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Sri Lanka’s World-Famous Ministry of Crab extends its Claws, in Singapore

By: Staff Writer

July 04, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka’s world-famous Ministry of Crab is opening in Singapore on Jul 3 to a welcome carpet rolled out by seafood-loving foodies.

After a couple of sporadic pop-ups held here over the years, the crab-focused restaurant by global superstar chef and restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa, which already has outposts in Shanghai, Chengdu, Bangkok and the Maldives, has found a space at Dempsey Hill to make its own.

“Singapore made Sri Lankan crab famous for us. So, it was always our intention to come here,” Munidasa, 53,said  “Coming here was always going to be a lot of fun. Scary, too. Singapore has the biggest consumption of mud crabs in the world, I think, per capita.

“But, we are not the same as the restaurants that you see in Singapore. We are not a Chinese restaurant; we are not a Sri Lankan restaurant, either. We are a Sri Lankan crab restaurant in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Munidasa, the son of a Sri Lankan father and Japanese mother, showcases the produce of Sri Lanka using techniques that stem from Japanese culinary ideas and practices.  “Having a Japanese upbringing and Japanese blood in me, I think I look at it in a very different way, and the dishes we cook have certain philosophies, methods and techniques stemming from that. We are unique,” he said.

“And, also, the restaurant had its own amazing journey from being in Sri Lanka to becoming a world renowned Asia’s 50 Best restaurant, and I think I’m proud to be the only crab restaurant that got on that list.” (His other restaurant, Nihonbashi in Sri Lanka, has also featured on the list, by the way. And, he has a steakhouse called Carne Diem Grill in the Maldives.)

Consistently pictured brandishing a crustacean in each hand, anything Munidasa doesn’t know about crabs is not worth knowing. On top of that, he even had the patience to show us the best way to break the crab legs apart. A minister of crabs, indeed.

Ministry of Crab, consecutively listed on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list from 2015 to 2022, takes its governance seriously. Because it is committed to serving the freshest seafood, the restaurant has a no-freezer policy. Working with its network of crab fishermen all around Sri Lanka, live, wild-caught crabs are flown in directly three times a week.

“That’s different from what other restaurants do,” Munidasa said, and, he added with full disclosure, “it will be a little bit more pricey because of that.”

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