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Ministry of Crab (MoC) is the best restaurant in Sri Lanka—consistently ranked in Asia’s 50 Best (#25 in 2018)—featuring the best export-quality Sri Lankan mud crab in Colombo. It is founded by Chef Dharshan Munidasa and cricket players Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in a preserved 400-year old Dutch hospital in the heart of Colombo.

Like its Sri Lankan counterpart, MoC Manila serves the best export quality Philippine mud crab with a medley of signature Sri Lankan spices, Japanese techniques and unique Filipino flavors in its Shangri-La at the Fort branch in BGC.

Here is our guide on how to best experience Ministry of Crab Manila…

 

MINISTRY OF CRAB MANILA
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Open Daily from 6.00pm to 10.30pm (one seating only)
Telephone: +(632) 820-0888
E-mail: [email protected]
Instagram: @ministryofcrab.manila
FacebookShangri-La at the Fort, Manila
Websitewww.shangri-la.com

#MinistryOfCrabMNL
#KeepCalmAndCrabOn

First Things First

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Ministry of Crab Manila is located on the street level of Shangri-La BGC Mall along 30th Avenue near the corner of 5th Avenue.

(Note: It is located outside the hotel premises.)

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You have to descend a flight of stairs to the basement. A high ceiling ambiance welcomes you…

 

Ministry of Crab

Ministry of Crab MenuArticles I to X | The Amendments | Desserts

…with interiors inspired by the colonial Sri Lankan design of its original store.

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You can choose from 10 crab sizes (the available ones are lighted) ranging from the 1/2 Kilo Crab (500-600g) at ₱1,800 up to the Crabzilla (2kg) at ₱11,250.

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The main dining is flanked by two private dining rooms good for 10 people for ₱25,000 minimum consumable.

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Make sure to reserve the one in the far end for added privacy and better ambiance.

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The best one though is the private room on the ground floor behind the reception area that overlooks the main dining hall.

 


Cocktails

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Thirst Quenchers Menu: Wine | Cocktails & Spirits

The cocktail program, inspired by the Sri Lankan landscape featuring ginger, cinnamon and local spices, is proudly made by Shangri-La at the Fort’s Executive Mixologist Ulysse Jouanneaud.

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Spirit of the Sea (₱500). Portobello Road No. 171 gin, Cucumber & Cilantro, Bergamot juice, Green tomato jam, Saline.

Our favorite is the gin-based cocktail that gives a refreshing taste of “sea travel and paradise.”

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Kandy’s Loot (₱250). Raspberry & Juniper berry, Fresh lemon, Ginger Ale.

Rache’s top pick is the raspberry sweet and ginger ale based virgin cocktail that is a good palate cleanser for the Sri Lankan spices.

 

Getting ready

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You are encouraged to eat with your hands using the special crab weapons: mallet, pick and cracker to get the meat off the deep crevices of the crab.

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Love the branded and eco-friendly Crab Bib to let you #KeepCalmAndCrabOn.

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The peanuts with crushed Sri Lankan black peppers stimulate your palate to get you ready for the spices ahead.

 


Starters

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Crab Sisig (₱750). Fresh crab meat, crab roe, calamansi juice, onions and chilies topped with a sunny side up quail egg. 

Start with fresh crab meat with buttery aligue seasoned like sisig with onions, chilies, calamansi and mix it with the quail egg.

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Baked Crab (₱850). Inspired by the classic “main ingredient in baked Crab should be Crab.” Likened by some to a crab risotto, a satisfying starter or a tasty side dish.

The best starter is the baked crab served like a risotto under a crab shell surprise.

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Masi Modello (₱420/glass,₱1,900/bottle). Pinot Grigio, Italy (vivino rating 3.2).

I liked how smooth and light it was, with a dry fruity finish that paired well with the crab starters.

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Chicken Curry Rice (₱850). Served with Japanese sticky rice, Pol Sambol and a fried egg.

Yes, even if you have a friend who is allergic to crab and shrimp, they can enjoy this Chicken Curry Silog served Sri Lankan-Japanese style.

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1/2 Dozen Black Tiger Prawns (₱1,250). Olive Oil & Soy Prawns.

For variety, you can order the half dozen Black Tiger Prawns in a bath of olive oil and soy.

(Tip: Remind the waiter not to overcook the prawns and just serve them medium.)

 


Philippine Mud Crab

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We ordered three different crabs in varying sizes and Sri Lankan flavors for our Ministry of Crab taste test.

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Garlic Chili Crab (XL Up to 1kg -₱5,000).
This is a Ministry of Crab original where Mediterranean and Japanese food philosophies meet Philippine mud crab. It is a blend of the distinct flavors of Italian olive oil, garlic, Sri Lankan chili flakes and Japanese soy sauce. The thick shell of the mud crab adds an unbelievable depth to the flavored oil that is great to soak up with our popular ‘kade bread.’

The best of them all and our favorite is the Garlic Chili Crab with Sri Lankan chili and spices, Japanese soy sauce and Philippine garlic.

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It’s dripping with relatively healthier sunflower seed oil. Yum! Yum!

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Kade Bread (₱150). 18 cubes of Sri Lankan street bread.

Use the Kade bread to scoop the sauce off the plate as you enjoy the fresh pieces of crab.

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Notice how naturally sweet and fresh the crab meat tastes. This is because they cooked it perfectly without giving the crab a shock.

 

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Pepper Crab (Large Up to 900g – ₱3,750).

Black Pepper, also known as the King of Spices, has been around for over 4,000 years. All Sri Lankan curries were black, as Red Chili was not native to the region. This dish, which is made using hand crushed peppercorns (rolled on a traditional miris gala), whole peppercorns and a pepper stock, fuses ingredients endemic to Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lankan flavors and spices are like the Indian ones but cleaner and better tasting. The Black Pepper crab though is not like the ones in Singapore.

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Kani Chahan (Japanese style Crab Fried Rice – ₱650).

It has deeper black pepper spice and heat that you have to get used to, perfect with the Japanese fried rice.

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DeLoach Vineyards  (₱480/glass, ₱2,200/bottle). Chardonnay, USA (vivino rating 3.5).

I like a nice Chardonnay to cut through the spices and refresh the palate.

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We also ordered the Sri Lankan curry which brought me back to my food trip in Sri Lanka where I enjoyed its curries.

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Curry Crab (Large Up to 900g – ₱3,750).
A traditional Sri Lankan curry that combines the freshest crabs with an array of Sri Lankan spices and sprigs of drumstick leaves.

It has a deep curry flavor with Sri Lankan spices and a nice heat from the chilies finished with few drops of coconut milk.

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The best part is you get to eat the fatty crab aligue in all its curry glory.

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They will serve you wet towels throughout the dining experience and a tea bowl with calamansi to clean your hands when you’re done.

 


Desserts

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Ministry of Crab Ice Cream Sundae (Good for 3-4 persons – ₱1,075). 7 scoops of assorted ice cream, barquillos.

This is a good for sharing dessert with different flavors like strawberry and cream, cookies and cream, orange and lemon, salted caramel, burnt rice, davao dark chocolate and blue berry cheesecake.

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Agar-Agar Jelly with Fresh Philippine Mangoes (₱375).
Agar-agar simmered in black & white milk served with sweet, sun-ripened Philippine mangoes and mangga’t suman ice cream.

For something Sri Lankan, go for the coconut milk jelly called Agar-Agar with mangoes and mangga’t suman ice cream on the side.

 


Final Thoughts

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The Chili Garlic Crab is worth it! You’ll love the fresh taste of the crab meat and the spices + chilies that Sri Lankan cuisine is known for.  The crabs are caught in the wild and delivered live daily from Bulacan or Roxas City and perfectly cooked using Japanese techniques.

The chili garlic sauce is super addicting. Best to scoop it with the kade bread or rice. I would order the Black Pepper and Curry sauces to add variety and to taste what Sri Lankan flavors are all about.

Make sure to go with a group so that you can order a bigger crab to make it sulit. Budget about ₱2,500/head for a 3-course crab meal with drinks experience.

Don’t miss the starter of Crab Sisig and Baked Crab plus Agar-Agar Jelly with Fresh Philippine Mangoes for dessert.

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Congratulations to the Shangri-La at the Fort team for successfully opening Ministry of Crab in Manila and bringing the authentic flavors of Sri Lanka to Philippine shores!

 

MINISTRY OF CRAB MANILA
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Open Daily from 6.00pm to 10.30pm (one seating only)
Telephone: +(632) 820-0888
E-mail: [email protected]
Instagram: @ministryofcrab.manila
FacebookShangri-La at the Fort, Manila
Websitewww.shangri-la.com

#MinistryOfCrabMNL
#KeepCalmAndCrabOn

 

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We attended the opening of Ministry of Crab and our meal was courtesy of our friends from Shangri-La at the Fort.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.


P.S. They Call it the Back Room

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Fancy a shoe shine? Yes, this guy can shine your shoes and open the door to the speakeasy Back Room of Shangri-La at the Fort located just in front of the Ministry of Crab Manila reception.

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When the dinner party ends at MoC, head on over to the Back Room to cap the night with awesome conversation with friends and a round of gin. 

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Back Room Menu: About | House Rules & Flavors | Jag Juice (Audacious) | Giggle Water (Frivolous) | Beer & Piscine Imperial | Wine | Bar Bites & Sweets | Live Wire (Glamorous) | On a Toot (Generous) | Gin & Genever | Rum & Arrack | Whisky & Whiskey | Vodka & Brandy

Make sure to check out the menu before you go so that you know what to order and prepare a budget for it.

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