Chef Dharshan's Ministry of Crab #25 Asia’s 50 Best, Will Open the First Thailand Branch in Sukhumvit.
The Ministry of Crab, a Sri Lankan restaurant institution, led by Chef Dharshan Munidasa(#25 Asia’s 50 Best 2018), cricket legends; Mahela Jayawardene; Kumar Sangakkara with the support of local franchise partners are bringing the brand to Bangkok, Thailand – in fact, they’re already here!
The restaurant is located in the Phrom Phong area and under the construction phase. It is set to launch before the end of the year 2018, but nobody is making any promises. Chef Dharshan also plans to source the local Thai mud crab to serve along with his signature Sri Lankan mud crab dishes, making this a genuinely Thai-centric branch with more sustainable-friendly menu options.
With legions of fans all over Asia particularly in Japan where Chef Dharshan was born, grew up, learnt the language, and was eventually bestowed the “Minister Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese food in 2014,” are promoting 6 months in advance, for his first pop up this September at Shangri-La Tokyo. Lets just say he’s big in Japan.
Bangkok diners would be pleased to know that the famous Chilli Crab, Pepper Crab, and Baked Crab dishes from the original will appear on the Bangkok based menu. If one did want to secure the opportunity to dine at any of their establishments, it’s highly recommended to book in advance. So far there are no indications of where to sign-up. Even their International print Ads states “Reservations Essential” in big and bold letters. So, before the countdown to the crab dash begins, we’ve decided to compile a “Ministry of Crab Tidbits” list for your foodies knowledge bragging rights.
If you wanted to catch Chef Dharshan and team while they are in town (now), they will be cooking at Vertigo TOO for a pop-up at the Banyan Tree Resort from the 9th-11th August 2018. More information on that here.
THE CLAW AND MORE:
Ministry of Crab has more than just crab. They are also famous for their amazing King Prawns from the rivers of Sri Lanka, served with Chef Dharshan’s signature olive oil, chilli, and garlic sauce. This will also be available on the Bangkok menu for those who want to extend on their seafood indulgence.
The crabs that will be shipped in from Sri Lanka are all fresh, meaning they must be shipped alive and never frozen. One, for the obvious reasons that crab loses its great taste if frozen and secondly, the warm water crabs have an aversion to the cold. If they get a little chilly, they could die ( a lot ) earlier than expected. Apparently, one of the major challenges when receiving crabs in colder climate countries.
Last year, Chef Dharshan took part in an epic 16 hands dinner hosted by Chef Bombana at his 8 ½ to e Mezzo restaurant in Macau for the lead up to Asia’s 50 Best 2018 Awards, where Bangkok’s Chef Ton of Le Du lent his own hands too. This was Bangkok Foodies first-hand experience with Ministry of Crab and also one of Chef Dharshan’s only multiple chefs’ collaborations.
At the Ministry of Crab in Sri Lanka Colombo hangs a stylish board which displays crabs labelled at different sizes. The crabs start from ½ Kilo to OMG or the Crabzilla. There’s no official confirmation if Bangkok will carry the Crabzilla, but no doubt there there will be fans poised in “take my money” positions.
THERE’S NO FAKING IT:
Chef Dharshan is leading the “SAY NO – TO FAKE WAGYU” campaign under his Nihonbashi (#45 Asia’s 50 Best) restaurant brand. The Chef protests against companies that label anything other than Wagyu (Japanese beef) and the those who inject liquid of Japanese fat into beef, to call it such. He infamously wore his “SAY NO – TO FAKE WAGYU” t-shirt to the Asia’s 50 Best Awards 2018 in Macau which caused a bit of a stir.
PIMP MY CRAB
Merchandise has always been a big thing, whether it’s the ubiquitous black bib or moulded butter emblazoned with the orange Crab logo, the brand has now introduced “THE CRAB WITH THE GOLDEN CLAW” – quite literally. These keepsake pendants/brooches are available gold and decorated in sapphire, ruby and garnet.
Ministry of Crab sources from a single supplier, the Nikasa Seafood factory, where they catch only Sri Lankan lagoon mud crabs sourced from their natural environment. The crabs have a distinctive flavour which differs from the farmed mud crab. You will find they are a little sweeter and less – how to say – “muddy”.