Dining

Enjoy Seafood? Then You Definitely Should Avoid Singapore’s 3 Most Complained-About Seafood Restaurants

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Jeff Cuellar

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Do you love seafood? Why am I asking that question – of course you do! You live on an island after all. Anyway, when it comes to seafood, you probably have one or two preferred restaurants that you like to visit with family and friends.

That’s good. There’s nothing wrong with sticking with what you know. At least you’ll know what to expect when it comes to the quality and price of the seafood.

The seafood restaurants in this article on the other hand – have earned a bad reputation (and numerous online complaints) because of outrageous prices and quality concerns.

So if you’re going out for seafood this weekend, here are 3 seafood restaurants you should definitely visit at your own risk:

 

1. Forum Seafood

Location: 42 Boat Quay

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This one’s more for the foreigners and tourists in Singapore – as locals already know to avoid Forum Seafood like a cemetery on Halloween.

Unless you’re looking to get into some financial “manhood” measurement contest with someone over who can spend the most on Alaskan snow crab, this is a place best avoided.

To be honest, you should probably avoid every seafood restaurant you see at Boat Quay for that matter, since they all have the same wallet-busting strategy:

  1. Put monstrously large grouper, lobsters, or crab on display in undersized tanks
  1. Have no prominently displayed placard indicating the price per/kg price for the seafood on display

Forum Seafood just happens to be more notorious than its neighboring seafood restaurants because it has been in the news a couple of times.

Most recently, it made news for handing a Filipino family a bill for $1,186.20 for ordering a variety of seafood including a $707 Alaskan snow crab! But it doesn’t end there. If you check out Tripadvisor, you’ll find plenty of stories of people being charged $300-$600+ for mediocre seafood.

In the immortal words of one Tripadvisor user, Trav-LG, Forum Seafood is a “Tourist trap. A big expensive mistake. Great View. Terrible food.”

 

2. Sin Huat Eating House

Location: 659/661 Geylang Road

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Why is a renowned restaurant like Sin Huat Eating House on this list? I mean, c’mon now, its crab beehoon is practically a national treasure. In fact, world famous foodie Anthony Bourdain named it as one of the 13 Places to Eat Before You Die.

Well, there’s no doubt that the food at Sin Huat Eating house has rightly earned the praise it has received. But… that’s not what irritates Singaporeans about this seafood restaurant.

According to online reviews, these are the major reasons Singaporeans complain about this place:

  1. The Chef: Talented chef Danny Lee doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being nice. In fact, he tends to rub people the wrong way and come off as arrogant and pushy – earning him the nickname “food Nazi.
  1. The Waiting Time: Chef Danny Lee runs a one-man show at the restaurant, which equates to waiting times ranging from 45 minutes for one dish, to a few hours for several dishes.
  1. The Outrageous Price: There is NO menu at Sin Huat Eating House. That means you have no idea what the final cost of your food will be until you receive the bill – which is usually several hundred dollars per person.

I’m not 100% sure on this, but my guess is that the biggest reason why Singaporeans complain about this place is because they unknowingly stop at this rundown looking hawker stall in Geylang expecting to pay hawker prices – but end up paying a Michelin restaurant bill.

 

3. House of Seafood @ 180 (Now Closed)

Location: 180 Yio Chu Kang Road

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Apparently, the House of Seafood @ 180 is another renowned seafood restaurant that touts its pepper crab as being “Voted The Best Pepper Crab In Singapore.”

Now, as to when exactly it earned that distinction, I honestly have no idea. What I do know is that when it comes to online complaints and reviews – House of Seafood @ 180 shares a rating on par with Forum Seafood above.

Why is that? It mainly has to do with the crab. Yes, the place with the “Best Pepper Crab In Singapore” received multiple complaints about its crab dishes. Singaporeans complained about the following:

  1. The Price: House of Seafood @ 180’s menu does list the prices of many of its dishes. BUT, when it comes to seafood, it only mentions “seasonal price,” which usually equates to an expensive bill.
  1. The Weight: Some customers complained that when ordering a certain weight (ex. 3kg) in seafood, what they received didn’t feel like the weight they paid for.
  1. The Taste: Although the restaurant boasts of having an award-winning taste, the customer reviews have been less than stellar, with many complaints being aimed at the mediocre taste of its crab dishes.

Yes, this restaurant is closed – but it certainly deserves a spot on this list post-mortem. However, if it’s any indication, many of the other House of Seafood branches also received low ratings – and similar complaints – so buyer beware.

 

What are some other seafood restaurants you have been to that deserve to be on this list? Let us know here!

Images:
Joanna TeoMichael Burkey, Geoff Leeming

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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.