Behold, the Singapore Chilli Crab.
Steamed to perfection with ginger, flavored with garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce and then stir-fried in chilli sauce, tomato and egg, the Chilli Crab is perhaps this country's most famous dish.
It's also the kind of food that begs the age-old question... Best dish ever? Or... best dish possible?
After a long and rainy day at the zoo, Will and I set out to find the Newton Hawker Center in Singapore. We had been directed there by a friendly gent at our hostel who said that this was the place to go for traditional Singaporean dishes.
There were plenty of options including Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Western food. There was also an abundance of seafood stalls where you pick your protein and how you want it cooked, and then wait for it to arrive at your table.
By the time we made it to the hawker center, we were very, very hungry.
As a starved Will set off looking for some stir-fried noodles with Char Siu pork and Wanton (always a good choice), I sipped an iced tea and watched the food stall scene from a table, convincing myself that it would be worth it to scope out the scene first.
The rule in Singapore is that it doesn't matter how long it takes to get your dinner, what matters is that your dinner is worth waiting for. Hence, lines = major league yum factor.
After watching a steady queue of locals pick # 61, "Goodman BBQ Seafood," I decided that I'd found the right place. As I approached the stall, I saw him. And it was lunch at first sight.
*20 minutes elapse* And then... he was before us.
Now, depending on your feelings toward seafood, the above photo may look either obscenely delectable or totally gross. Let me reassure any potential naysayers out there when I say that Singapore Chilli Crab is the best thing I have ever eaten. And we have done a lot of spectacular eating on this trip.
Chilli crab is spicy, sweet, tangy, melt-in-your mouth. It's also equal parts ridiculously delicious and phenomenally messy.
And then, it was gone. And now all we have left are the memories. The sweet, sweet memories.