The Boiler at Tai Seng “is a Southern American-inspired seafood joint that serves up fresh seafood in Cajun style known as seafood boil,” I quote from its website. HungryGoWhere voted it as the Best New Restaurant in 2015, and Best Western Restaurant in 2016. This year, Chope named it the Best Seafood Restaurant.
I wasn’t aware of their accolades as I made a reservation with them. My friend, who was celebrating her birthday, said that she hadn’t tried Cajun-style of eating seafood before. Since Full of Crab is closed permanantly, and I had tried Dancing Crab, we decided on The Boiler.
Making a reservation a day before is not a good idea. They couldn’t accommodate our timing (7pm), and said that they had a table at 6pm, but we had to leave by 7.30pm. The next available time slot was 9pm, and we didn’t want a late dinner. In the end, we took the 6pm time, and left at about 8.15pm; the people who purportedly were supposed to have our table at 7.30pm had not shown up. In fact, although it was full house at 7pm, there were a few empty tables by 8pm. I wondered if they could have let us have the table at 7pm in the first place since no one showed up anyway and there was only one seating for dinner that day.
On the day itself, walking to The Boiler from Tai Seng MRT, I was stung by THREE mosquitos. My first thought was, “F***. ZIKA ZIKA ZIKA.”
My second thought was, “FML. You know the story about the bear chasing two friends and one guy said to the other, ‘I don’t need to outrun the bear, I only need to outrun you.’ I am the loser! Mosquitoes ALWAYS sting me and my friends who walked with me were ok. WHY.” hahahaha.
But The Boiler is very different from the surrounding industrial park. There is a certain charm about it: the cement floor, the brick wall, the high ceiling, the French windows. It’s lovely.
The service is also good, i.e., the waiters are hot.
Girl Friend #1: (in dolphin pitch) the waiter is so hot.
GF #2: Which one? Is it the one with the nice ass? He obviously knows he has a nice ass, that’s why he’s wearing joggers.
GF#1: No, no, no, it’s the boyish one, the one who looks like a Korean bodybuilder.
Obviously, my cougar friends will be running for US Presidency: “grabbed women by the p*ssy.” But in their case, it’s grabbed men by the…
When the “Korean bodybuilder” was tying a bib around GF#1’s neck—they help every customer tie bibs—she blushed like the sky in dawn! There was a shy silence at the table, and finally, Ms Atas said, “Why don’t you leave the bibs? We can tie it ourselves.” hahaha. Seriously, why did servers need to tie for customers? We are not babies; we can tie ourselves. This service is redundant.
One miscommunication did mar the service standards. We were told that the beer was 1-for-1, so we ordered a jug ($36). But it turned out that only the pint was 1-for-1. In that case, we would have ordered a tower. The jug was not enough for 7 of us but we did not order more. If we ordered another jug, it would be stupid, because a tower costs as much as 2 jugs. But if we ordered a tower, we would now be unable to finish it.
The food. We ordered a few sides, spicy midjoints ($9.90), salted egg yolk fish skin ($9.90), spam fries ($7.90), and Sriracha cheese fries ($7.90). They are okay. I’d advise you not to order them, but if you must, go for the Sriracha cheese fries, more flavor.
For seafood, we ordered the Bombdiggity bag ($145, for 4 persons) in The Works sauce, and Boiler duo bag ($52, for 2 persons) in garlic butter sauce. The portions are a little small for 4 and 2 persons respectively. We saw a table of two persons ordering 2 bags, eating one bag each; they are smarter than us.
Small as the portions are, the seafood is really fresh. Among Full of Crab, Dancing Crab, and The Boiler, the last one has the freshest seafood. The Works sauce is magical too; it’s slightly spicy with a pungent herb that is very delicious; you need to use a bun to wipe the sauce or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. The accolades are well deserved.
But Bombdiggity bag is overpriced. It’s slightly bigger than the Duo bag, and has an dungeness crab, just ONE. (Is it an expensive crab?) The rest of the bag consists prawns, mussels, clams, sausages, and pearl corn.
Even Ms Atas, who saw the bill, said, “That’s expensive. We didn’t even eat a lot.” That day, there were 3 birthday celebrations. It seemed like The Boiler was expensive enough to be a special occasion. We paid $328 for 7 persons. Although the pricetag does not commensurate with what we had eaten, especially in an industrial park, the food is very delicious, and we had an enjoyable time.
18 Howard Road #01-16 Novelty Bizcenter Singapore 369585
T: +65 6635 1285
T – F 11.30am-2.30pm, Sun-Th 5pm-10.30pm, F, Sat & Eve of PH 5pm-11pm
Overall rating: 3.563/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.