On a recent business trip to Singapore, I had the chance to sample some of the amazing cuisine on offer. AS you’d expect with Singapore’s position smack bang in the middle of South East Asia there is lots of different influences and unfortunately due to the fleeting nature of the business trip, I didn’t get the chance to try all of the things I would have liked.

The most famous dish in Singapore is Chilli Crab – an intoxicating stew served in an enormous pot containing either a full crab or two, floating in a flavoursome liquor choc full of flavour with Chilli the predominant flavour.

It’s not a dish to eat in a genteel way and I have to say it was a challenge to eat it without ending up with chilli sauce all over the place, regardless of the bibs provided in the restaurant. Singaporeans are justifiably proud of this dish and it’s pretty much expected to use your fingers, sucking and slurping crab meat from every last piece of shell. I have to say I was in my element and I absolutely loved it even though there was plenty of chilli on the go, the internal heat adding to the external hot temperature!

My hosts were then determined to follow this up with a variation of this dish the following day – white pepper crab. This is a drier version of the chilli crab with less sauce but no less flavour. We ate this at lunchtime and tried to keep the lunch business-like but when crab legs are popping everywhere and pieces of shell flying, it’s hard to keep up the pretence of being serious. It certainly helps to break the ice and we could do with more lunches like this in the UK…