Uncle Leong Seafood at Ang Mo Kio Ave 3

collageAccording to hearsay, on Block 232, Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, there is an tze char stall called Mellben that serves the most excellent crab bee hoon soup and butter crab. From the hushed tones, one might even infer: the best in Singapore.

Whatever the case, this blog had dinner with the Makankakis at the tze char on the opposite block, owned and run by the brother of the wife of the owner of Mellben.

Don’t worry, just look at the pretty pictures and read the short words.

The setup is your usual coffeeshop tze char without aircon. What sets this apart is the strangely placed pillars that block air-flow. This means you need to dress appropriately because while there are lot’s of fans blowing around, it’s a futile attempt.


In any case, this was a rather strange dinner for me as my guests (3 of them) through a miracle of miscommunication, did not turn up. Which means my table had the lion’s share of the meal.

After some waiting, it was decided that we should not hold up anymore as the wines were already flowing freely, so the Hae Cho (Prawn Rolls) appeared.


And disappeared quickly without much comment as everyone was hungry. It was a toss-up as we couldn’t decide which condiment went better with the Hae Cho, the sweet sauce or the sambal. I just alternated. 😉

Stomach rumbling, I ran to the ATM, so that I can pay for my missing guests, and came back in time to be greeted with a sight for sore eyes.


Spinach with 3 kinds of eggs (Chicken, Salted Duck and Century). This is the ultimate low carbo comfort food. Something that I can really eat all day. Silky smooth with tantalizing bitter, sweet and salty flavours. No rice is required as the Spinach provides the crunch and fibrous texture. Yum…


Unfortunately, like life, there is a balance to be maintained. To compensate for the wonderful Spinach with 3 kinds of eggs, the Sam Lor Hor Fan was not served at all.


Oh deary me (welcome back Gurge!), what came out was a poor excuse of a seafood hor fan. Cold lumps of sourish kway teow served in lukewarm starchy sauce. Ewwww.

Uncle Leong was on hand and so we gave him our feedback. Apparently, the cook was not used to large crowds and the oil used was not fresh, having been used on the Hae Cho.

And the Special Seafood Tofu.

Special Seafood Tofu

This was a particularly limp-looking tofu dish. It did not raise my hopes from what is turning out to be a really sad dinner with only one highlight so far.

Special Seafood Tofu

The tofu had prawn and some crab or fish meat mixed inside, so it was not a total loss. In fact, mixed with the Sambal, it was actually pretty good.

When in doubt, add Sambal.

And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the steamed Groupa appeared.

Steamed Groupa Steamed Groupa

Mean looking, the Groupa was actually quite good. Firm, muscular and sweet, the fish was further augmented by the strangely great-tasting bits of ginger on top.

Steamed Groupa

In fact, we were speculating that the ginger had been caramelized with some sugar first as it tasted sweet. It really went very well with the fish.

Then the prawns showed up. While I am working up to eating them, this was rather overwhelming for me.


Besides, isn’t Mongolia a land-locked country? Fortunately, I am in the minority regarding this. The table gobbled up everything. Including the shells.

Must be really good.

Then came what the tze char is famous for. Crabs. Golden Sand Crabs to be more specific.

Golden Sand Crab

Crabs cooked in a creamy white pepper sauce. This was to die for. It also passed the strict standard of the people at the table.

Golden Sand Crab

Apparently, to be a good crab dish, the sauce must not overwhelm the taste of the crab. So, strictly speaking, that famous Black Pepper Crab near Koon Seng Road is a failure as you can only taste the black pepper sauce.

In any case, we were speculating that the white pepper sauce would go very well with pasta. Especially Angel Hair pasta.

Another good dish to order is the Special Steamed Chicken.

Special Steamed Chicken

This is almost a stew with many good things inside. This is another comfort food that is good for rainy days.

Special Steamed Chicken

Thick succulent chicken with fish maw and some shellfish that meat-eaters usually cannot identify, this is definitely a must-order.

And if the chicken stew was not enough, the Claypot Sea Cucumber is sure to meet your comfort food needs.

Claypot Sea Cucumber

Thick juicy pieces of Sea Cucumber and Mushrooms, this is another good-with-rice dish. Slather a generous amount of broth into the rice and dig in!

And just when you think it is time to go to the toilet from all the soup and wine, the Guinness Pork Ribs appeared like magic.

Guinness Pork Ribs

Dark, sticky pork ribs marinated and cooked with Guinness Stout. Sweet with an earthy flavour. I was most fortunate to be able to finish almost everything as the people at my table were too full to consume this.

Guinness Pork Ribs


And finally, really finally, the final carbo item of the morning (’twas past midnight then).

Sambal Fried Rice

Sambal Fried rice, you’d think that people would have given up by then. Well, poppycock. Us makankakis are made of much hardier stuff.

Besides, we still had wine left.

And speaking of wines, I would like to take a moment to lament the act of infanticide.


While we were very appreciative of the opportunity to taste such class and elegance, but ultimately, alas.

Also, as a note, while it is used more often as a mixer, the Creme de Cassis makes an excellent dessert wine.


Think of thick, unctuous Ribena that is almost Port-like. Really yummy.


All in all, the dinner was not a total disaster for me as the company was fun and the food, especially the last few dishes was good.

Uncle Leong Seafood is a nice place to have a quiet dinner (when the Makankakis are absent) with good food at affordable prices. You may need to reserve a table as the place does get a little busy with the dinner crowd.

Much like the tze char across the carpark.

Uncle Leong Seafood is at #01-1194 Block 233 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 (off Street 22). Tel : 65543453.

Posted on 5th Jun 2006 in Food and Drink


There Are 5 Comments


lindy commented on June 5, 2006 at 11:12 pm

can try the crab bee hoon soup also, quite nice


tommy commented on November 2, 2006 at 4:56 pm

So which one better, for crab dishes, mellben or uncle leong?

from what i’ve read, mellben is the original? CMIIW

but some of my friend said uncle leong is better and have more crowd…


Ivan commented on November 2, 2006 at 11:07 pm

We only had one crab dish, and I have never been to Mellben; therefore I am unable to give a comparison. Sorry.


superfinefeline commented on November 3, 2006 at 10:09 am

I lurve Reserve de la Comtesse! 🙂

You’re making me crave crab though I’m not a huge fan of seafood!


ivn commented on November 3, 2006 at 11:01 am

Ah… then you would have enjoyed this:


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