The Boiler @ 18 Howard Road

"This is how we roe."

“This is how we roe.”

The Boiler is a Louisiana, seafood boil-style restaurant along Howard Road. The place specializes in seafood such as Dungeness crabs & Boston lobsters, all which are boiled & mixed with Cajun spices & flavours. The restaurant is the newest kid on the block, with other similarly styled places such as Crab In Da Bag & the very well-known, The Cajun Kings.

Inside the restaurant.

Inside the restaurant.

The owner of the place was a banker-turned restaurateur, who got introduced to the rich Cajun culture in Los Angeles by his relatives a few years back. The Boiler came to fruition after he managed to recreate the flavours of the South that he fell in love with.

Comparison with The Cajun Kings
I’ve actually been to The Cajun Kings a few months back and when I found out about this place, all I could think of was how similar they both were. Both places offer the same style of eating; an open seafood boil concept where you HAVE to use your hands. Both places also specialize in Cajun flavours & spices for their seafood boils. Of course while both places have a lot in common, they are not related & both have positive aspects on their own.

Aesthetic
One thing that The Boiler does not lack is – space. The place is wonderfully spacious, with tables set a distance apart from each other, ensuring comfort when you are busy attacking your lobsters & crabs. The place also has a large window facade that spans and takes up half of the restaurant, allowing lots of visual viewing, both in & out the restaurant. This is sort of the opposite of The Cajun Kings, where tables are much more cramped & the place is much darker with their only external light source being their entrance.

The Boiler utilizes a whole Modern-Industrial look, keeping things clean & minimal. Multiple exposed light bulbs hang from the ceiling, with a giant fan in the middle, keeping the place cool & ventilated.

Menu of The Boiler. Seafood, seafood & more seafood!

Menu of The Boiler.
Seafood, seafood & more seafood!

A nice little guide for eating lobsters.

A nice little guide for eating lobsters.

Food
As mentioned earlier, The Boiler specializes in seafood boils; your choice of seafood, boiled in huge plastic bags in your desired sauce. Similar to The Cajun Kings, the place offers seafood such as Dungeness crabs, Boston lobsters, prawns, clams & mussels. You then get to choose your sauce, ranging from two butter sauces & the main attraction – “The Works”. Aside from the seafood boils, The Boiler also offers a few starters & sides, something to munch on or choices for someone who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty. (Those people are probably crazy.)

The way it works here is that you have to eat using entirely only your HANDS. The table is laid with huge durable paper covering to contain the mess that ensues. When your seafood boil is served, they are brought in a bucket, in plastic bags.. From here, you have a choice to leave them inside the bags or to pour everything out and dig in! They do provide some plastic cutlery along with metal crab crackers to make your attack easier. Interestingly enough, they do not have any wooden mallets, something that is iconic to The Cajun Kings.

Price
Price-wise, it’s all mostly standard for seafood boils here. If you expect to have a satisfying seafood boil, you will definitely have to be prepared to pay, especially if you are looking for crabs or lobsters. The prices here are quite similar to The Cajun Kings, so there’s no clear winner on this aspect. You can check out the prices on the menu above. Service fees & GST are included for both places.

The Boiler's Lemonade ($4.90) This pretty much caught my eye while I was browsing the menu. The name makes it seem like an iconic drink to The Boiler. It was quite ice & refreshing and I really liked it. If I'm not mistaken, they added Yakult in the drink, which I thought made it pretty unique.

The Boiler’s Lemonade ($4.90)
This pretty much caught my eye while I was browsing the menu. The name makes it seem like an iconic drink to The Boiler.
It was quite nice & refreshing and I really liked it. If I’m not mistaken, seems like they also added Yakult in the drink, which I thought made it pretty unique.

Sweet Potato Fries ($6.90) I felt quite greedy & wanted something to munch on before the actual seafood boil. I decided to go with a safe bet & chose sweet potato fries. They were good. Crispy on the outside while soft on the inside. A nice starter before the glorious seafood. (Sidenote: It does also take a while for the seafood boil to be served, so perhaps having something to munch on while waiting is a good idea.)

Sweet Potato Fries ($6.90)
I felt quite greedy & wanted something to munch on before the actual seafood boil. I decided to go with a safe bet & chose sweet potato fries.
They were good. Crispy on the outside while soft on the inside. A nice starter before the glorious seafood.
(Sidenote: It does also take a while for the seafood boil to be served, so perhaps having something to munch on while waiting is a good idea.)

Boiler's Bombdiggity Bag ($139) Dungeness Crab, Prawns, Clams, Mussels, Sausages, Corn & Fried Buns (Not shown here) Ding! Ding! Ding! Here we have hit the jackpot! Look at all that glorious seafood! This Bombdiggity Bag is actually slated to be for four people, which I found to be more of an estimate/exaggeration. This was shared between my companion & I. Yup... TWO people. (Do bear in mind that I tend to be a big eater, especially when I save myself up for awesome food like this.) I went with a mild version of "The Works" as I'm not a fan of spicy foods.

Boiler’s Bombdiggity Bag ($139)
Dungeness Crab, Prawns, Clams, Mussels, Sausages, Corn & Fried Buns (Not shown here)
Ding! Ding! Ding! Here we have hit the jackpot! Look at all that glorious seafood! This Bombdiggity Bag is actually slated to be for four people, which I found to be more of an estimate/exaggeration. This was shared between my companion & I only. Yup… TWO people. (Do bear in mind that I tend to be a big eater, especially when I save myself up for awesome food like this. I did takeaway some of it, but still… at most I would think it’s for three people.)
I went with a mild version of “The Works” as I’m not a fan of spicy foods. They also have an option of Medium or Ragin’ Hot.

Boston Lobster ($49 [Usually $75]) They are having a promotion for their Boston lobsters until 31 August 2014. It's now at 49 bucks! Chose the Peppa' Butter to go with the lobster. Butter & lobster  always go together perfectly. When this was served, I was immediately tantalised by the fantastic aroma of the butter sauce. It smelled just absolutely wonderful.

Boston Lobster ($49) [Usually $75]
They are having a promotion for their Boston lobsters until 31 August 2014. It’s now at 49 bucks!)
During my visit to The Cajun Kings, there was also a promo for lobsters at a discounted price. I’m not really sure who in their right mind will order them if they are back to their original pricing though. Of course, prices for lobster in Singapore can go sky high, which is ridiculous. Some places do offer them at a standard lower rate though. (See my review for Pince & Pints.)
Chose the Peppa’ Butter to go with the lobster. Butter sauce & lobster always go together perfectly.
When this was served, I was immediately tantalised by the fantastic aroma of the butter sauce. It smelled just absolutely wonderful.

The Bombdiggity Bag also comes with a basket of fried buns, as you can see here. Perfect companions to dip into the delicious sauces. You are also provided with lemon wedges to squeeze onto your seafood. "The Works" The sauce - "The Works", is basically comprised of various Cajun spices, somewhat  similar to the main sauce from The Cajun Kings. I do find that I prefer the sauce here than the one at The Cajun Kings. The sauce here is much more to my palette. Though I do find that the sauce from The Cajun Kings tastes more authentic with a stronger flavour of spices which takes some getting use to.

The Bombdiggity Bag also comes with a basket of fried buns, as you can see here. Perfect companions to dip into the delicious sauces. You are also provided with lemon wedges to squeeze onto your seafood.
The sauce – “The Works”, is basically comprised of various Cajun spices, somewhat similar to the main sauce from The Cajun Kings. I do find that I prefer the sauce here than the one at The Cajun Kings. The sauce here is much more to my palette. Though I do find that the sauce from The Cajun Kings actually tastes more authentic with a stronger flavour of Cajun spices which I must admit, takes some getting use to.

The contents of the Bombdiggity Bag laid out, along with the Boston lobster. (So pretty.) As you can see, the bag comes with a Dungeness crab, clams, mussels, prawns, corn & sausages. Don't worry, there's more in the bag, I just took some of it out for photography purposes. I'll like to note that both sauces; "The Works" & the Peppa' Butter sauce, seems to have a huge amount of garlic added. It starts to get more apparent once the sauces evaporate, leaving behind chunks of garlic. It does add flavour to the sauces, but the taste of it is also pretty strong. (It even lingered in my mouth till the next day.) Perhaps a smaller amount of it would make the sauces perfect. I'll also like to note that the lobster here seemed bigger than the one I had at The Cajun Kings while the crab I had over there seemed bigger than the one I had here. The downside to this is that as they are fixed pricing, you won't know what you'll be getting, big or small.

The contents of the Bombdiggity Bag laid out, along with the Boston lobster. (So pretty, ain’t it.)
As you can see, the bag comes with a Dungeness crab, clams, mussels, prawns, corn & sausages. Don’t worry, there’s more in the bag, I just took some of it out for photography purposes.
I’ll like to note that both sauces; “The Works” & the Peppa’ Butter sauce, seems to have a huge amount of garlic added. It starts to get more apparent once the sauces evaporate, leaving behind chunks of garlic. It does add flavour to the sauces, but the taste of it is also pretty strong. (It even lingered in my mouth till the next day.) Perhaps a smaller amount of it would have made the sauces perfect.
I’ll also like to note that the lobster here seemed bigger than the one I had at The Cajun Kings while the crab I had over there seemed bigger than the one I had here. The downside to this is that as they are fixed pricing, you won’t know what sizes you’ll be getting, big or small.

CBD ($7.90) "CBD" basically stands for Crispy Banana & Durian. This is their main dessert option, with cheesecakes as a second choice. Unfortunately, they were out of durian that day. One of the chefs came out & asked if it was alright if he replaced the durian with sweet potato & yam instead. At that time, I felt that it was such a nice thing for him to offer and so I consented. In hindsight, perhaps I should have ordered the cheesecake instead. I still had to pay the full price for the dessert and the replacements didn't seem worth it. It's basically your typical "Goreng Pisang". The dessert was sort of alright, but it definitely left much to be desired. Perhaps with further improvements, this could be great. I see potential. (Though I really should have gone with the cheesecakes instead.)

CBD ($7.90)
“CBD” basically stands for Crispy Banana & Durian. This is their main dessert option, with cheesecakes as a second choice.
Unfortunately, they were out of durian that day. One of the chefs came out & asked if it was alright if he replaced the durian with sweet potato & yam instead. At that time, I felt that it was such a nice thing for him to offer and so I obliged.
In hindsight, perhaps I should have ordered the cheesecake instead. I still had to pay the full price for the dessert and the replacements didn’t seem worth it. It’s basically your typical “Goreng Pisang”. The dessert was sort of alright, but it definitely left much to be desired. Perhaps with further improvements, this could be great. I do see some potential. (Though I really should have gone with the cheesecakes instead.)

A light signage of The Boiler.  (Reminds me of the sign at The Beast.)

A light signage of The Boiler.
(Reminds me of the light sign at The Beast.)

Worth A Visit/Revisit?
I do really like this whole concept of Westernized seafood boils & eating with your hands. It’s something that is probably here to stay, especially with similar places like Crab in da Bag, The Cajun Kings & a few others. All in all, The Boiler is definitely a nice place to go to for seafood though I must admit the place is quite similar to the restaurants I’ve mentioned above & doesn’t really have anything that makes it stand out. Prices for their seafood is also quite exorbitant for me (Though it’s standard pricing), I’ll probably visit places like these once in a blue moon. Nonetheless, it’s still a good place to chill out with a bunch of friends & enjoy seafood if you have some extra cash lying around. It’s not just a meal, it’s also pretty fun.

RATING

Food
8/10
Aesthetic
7.5/10
Price
6.5/10
Service
7.5/10

THE BOILER

18 Howard Road, #01-06, Singapore 369585
(Nearest train station: Tai Seng)
Contact: 6635 1285
Opening Hours:
Sun, Tues – Thurs: 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Fri – Sat & Eve of PH: 5:00 pm – 12:00 am
http://www.theboiler.com.sg/
https://www.facebook.com/TheBoilerSG

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