01 June 2011

Omah’s: Chilli Mud Crab, Malaysian, Port Melbourne (6 May 2011)

136-138 Rouse Street, Port Melbourne VIC 3207

In search of a good chilli crab

Thanks to Omah’s for inviting me as a guest to try some of their restaurant dishes while I was visiting Melbourne for the AgIdeas conference. It’s a fairly large restaurant with nice décor and seemed to be well suited to cater for larger groups if required. The menu dishes sound traditional but like many places the kitchen seems to provide their own take on them to try and cater for both Asian and Western customers to try and find a happy ground. To start I tried the Chicken satay ($6, 2 pieces). It was served with small pieces of pineapple and cucumber but unfortunately no sign of compressed cubes of rice or onion as sometimes seen. The flavours were quite good although it would have been great with a more smoky flavour.

It’s hard to find chilli crab in Sydney and even rarer to find a good one. I was pretty happy with the version at Kingsleys Steak and Crabhouse but like always the mess and frustration of getting to the crab meat is usually the biggest deterrent. I learnt a great tip from Kenneth. When you pick up a piece of crab you need to lick off the sauce so when you start cracking and opening the shell it will keep the messy fingers to a minimum — the technique actually works. Omah’s Chilli Mud Crab ($39.90) is decently sized and quite reasonably priced. For some the homemade sauce could probably be more chilli hot but I was pretty happy with it which had a good depth of flavour I was hoping for. If you like it really hot just let the kitchen know beforehand. To help mop up the sauce the sliced flat roti ($4.50) is the way to go but it tends to dry out quickly so it would be better if it could be covered somehow to keep it fresh and warm for longer perhaps. It was good to check and see the crabs were actually live ones in the kitchen.

The Oyster omelette ($18.90) is a dish I haven’t really found in Sydney but I’m hoping it exists somewhere. It comes with nice plump oysters although I’m not a huge fan of the gelatinous textured parts inside and would have loved the base to be a bit more crispy but it was a flavoursome rendition. The Buttered Prawns ($24.90) is a first for me and its fragrant dry egg fluff gives it an intriguing level of texture making it a winning dish. The prawns are properly deveined and decently sized. To finish a refreshing Ice kacang ($7.50) was in order. Decently priced and sized it includes a few of the classic ingredients except for maybe red bean. The inclusion of the ice cream gives it a creamy rather than icy consistency which isn’t what I’m used to and I would have preferred more of a rose water taste throughout, although maybe the ice cream dulled its flavour.

PROS: Nice décor, Interesting and tempting dishes on menu, Decent chilli mud crab at a reasonable price, Prices seem fairly reasonable for the quality and atmosphere
CONS: Trying to cater for both a traditional and western market — some dishes might not live up to expectations, Intro slideshow on website can’t be skipped — annoys me, I think my parents would like Omah’s so I wish it was in Sydney
MUST TRY: Buttered Prawns, Chilli Mud Crab to compare to all others you’ve had, I've heard the Salted Egg Mud Crab is pretty good

Chicken satay ($6, 2 pieces)

Chilli Mud Crab - Queensland mud carb cooked in chef's mild sweet chilli sauce ($39.90)

A prized piece of claw

Essential finger bowl

Instruments of engagement

Roti for soaking up the sauce ($4.50)

Oyster omelette: Fresh oysters with chopped chives and coriander served with garlic chilli sauce ($18.90)

Decent sized oysters

Gelatin gooey consistency inside

Buttered Prawns - Fresh Australian wild prawns coated in fragrant dry egg fluff enhanced with curry leaves and spring onions ($24.90)

Ice kacang ($7.50)

Ice kacang ($7.50) — what lies beneath

Live mud crab kept in kitchen sink

Ice shaving machine

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chopinandmysaucepan said...

The chilli mud crab looks quite decent and reasonably priced.

This same crab in Ginger & Spice in Sydney would cost at least double but that's also where you can find your oyster omelette which is on the menu but usually not available for whatever reason.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Not the prettiest oyster omelette I've ever seen, but looks like a nice place :)

Richard Elliot said...

The oyster / mussell omlette is pretty big in Bangkok food courts, there is always one stall selling them. However, it has never looked appetising enough for me to try with all of the other amazing Thai food on offer.

I haven't had chilli crab in ages. It was so messy last time. I think there is a market for the crab taken out of the shells! ;-)

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