No ordinary rice

Ministry of Crab adds biryani to their menu

Crab biryani.

If you thought Ministry of Crab couldn't get any better. Well, it just did. Head chef Harsha Madhuranga has added a crab biryani to the mix, along with a few other ones.

The restaurant has added its own twist to the aromatic biryani, first brought to Sri Lanka by South Indian Muslims in the early 1900s. Executive chef and patron, Dharshan Munidasa's Crab biryani features 500-750g of mud crab (deshelled after cooking), premium basmati, 3-6 boiled eggs and an aromatic blend of Sri Lankan spices. It is also served in the same clay pot it is cooked in, which intensifies the taste. The biryani (serving two to four diners for B1,590++ or serving more than four diners for B2,490++) is available on Wednesdays.

"The Sri Lankan biryani is not like the Indian ones, which has rose water and a lot of spices. Ours is more like the South Indian biryani, where the fewer herbs and spices help retain the crab flavour. That is why the crab is deshelled. The crab shell is put back into the biryani before it is served as chef Dharshan wants it to be used like a spoon. We will be doing this for delivery, too," says chef Madhuranga.

The biryani is served with a fresh mint sambol (made with mint leaves, garlic, onion, green chillies, lime and salt), that's been hand-ground on a miris gala or traditional grinding stone, which has been brought from Sri Lanka, a classic Malay pickle made from a secret family recipe and a crab bisque.

Chicken curry rice. (Photos: Ministry of Crab Bangkok)

Another new dish on the menu is the Chicken curry rice (B380), which comes with Japanese sticky rice, pol sambol and a fried egg on the side. Much like a pad kaprao, this is a one dish sensation and hit all my food spots. I could eat this day in and day out! "This chicken curry was created by chef Darshan when he studied in the US. It doesn't have a lot of ingredients except the spices. There is no onion or garlic and we only use the chicken leg," says chef Madhuranga. The dish can also be served with the traditional Sri Lankan kade bread, if you're not a rice person.

Another favourite is the Clay pot prawn curry (B1,380, serves two to four), which sees half a kilogramme of two varieties of prawn served in a medley of delicate spices with cubed bread to mop up the curry.

Though the hot favourite dish at Ministry of Crab is the Pepper crab (price depends on the weight), my favourite here is the Curry crab. There is nothing like it in Bangkok and it satisfies my craving for Sri Lankan curry. And do remember, the best way to eat a crab is with your hands (bibs and a crab cracker are provided). Time to get down and dirty, folks!

Ministry of Crab, Bangkok, Sam-ed Building, Sukhumvit 31 / Call 098-598-6554, email reservations.bkk@ministryofcrab.com, visit ministryofcrab.com/bangkok.

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