Objective: Convert non-crab follower aka Splashie Boy into a fanatic crab lover
Timeline: By end of 2010
Since Precious Pea, my faithful crab partner-in-crime (yes, I confess we are serial crustacean eaters) had moved on to Down Under for bigger and better things...aka Champagne Crab (wails! I want some too), I've had to slowly cultivate a new crab partner.....in Splashie Boy.
Completely in stealth mode, I've been intermittently feeding him various kinds of crabs to lure him into the crustacean eating groove. It's not been easy since it involved messy fingers and countless crabs sacrified for this one purpose, but one can happily report that the secret project barely hit its target hours before the deadline expired...as the non-crab-eater is now a convert.
Like all successful projects, lets review each stage to gain knowledge on the best practices. We kick off with the initiation stage, where one needs to analyse the situation and understand why Splashie Boy was anti-crab-eating. A sneaky interview over dinner revealed that he finds it just too messy and bothersome to spend so much time on such tiny pieces of meat even though they're darn sweet morsels. "Give me a steak that I can just cut up instead, " he growls in fury when prodded on his eternal dislike. Luckily its more hopeful than his strong hatred for aubergine (too mushy!), durian (too smelly!) and coffee (too strong!).
The second stage of the project is the most crucial, as it needs to be planned and designed properly to work. Hammered out in my head, my scope was to convert this non-believer. Team members were also recruited in the form of friends, who would be the perfect excuses I could use them to lure him into eating crabs in their presence. "My friends insist on eating crabs for their birthday," I reply when he gives me quizzical looks on why we're eating at a seafood restaurant. The timeline was worked out...about a year and half to give him more than enough ground to cover before he truly start to love his crabs. Like all budgets, even though a cost was worked out, it would overrun like some crazy mega project but hey, who cares right since it'll be written off in the future.
The action plan was put in place and I slowly dragged him to sample Venicia. He complained that the crabs were too buttery. Then came the next pretext around January 2010 when we introduced new friends to the joys of Robson Heights Seafood. We sampled marmite, salted egg yolk and sweet and sour varieties that he was lukewarm towards. I was skeptical it was working and decided to retreat into enjoying the mighty crustacean instead with friends. After a long lull, I cheated in October 2010 with trouble-free king crab legs at Il Primo. He slurped that up since it was the easiest way to eat but darn, was it also a pricey way to indulge in sweet crab meat.
I persevered with monitoring and controling the project and just before the year became 2011, I threw down the gauntlet...grilled crabs at an old familiar place of Hing Ket. Maybe because it was the year end, he indulged me and even sought out GPS directions. I decided to play it safe - one sole grilled crab to stake my win on. It arrived steaming hot to our table, which I seperated and like playing a his and hers game, he'll go for the easy-to-eat claws while I claimed the body. Even though its troublesome, I don't mind the extra leg work to slowly coax out each piece of the tender sweet flesh....simply heaven!
At the end of the meal, which we polished off grilled lamb and prawns, oh chien, fried tung hoon and of course the grilled crab, he gave the thumbs up to the place. It slowly dawned on me that because the crabs were grilled sans sauce, it was less messy for his fingers hence this place earned full brownie points in his eyes. Phew! I finally ended my quest and declared the whole project formally closed since he was even willing to return for more grilled crabs. He may not be a fanatic but the fact, he's willing to come for seconds in the future is a positive sign.
*Note: Hing Ket Grill House is an old school place nestled within a Malay village that sells grilled items such as seafood (an assortment of crabs, calamari, fish, prawns). Lamb chops are also grilled at this front grill section (about 4 charcoal and electric grills). They also serve fried noodles, steamed pomfret, oh chien and etc to fill up your tummies. The restaurant is split into three areas: al-fresco, fan and air-conditioned behind a glass door. That night, we dined on fried tung hoon (strands jumbled up with prawns and chicken - RM8 for a small portion), finger licking juicy grilled prawns (4 extra large pieces for RM36), fluffy o chien (RM12 for a small portion), tender and perfectly grilled lamb chops (2 pieces for RM17) and of course, the star of the show aka Sir Crab (1 crab for RM18) in his red glory. The whole meal was just a shade below RM100 for all the dishes.
Hing Ket Grill House
Lot 3569 Batu 3¼
Tel: 03-3371 3913/ 3371 0861
(Pork Free. Open from 11.30am - 2.30 pm, 5.30 to 10.30 pm. To get here, take the Federal Highway exit for Taman Rashna, make a left turn at Taman Rashna where the Bak Kut Teh shops are. At the first junction, take a right. Go straight and after the Petronas station, you will approach a traffic light, Take a left turn and go straight. You will pass a power plant on the right and power lines. At the next traffic light, take another left turn. About 400metres down, opposite a mosque (but not directly) will be the restaurant (at the curved road) across the road. Don't take an immediate turn as the cars from the other side will be fast and furious so slowly make a u-turn by turning into another road further down. Ample parking available in the compound unless its packed to the brim. Full set of pictures are found in the Flickr set.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.