Omah’s – 10 people, 9 crab!

{Omah’s Malaysian – Port Melbourne}
138 Rouse St
Port Melbourne, 3207
03 9676 9918

Omah’s has been around for practically 5 years now, but as of a couple of months ago I had never heard of it before. Without taking credit away from the chefs, I must say that with the help of social media this place has really taken off like a contagious virus. It is the current talk of the town, with much hype received amongst the blogging community, and may I say rightfully so. Now, that leaves me to wonder why this place had not been discovered earlier? Anyone care to enlighten me? =P

Before I go off on a complete tangent, I shall steer back towards this little gem located near the seaside end of Bay Street in Port Melbourne. It is hidden off the main street on a fairly quiet road, featuring ceiling high windows at the front, added touches of oriental tea house within with wooden bird cage lanterns providing a dimly lit ambience.

Seated with a group of ten hungry food bloggers and foodies – including Off the spork, I eat therefore I am, Ms I-Hua, Fatboo – our sole purpose was to eat crab to our hearts content! As if a hoard of 10 wasn’t enough on a weekday, Tomatom was also there having his share of crab. So what mud crab flavours are there you might ask? Well, the house specialties prepared by executive chef Chong, with their our own homemade sauces include: Salted egg, Lemongrass and curry leaf, Chilli, Black pepper, and Five spices salt & pepper.

At first we ordered a conservative five crabs to begin with. I emphasise: a very, very conservative estimate…

To start with, we had a crack at Thanh’s highly recommended flavour – Salted Egg. Let just say I was a little sceptical as to how awesomely delicious this one flavour could be, but how wrong was I. This incredibly unattractive crab (to say the least) was steaming with a pungent deep fried, but absolutely mouth watering aroma of superheated salt and spice. Prying open the shell to reveal a pearly white flesh untainted by grease or sticky sauce, it is moist, firm and unctuously fresh. As I slowly gnaw away at the meat, I get hits of salty intensity from the overlying shell. And before you know it, I am scouring the entire surface of the shell for this golden fry of crumbly salted egg. It is strongly scented with salted egg intensity, but perfectly counterbalanced by a light tangy spice. Mmmm finger-licking worthy!

Chilli – On any other day, at any other occasion I would be quite satisfied with the sweet aromas of this saucy crab, but I am sad to say that my memories of the other crabs that night were almost completely subjugated by said flavour – it is absolutely all consuming. I personally felt the chilli crab was a little short on the fiery chilli heat, and was certainly sweeter than I would have liked. Apparently though, you can request to have it hotter and less sweet – definitely should’ve done that! Having said that, this was one of the few (if only) flavours that had an abundance of sauce, which was definitely worth ordering a side of roti (or bowl of rice) to mop it all up.

Black pepper – this tarry black sauce was a lovely hit of peppery smokiness with a slightly numbing quality.

Lemon grass – I can’t say I remember eating much of this one, but you can’t blame me on that one. There was only one of these ordered, and there was 10 of us. Not that I’m complaining – mmm salted egg!!!

Just look at the size of that CLAW!!! Clamp my fingers off any day. But not today … Om nom nom!!! And a side note: not all the crabs have roe scattered on the plate, but the ones that did had everyone snatching for the earthy luxury.

Thanks to my fellow diners for making it such a fun night! This extract from Fatboo couldn’t illustrate it any better: “So we’re eating our crabs… waiter hauls in the next crab dish… wipe wipe fingers on napkins… 4 dSLR’s magically appear from under the table… snapsnapsnapsnapsnap!!… lots of giggling… aaaand back to eating.”

Having plunged into our first bites of each flavour of crab, we were left wanting more and more crab. In the end we ordered 9 crabs (many of which was the salted egg), and we only stopped at 9 because the kitchen had no more crabs to serve us. Disaster!!! We should have planned ahead and ordered one each! For a group of ten people, we sure created a lot of noise, made a lot of mess, drew quite a bit of attention, and shamelessly devoured our way through the entire restaurant’s mud crab supply.

Rating: Yummy+1, utterly satisfying. I am a firm convert to Omah’s Malaysian style crabs and would go as far as to say the Salted Egg Mud Crab should be the signature dish. Would I give the salted egg a Yummy+2? Quite possibly.

No noodles, no knife or fork, just all hands and all crab!

As an after note – one should note that – crab season peaks between December and April in Queensland, and May through to August in the Northern Territory. Of course you can get mud crab all year round, but they simply aren’t as active, nor as firm fleshed and are definitely not as full in their shell. Mushy skeleton crab ey? No thanks!

You may also like: Chillipadi – food trail, Monk & Me, David’s yum chaKenzan at GPO

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Yours truly,
Almost Always Ravenous.

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11 Responses to “Omah’s – 10 people, 9 crab!”
  1. Fatbooo says:

    That was a really delicious and fun night indeed! Twas also the night I discovered the beauty of iPhone & iPad ‘lighting’. My jaw was on the table… 😀

  2. Freaking crazy crab fest man!

  3. Agnes says:

    Crabalicious! 😀

  4. Hannah says:

    Two things:

    1. I really wish someone had taken photos of y’all attacking the salted egg crab shells. I’m fairly certain such photos would have been hi-LAR-ious.

    2. Can’t you please do some sort of -fest that I don’t have to be super envious of? Like, um, prokchopfest or orangechocolatedessertfest?

  5. how cool to try all the different crab — yum! 🙂

  6. msihua says:

    I just went again last night.. 5 people 5 crabs. OMG.. and these crabs were MUCH MUCH bigger than the other night, so we were soooo full!!!

  7. Thanh says:

    Told you the salted egg was good. I feel like all our posts are going to look quite similar. We all took shots of the birdcages even.

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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