We remember traveling by bus through the tree-lined narrow Punggol Road to the seafood restaurants at Punggol Point. Getting there was an adventure by itself. Punggul has been transformed beyond recognition but we are glad to find out that the last stretch of Punggol Road has remained largely unchanged. Going down that road was like going back to Singapore in the late seventies. The Ponggol Seafood (Old Hock Kee) Restaurant was one of the two restaurants next to the jetty at Punggol Point. Ponggol Seafood Restaurant, famous for their Ponggol Mee Goreng, is now located in the new food and beverage complex at Punggol Point known as Punggol Settlement.
We went to Ponggol Seafood Restaurant for dinner on Sunday and found the restaurant, as well as several nearby restaurants, packed. It was a good thing that we made reservation. Ponggol Seafood Restaurant has an indoor air-conditioned area as well as an al fresco dining area. The interior decor is unremarkable. The al fresco area allows diners to have a good view of the Straits of Johore.
We started with baby squids ($18) and sambal vegetables ($9). The baby squids were a little different from those in other seafood restaurants we had tried. The sauce was less sweet and tomato sauce was added. It was also less crispy overall. We prefer the crispier sweeter version. The vegetables were not oily and not too spicy. It was one of the better dishes for the night.
Next to be served were the venison in hot plate ($14) and herbal drunken prawns ($21). Both were as expected and quite enjoyable.
The highlight of the dinner was of course the crabs. We ordered a small chili crab and a small pepper crab. We were told that they only had large crabs left. After a short debate we decided to still have both the chilli crab and the pepper crab. It was not a wise decision as we ended paying a lot more than expected and, as anticipated, not being able to finish all the food.
The chili crab ($101.50) was really quite big. It was cooked with a sauce combining chilli, tomato sauce, spices like lemongrass and galangal, ground dried prawns and roasted peanuts. The sauce looked more brownish than chilli red and was not really sweet. The pepper crab ($98.60) was cooked in a black peppery paste which was really spicy. Both the crab dishes were good. The crabs were well cooked to allow the flavours to seep in to the meat. The crab meat remained tender and juicy. The mantou (buns) at $0.80 each were excellent. They were nicely brown and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They were so good we would happily eat them on their own but they were also delicious when eaten with the chilli crab sauce. We tried the signature Mee Goreng ($12). It was fine but quite ordinary.
On a busy Sunday night, we found the service there was poor. The food was served quite promptly but we had to ask the waiting staff, sometimes a number of times, for things like topping up the tea or changing the plates. Service charge and GST were added to the bill. On the whole, the food was good but the enjoyment of the dinner was somewhat tempered by the poor service and the high prices we had to pay for the crabs.
Ponggol Seafood Restaurant
3 Punggol Point Road
#01-08/09 The Punggol Settlement
Tel : : 644-88-511
Mon – Fri: 11.30am to 02.30pm; 05.30pm to 10.30pm
Sat, Sun, & PH: 11.30am to 10.30pm
#Street Fact – Punggol or Ponggol in Malay literally means “hurling sticks” – a method of bringing down fruits off fruit trees. It came to refer to a place where fruits and forest produce are offered wholesale.
The Ordinary Patrons
Singapore Food Blog by Ordinary People looking for Places to Eat