I love crabs (so much I eat them at least once a week!) so when photos of Long Ji's crab bee hoon began popping up on my newsfeed on a daily basis, I thought I'll make a point to try the signature dish, see if it was worth the hype.
Located across the alley from Tiong Bahru Bakery, and a little behind cze char-heavyweight Sin Hoi Sai, the small-ish coffeeshop establishment has been doing a roaring trade since it set up shop late 2014. Possibly even better than when the chef-owner was toiling in the kitchens at the now-defunct Golden Spoon Seafood (it was "that other restaurant" across the carpark from Por Kee).
1) Long Ji Crab Bee Hoon ($): a towering mound of bee hoon drenched in broth with a crab sitting pretty atop, looks impressive but pedestrian in taste. A little disappointing, after all that hype. The lard-tinged broth was sweet but lacked depth, and needed a little spice or piquancy to kick it up several notches. I had to ask for copious lashings of fried garlic crisps, and sambal,for oomph.
2) Fermented Pork Belly ($15 for small): another signature dish but wow did it deliver. The bite-sized strips of pork were scrumptious- flavoursome, and juicy. Elevated by that awesome sambal that was at once punchy and lively. I'll return just for these.
3) Cereal Pumpkin Beancurd ($18 for small): also lackluster. It was creamy and sweet enough, but one-dimensional in flavour, and missing in that well-rounded savoury component.
Keep it up!