Revisiting Ah Hoi’s Kitchen @Hotel Jen Tanglin

“$72 for one Sri Lankan crab?!?” screamed my thought bubble when I was checking out what type of crabs were available at Ah Hoi’s Kitchen, a place I haven’t been to since the hotel it’s based in was still uniquely known as Traders but which has since become Hotel Jen Tanglin. For $55++, I could eat chili crab, herbal prawns, sotong kai and sambal kangkong at either Long Beach or Jumbo Seafood when sharing with a friend, I mumbled to myself…

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Thank goodness that I had a one-for-one main course item voucher from Starhub then, which was why we ended up there in the first place. Still located on the 4th floor next to the pool (and a sparking new gym), Ah Hoi’s open concept was another thing that knocked me over. Though there were fans and the occasional breeze, it’s not exactly a conducive place to dine in, what with our hot and humid climate. I debated whether to order a beer ‘cos for sure it won’t stay cold long but that I found was not too much a problem cos the $12.50 Tiger I ordered wasn’t a full pint (above) and it didn’t take me long to down it as sweat rolled down my curls…

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Thankfully, food-wise, Ah Hoi didn’t provide us with more ammo to find fault with. Service is attentive and cordial, and there is free flow of prawn crackers and fresh salad items for every seafood main course order. (Just be mindful not to stuff yourself with the crackers which can be rather filling…)
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The Mixed Vegetables with tofu and tanghoon ($10) was tasty and chock-full of ingredients, but what we were really delighted with was that the signature Black Pepper Kway Teow ($15) was still as delicious as before, spicy and scrumptious.
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Finally, the seafood items. The tiger prawns ($18.50) – which we ordered with cereal and checked the price with the waiter first before ordering (which you should always do when they state “market prices”) – were fresh, crunchy and delicious. As for the Sri Lankan crab ($72) – which we ordered chili crab style and which we still feel is way overpriced – was thankfully tasty and meaty, with great flavour in the gravy.

All in all, including the cocktails we ordered – you WILL need COLD drinks on hot nights – the damage came up to about $150 for two persons (with the prawn dish discounted). There is actually Indonesian crab on the menu, priced at half the price of $36, but we were told that it was not available that day. Other than the Sri Lankan crab, the other dishes are actually quite reasonable priced, most between the range of $8-$15. Guess we have to go back to usual haunts like Jumbo or Long Beach for our next chili / pepper crab craving…

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