After our Managing Director’s Report at the Isla Ballroom of EDSA Shangri-La hotel last week, our IT Director treated the team to lunch. It’s not every day that fate brings our team together for a lunch date, so we’re thankful we were given the “license” to venture beyond the confines of our office and into the dining proper. 🙂 Our first choice then was Cyma and the second was Tender Bob’s in Shangri-La Mall.
Alas, both restaurants were full and could not accommodate 12 of us in a table at the peak of lunch hour. The Red Crab Alimango House was just adjacent and likewise offered large portions of food for group-sharing. We went in fast, hungry and eager to try their food.
Review of The Red Crab Alimango House (Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong)
Are those traditional Japanese windows? I’m not sure if Japanese is the theme here. As far as the food goes, these Japanese-inspired interior design does not match any of the restaurant’s menu. Although the overall concept was abstruse and quite doubtful, the atmosphere was nice. Dressed with rich chocolate brown furniture, wooden panel accents on the ceiling, and wooden lighting fixtures above each table, The Red Crab Alimango House in Shangri-La Plaza Mall looked refined and sophisticated. Somehow I hoped to see the dining room be punctuated with red and rainbow-bright decors just to emphasize on its “Red Crab” branding.
When eating crabs, it’s a must to be careful as the legs of the crabs are quite thorny. The server brought us crab scissors and helped us initially with cracking. Otherwise, it would have been a messy affair. Service was quite fast and efficient except for the last part when we requested to pack the leftovers for us to take home.
The Red Crab’s menu is all about seafood but there’s quite a bit of variety. We had Crispy Chicaron Bulaklak (PhP 245) and Baby Squid Sisig (PhP 195) for starters. The lovely crackle on the fried pork intestines made the crunchy chicharon bulaklak an amicable affair. We could not ask more from that golden brown crispy skin.
Sautéed with liver, the baby squid sisig was just average and didn’t leave a good impression. The fact that I deserted the dish after the second mouthful was a clear testament. Perhaps removing the liver and putting in more onions and seasonings will make it more pleasant-tasting.
Crab Adobo (PhP 195/100g) is one of the best signature dishes at The Red Crab. Comprising a blend of various salts and spices, the fresh crab’s meat tasted naturally sweet with fried garlic and aligue. Roe lovers may expect to rejoice as there’s more than enough to share. The sweet sauce that coated the crabs was also particularly addictive as it went well with plain rice, making a filling meal. How did I know it was fresh? The whole pincer was packed with solid meat—not the loose kind that falls apart easily.
Lapu-Lapu with Sweet and Sour Sauce (PhP 185/100g) reminded me fondly of my mom’s cooking as this was one of her star dishes that would make me cancel my dinner plans to head home for a homecooked meal. The tasty sauce dressed the fish equally and the fish was deep-fried for a succulent yet crispy bite.
Lapu-Lapu with Chili Mango Sauce (PhP 185/100g) was as well a stunner. Mango sauce was tad weird for my liking though, so while the subtle sweetness of it did the lapu-lapu recipe justice, I have my preference with the more conventional technique.
To compensate for our “seafood quota” on that meal, we had two plates of Sigarilyas Express (PhP 245) which was served with thinly sliced winged beans and kangkong stalks. Cooked in coconut milk and chili with crisp-fried pork belly, this vegetable entrée had the right level of spiciness and a slightly sweet tinge to it. It was fine but not really a “wow” kind of dish. I’ve had better.
Lastly, the Manila Pork Ribs (PhP 325) came with a rich glaze of sweet pineapple-infused barbecue sauce and a texture that’s tender yet meaty. Earning compliments for its “well rendered fat,” the pork ribs tasted robust without being overzealous. It did not have a fall-of-the-bone softness; rather, the meat was released with just a gentle tug of the teeth, not a pain to eat.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
For finger-licking good crabs that are prepared to perfection, The Red Crab Alimango House is the place to be. Devotees give two “claws up” for the magnificent freshness and sweetness of the crabs. The rest of the food we tried were not as delightful but were decent in any case. Prices are expensive so for those who are short in budget, it will be best to save eating in this restaurant for big occasions.
EASTWOOD MALL: G/F Eastwood Mall Brgy Bagumbayan Quezon City
Tel. (02) 584-7433
GREENBELT 3: 2/F greenbelt 3 Ayala Center Makati City
Tel. (02) 757-4129, (02) 757-4716
LUCKY CHINATOWN: 2/F Lucky Chinatown, Reina Regente St. Cor Dela Reina St. Binondo Manila
Tel. (02) 708-9578, 0932-2415935, 0916-6532430
MORATO: 104 JSB Building Cor. Sct Delgado Tomas Morato Quezon City
Tel. (02) 374-8406
RESORTS WORLD: 2nd Level F&B Resorts World Newport Mall, Villamor Pasay City
Tel. (02) 856-0087