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I was invited to a tasting at House of Seafood @ Punggol Settlement last Wednesday, thanks to Roy (@eatwithroy), also the owner of Black & Ink! Despite Punggol Settlement being one of the most scenic areas in Singapore, there is a lack of awareness by many of this beautiful place! This is probably because of how secluded the location is, at Punggol End which is well, right at the end of Punggol. It took us 2 taxi drivers, with Google map to get us there from Punggol MRT. Yes, it is THAT unknown.
Greeted by the sea breeze on a Thursday evening as we stepped out of the cab, I knew it was going to be an awesome night ahead. As I’ve explored this area before, Punggol Settlement was no stranger to me, and we were able to quickly locate House of Seafood! (You may also check out my review on Wayne’s Chill out from my previous visit here!)
Even though it was a weekday night, at the apparently ulu Punggol Settlement, we were surprised to be greeted with a full house at this seafood restaurant. They have both air-conditioned indoor seating, as well as the al fresco dining area where you could admire the waterfront and enjoy the sea breeze at night. We even spotted a private function room where you can have your karaoke sessions in there as well! Pretty cool!
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The first dish that was served on that night was this pretty dish of Beancurd drizzled with Thai sweet and spicy sauce, and a sprinkle of pork floss!
LOOK! It’s a star! Despite it being a seafood restaurant, this was actually one of the stars (ahem.. Pun intended) of the night! As cliche as the description a dish of beancurd can be, this beancurd was indeed soft and silky, with its delicate insides wrapped tightly by a crisp exterior. It was love at first bite. The tofu was firm, yet soft at the same time. I expected it to crumble when I first cut into the skin, however, I managed to slice it cleanly, and it only melted and crumbled when it was in my mouth. The mark of a perfect beancurd.
Salted Egg Yolk Prawns: These prawns were of course, very fresh, as its skin slid off easily as we attempted to peel it. However, I did not enjoy this dish as much as I should, partly because it was a hassle to peel the prawns. Coupled with my amateur skills, I got both of my hands dirty right at the start of the night. ): Besides I thought that the salted egg yolk sauce should be less watery, so as to enhance the texture of the sauce, because its taste got muted by the time we attempted to dip the prawns with it! Clams with rice wine and garlic: This plate of clams restored my faith in getting fat and succulent clams at restaurants. I haven’t had such juicy and fat clams in a while, as my past experiences at various seafood restaurants have disappointed me with small little clams. The broth, was filled with the sweetness from the natural taste of the clams. Besides, its peppery profile got us slurping mouthfuls after mouthfuls of it. A simple, yet amazing dish, which nearly got my sister polishing the plate in 5 minutes.
Next up, was the curry fish head, which I did not have much of it, because I was afraid of choking to death by the bones. The little bit of fish I tried was soft and it went really well with the curry. The gravy was so yummy that Roy had to order a bowl of rice to go with it!
Throughout the night, I was impressed by how this supposedly seafood restaurant was able to churn out quality and amazing non-seafood dishes, like this honey chicken for example. Glazed with honey, and fried to perfection were these crispy chunks of chicken, which were oh so juicy. However, we thought that they were a little too heavy handed on the honey, which caused the entire chicken dish to become really sweet. The honey was probably not spread evenly, as the later pieces were much more balanced than the first piece I had.
Asparagus with mushrooms: Nothing much to shout about, but it’s always good to have greens in your meals. This is a pretty good choice of greens, crunchy with a hint of spiciness!
Bai Mi Fen: Touted to be better than the famous Sembawang Bai Mi Fen, we thought this dish was good, but lacking in the signature moistness, as well as the hint of sweetness from the fresh seafood. Not too sure if it is because we took too long to snap pictures of this dish, which may have caused the noodles to lose its moisture.
This was the highlight of the night, as it got both of our tables bustling with excitement, and snapping pictures in the most exaggerated ways possible just to get a good picture of these famous crabs.
First up, our Singapore’s famous Chili Crab. The sauce was savory and good, however, I thought that it lacked of a little kick of spiciness, which I usually enjoy with chili crab dishes. Nonetheless, this still went amazingly well with the crab, as well as the man tou. I wanted to just lift the entire plate up to slurp the sauce dry!
Butter Crab: The butter taste was rich in this one, a good twist to the usual sauces we have with crabs!
Black Pepper Crab: The signature from House of Seafood, which I unfortunately did not try. However, judging from the expressions Roy made while trying this dish, it must be the most solid one for the night!
Salted Egg Yolk Crab: The bits of salted egg yolk added a crunch to the otherwise typical salted egg yolk dish. Not the best salted egg yolk sauce I’ve had, but still pretty yummy! If you’ve noticed, I did not comment on how the crab itself tasted in the 4 dishes, because the mind blowing fact of the night, was that all these dishes were made with “Instant Crabs” from this box, priced at $52/box. We would not have guessed that these babies were just microwaved for 5-15 minutes before it was served to us, because the texture and taste of the crabs were just like any fresh ones! Ok, maybe the flesh is a little harder for seasoned crab consumers. Proudly invented by House of Seafood, these ready-to-eat crabs make a good souvenir for tourists, and even for friends who are going on an exchange. A good substitute for the pride of our nation, CHILI CRAB! An amazing invention I would say, and a damn convenient way to curb your crab cravings. Guess who’s gonna snag these boxes for her party next time!
The last dish of the night was this homemade prawn rolls (Hei Zho). Within this crisp exterior lies minced prawn, pork, scallions, and fresh chestnuts for the added crunch! The combination of these fried balls with the sweet dipping sauce that came together with it was just a match made in heaven! My stomach is rumbling now just thinking of this!
I had an amazing time at House of Seafood that night. I can finally stop making inconvenient trips down to East Coast just to get my quality seafood fix after this assuring quality of food presented by House of Seafood! Like all food establishments, there were hits and misses from the spread we had last night, but what mattered most was that, there were definitely more hits than misses. The less impressive dishes were only misses in relative to the better ones served that night. The seafood served were all fresh, and I really liked how the non-seafood dishes were up to standards as well!
Albeit the inconvenient location, Punggol Settlement is one place where you should visit at least once in your life, because it’s just so scenic and calming to be there. Moreover, you would be spoilt for choice if you’re intending to have your meals there, because there are just so many food establishments in the single stretch! House of Seafood is definitely recommended for a gathering or family dinner. You can spend the afternoon cycling around the settlement, have your dinner at House of Seafood, and then take a stroll along the beach to aid digestion before heading back home! There, I’ve just planned your Sunday for you guys. You’re welcome.
How to get there?
The Punggol Settlement
3 Punggol Point Road
Bus 84 is the only bus from Punggol Interchange to get there!
5pm – 11pm, daily