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Sprawling shopping centers, a multi-ethnic population, and a whole island packed with tourist attractions…say hello to Singapore.

December 14, 2009 9:42 by

I was told the best chili crab in town is served in a restaurant called No Signboard Seafood. The restaurant has numerous outlets throughout Singapore, but the original one, and apparently the best one, is located in the nation’s famed red light district, Geylang.

Geylang is a predominately Chinese neighborhood located a fair distance from Singapore’s central districts. The 20 minute taxi ride to the restaurant will take you past the nation’s notorious public housing projects, where reportedly 80 percent of residents live.

No Signboard Seafood is located on the main road in Geylang, with plastic tables and chairs set under a tin roof and neon lights. And since you’re right on the street, there’s no escaping the neighborhood attractions.

The chili crab, which came in a wide, deep bowl filled with the chili sauce I’d been pining for, was bigger than I’d imagined. I was given a crab that weighed a little over a kilogram and cost SGD40 (AED105) per kilo; it sported gargantuan, tender claws and perfectly fleshy legs. It was the first of many crabs on my trip, although during the ride back to my hotel, the Shangri-La Singapore, my stomach gave me a definitive warning of a possible gastric revolution.

But I was ready for a battle. I had booked myself into one of the biggest, most luxurious rooms Singapore has to offer, and I would’ve been happy to spend a day or two cooped up in my room in the Shangri-La’s Valley Wing with an upset stomach. Besides, the hotel serves champagne and appetizers everyday in the evening for guests, and I would’ve indulged myself, with or without my stomach’s approval.

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