I had dinner the other night with two of my co-workers from our Philippine operation. We ate at a place called The Red Crab in Alabang, which is famous for both their black pepper and Thai chili crabs.
We started off our meal with an order of Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp). There was a ton of garlic in the dish, and it tasted great. I love gambas al ajillo, but for some reason, never seem to make them at home.
Next up was a warm salad with corn, carrots, lettuce, and mango. It was ok, but not at all memorable. After the salad, I had a bowl of "crab bisque". I'm not sure why they call it a bisque, as there was barely any cream in the dish. It was mainly crab and veggies in stock. It was ok, but not what I expected. It was probably good that it didn't contain a lot of cream, though as I still had a huge crab on its way.
Knowing I was going to Singapore in a few days, I decided not to get the pepper crab as that's a specialty in Singapore. Instead, I opted for the Thai chili crab. When it arrived, it was huge! If you've never had Thai chili crab before, it can be quite messy as it's cooked in red chili paste and coconut milk and served dripping in the sauce. Because you eat it with your hands, most places give you a bib, which I happily accepted, regardless of how ridiculous it was going to make me look.
The Thai chili crab was awesome. The combination of sweet and hot, one that happens to be my favorite, really complimented the crab. It was very juicy, and there were large chunks of crab meat to be had. Paired with my San Miguel beer, life was good. Even though I had the bib, I still managed to get a bunch of sauce all over my shirt when I was cracking one of the claws and it exploded all over me.
By the time I finished my crab, I was pretty full. However, not wanting to miss out on anything, the guys I was with convinced me to have some dessert. I went with the coconut ice which turned out to be just right. It was nice and light, and had just the right amount of sweetness to finish off the meal. Now that I've had the Thai chili crab, I'm really looking forward to trying the pepper crab in Singapore. The Red Crab turned out to be a really good idea. There's one a lot closer to the hotel I'm staying at in Makati, so I may make another trip depending on how the black pepper crab in Singapore turns out.