Imagine gnawing on a heavily sauced rack of ribs, then replace the bones with an exoskeleton that surrounds some of the best tidbits, and you'll have a feel for Singapore chili crab. Once I found myself a seat — two free hands are essential — I needed about half an hour to slurp dry those legs and claws and worry loose most of the remaining crabmeat with a plastic knife and fork. (For a change, I'd also remembered to pinch open the plastic bag containing the cutlery, and my napkin, before I was wrist-deep in sauce.)
This version ($5) was very coconutty, but it needed more chili, and the chicken curry I tried later ($5) was also sweet and mild; the festival organizers may have calibrated the spice level with an eye on potential U.S. tourists. I didn't venture the dry-looking chicken satay or the roti prata, but at the demonstration table I snared a fine sample of kueh dadar, a crepe wrapped around coconut and palm sugar.
Singapore Chili Crab Festival
Center Blvd. near 50th Ave., Long Island City, Queens