ROMPIN: The district of Rompin may be famous for its giant freshwater prawns but a restaurant here is also well known for a different type of crustacean - flower crabs - served cold.
Restoran Rompin Baru owner Cheng Eng Siang, 53, said he came up with the dish after gaining inspiration from fishermen.
“Eating crab is like a pastime for fishermen out at sea. They would bring cooked crabs aboard their boats and hang it above iced water to cool it.
“When they want a snack, they will just reach into the cooler for the crab and take their time peeling and eating it slowly.
“So this idea struck me and I came up with a way to present this snack to customers,” he said when interviewed by StarMetro in Bandar Baru Rompin here recently.
Cheng said he would purchase the fresh flower crabs caught off the coast of Pahang in the morning and have it steamed within two hours.
“Then I put it in a refrigerator to chill it. This is to lock in the freshness and preserve the taste of the sea within the crab’s flesh.
“The most important part of the process though is how to clean it before steaming so there will be no urea smell,” said Cheng, adding that the dish was a high achievement for him as a cook since 1978.
The chilled flower crab proved to be a successful dish for the restaurant as it had drawn in regular customers such as foreigners on fishing trips to Rompin.
The recently concluded by-election had also seen ministers and politicians patronising the restaurant from morning to evening.
Cheng also serve the crab cooked with rice vermicelli.
“For those who have tried the delicacy, they will take away with them a memory of Rompin,” he said.