Eat Drink KL: TalkCrab: Crustacean Concierge for Less Crap, More Crab Deliveries

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

TalkCrab: Crustacean Concierge for Less Crap, More Crab Deliveries

Every morning, the three friends who founded TalkCrab head out to handpick the live crabs that'll be cooked and sent to customers later that day. They inspect the Indonesian-sourced mud crabs from claw to carapace to ensure each is as flesh-packed as possible - scarcely two months after launching their service, they've sampled crabs from 10 different suppliers to select the most reliable.

Justin, Lynn and Scott have always loved seafood; they embarked on TalkCrab out of frustration that crabs have become excessively expensive and erratic in quality. That perspective informs TalkCrab's promise of Less Crap, More Crab, memorably defining the assurance of an enjoyable crustacean experience.

Was this our favourite crab meal of 2020? Even before we polished off the final claw, we were contemplating a future order.

We visited this home-based service recently for a personal peek into TalkCrab. On this afternoon, more than a dozen shuffling-and-scuttling crabs were being readied for dinner - TalkCrab has served over 200 kilograms of crabs since early October, tallying up to at least 15 crabs delivered daily.

The three friends have turned from crab enthusiasts to experts, seeking out and recognising the ideal crustacean characteristics. Their regular crabs weigh about 500 grams each, but customers can also order roe crabs that have smaller claws but remain rich with bright-orange 'crab caviar.' Larger Sri Lankan crabs of up to two kilograms are sometimes available.

TalkCrab pledges its prices are 20% to 30% lower compared to many crab-specialist restaurants. It currently offers two regular crabs cooked in one sauce with four pieces of mantou for RM118 (perfect for two or three patrons) or four regular crabs in two sauces with eight mantous for RM228 (for four to six patrons). Delivery through third-party platforms is charged separately.

Orange Alert! If roe is your most prized part of the crab, TalkCrab promises a party for your palate, with much more roe of top-grade quality than you'd find in most crabs elsewhere. Ask for the roe crabs specifically if you want these.

TalkCrab's rates are especially reasonable when cooking costs are considered - the service's dedicated chef spends hours simply preparing the pastes for the recipes. TalkCrab currently offers six preparation styles for its crabs, spanning the perennially popular Signature Buttermilk to the fiery Black Pepper, the Golden Salted Egg Yolk to the Speciality Chilli, the Super Kam Heong to the Salt & Pepper.

As we watched the chef take command of the steaming wok, the fragrances from her ingredients already flow through the kitchen with aromatic allure, heady with the scent of spices. All sauces are crafted from scratch (TalkCrab even grinds its pepper and blends its own chilli oil), so each preparation channels distinctive flavours that fans of home cooking will relish.

We sampled two styles - the first was the irresistible Golden Salted Egg Yolk, a decadent delight that's flooded with butter and an entire can of condensed milk, plus plenty of salted egg yolk, of course, rounded out with curry leaves.

If thick and creamy sauces float your boat, TalkCrab's salted egg crabs should rock your ocean, with an unmistakable yolky savouriness that beautifully complements the crustaceans. It's robust without being overpowering, lip-smacking but not cloying.

Here's where we should also rave about the crabmeat, which lives up to TalkCrab's vows. The crabs - perfectly cracked for convenient consumption - prove plump to the max with naturally sweet meat. If you loathe mushy crabs, you'll love TalkCrab's, full of firm, fresh flesh of top-flight consistency.

Our second two crabs were coated in luscious, sweet-and-spicy Speciality Chilli sauce, also gorgeously fine-tuned with a gentle heat from chillies that goes gracefully with the tomatoes and generous amounts of ginger and garlic in the gravy.

For those of us who typically find chilli crabs a bit too sickly sweet, this is impressively but still indulgently revelatory, making us wonder how TalkCrab has interpreted its other familiar staples like Super Kam Heong (reputedly loaded with dried shrimp) and Salt-&-Pepper (said to be umami-focused), a marvellous, mouthwatering match with shiny, soft mantous.

Customers can also order the crabs live if you'd like to steam them at home yourself - think of TalkCrab as your concierge not only for cooked crustaceans but also high-quality live-and-large crabs that can't easily be found in your neighbourhood market.

Place your orders daily by 10pm for next-day delivery between 11am to 9pm. The crabs are freshly cooked to order, so you should receive them nice and warm, ready to eat. Contact 012-3388838 (Scott) or 017-8795493 (Justin) for more information.


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