seafood buff who wants to take in some of the worlds finest seafood bought to the shores of Dubai and created into Singaporean masterpieces to be enjoyed by all. by Kerry Leigh