Founder of Don Signature Crab - Don Lim had to close his restaurant (specializing in Crab Bee Hoon Soup) at China Square Central due to inflating high rental cost. Even though he closed his Crab Bee Hoon restaurant at China Square Central his loyal customers still remembers this Signature dish fondly.
To reward his loyal customers who has in the past support his restaurant & Signature Crab Bee Hoon Soup, Don Lim relocates his Crab Bee Hoon Soup restaurant to a stall at Blk 206 Toa Payoh North 1 #01-1197 Singapore 310206 on 6 March 2015.
Don Signature Crab is a casual no-frills dining concept where loyal fans & new customers can feast on a selection of 7 seafood dishes, including the Specialty Signature Crab Bee Hoon Soup at very affordable pricing.
Don Signature Crab is not a franchise brand but a brand which Don Lim had set up himself as the Founder & Sole-Proprietor.
Don Lim is the Founder of the well-known brand Don Pie Club chain of retail outlets which retails gourmet pies, Kueh Lapis and Cheese cake (with a local flavor).
Don Pie Club has its Flagship outlet located in a restaurant at China Square Central. The increasing rental hikes at China Square Central drove Don Lim to move his Don Pie Club out of China Square Central in mid-2014.
He has since operate the main Don Pie Club outlet as a take-away kiosk located at No 1 Raffles Place, and relocate the central kitchen in a factory at Bukit Batok. Don's Pie Club currently retails only gourmet pies and cakes.
His F&B experience
Don Lim have been working in the Pastry & Bakery industry for more than 3 decades & the Crab Bee Hoon business for slightly more than 5 years.
He was the Resident Chef handling Pastry production at Hewlett Packard for almost 2 decades. In retrospect Wong Kan Seng was the HR Manager who recruited Don Lim for a position in the kitchen. Through the years he rose to become the Resident Pastry Chef.
Don Lim is the sole proprietor of Don Signature Crab business serving delicious seafood dishes including the Signature Crab Bee Hoon Soup.
Don Lim is currently concentrating on Don Signature Crab brand & its development & is unlikely to kick off any new brands for the time being.
Don Lim's key factors to consider before expansion is to find premises suitable for F&B business with low rent rates which is a real challenge.
Besides rental, the location is important for the outlet to be accessible to the public & masses. In addition to this Don Lim hopes to work within low labor cost to provide quality and affordable fine crab and prawn dishes for his customers. To date he has only one Don Signature Crab outlet in Singapore.
Don Lim is the Executive Chef & the brain behind the menu here at Don Signature Crab. He is likely to maintain his menu for now, & unlikely to revamp his menu except when customers do feedback &request for more variety from the existing selection of 7 items. For any new dishes introduced, Don Lim has to factor in the market demands & balance it with the cost of fresh quality premium ingredients.
Currently there are 4 crab and 3 prawn dishes, totaling 7 items on the menu, namely :
- Crab Bee Hoon (soup),
- Black Pepper Crab Bee Hoon,
- Cheesy Crab Bee Hoon,
- Sweet & Sour Crab Mee Sua,
- Prawn Laksa,
- Prawn Noodle (soup),
- Black Pepper Prawn Bee Hoon.
Don Lim specialize in using fresh seafood ingredients such as crab and prawn, noodles, vegetables and other core spices, herbs. He does not use pork or lard in his cooking.
His Secret Recipe
The secret recipe Don Lim uses in cooking of his Signature crab comes from much research & development on his part as well as expert tips from a family friend who is a very experienced Hong Kong Chef, himself an accomplished chef & a culinary expert in Cantonese Cuisine. The recipe alone in making the Crab Bee Hoon soup uses more than 20 types of spices, herbs, dry & fresh ingredients which Don Lim declines to reveal.
The Chefs at Don Signature Crab : Don Lim & his Chef assistant, are both very hands on in the kitchen & are involve in all food preparation, inventory management, purchase. Any new kitchen staff undergoes On-The-Job intensive training by Don Lim, & learn to master Don Lim's recipes for the 7 dishes on the menu.
Currently Don Lim has no plans for a central kitchen yet for his Don Signature Crab business.
Food Ingredients Used
Here at Don Signature Crab, Don Lim uses only fresh premier live Sri Lankan crabs. His crab & seafood supplier is Lim Yan Hwee Trading Pte Ltd www.yummycrab.com located at Blk 261 Serangoon Central Drive #01-03, Singapore 550261.
Lim Yan Hwee Trading (Crab & Seafood Supplier) is founded in 1977 & specializes in importing, exporting, wholesale, & retail a wide variety of live fresh crabs. Lim Yan Hwee sourced the live crabs direct from Sri Lanka & India & they are air flown daily.
Don Lim usually orders about 70 crabs from Lim Yan Hwee at any time. The live crabs comes in all sizes ranging from 400 gm minimum to more than 1 kg. The live fresh crabs are slaughtered ala minute once the order is placed by the customer.
Don Lim does not use Indonesia & Vietnamese crab (as they have an ammonia taste). He does not flower crabs as they are always dead. Don Lim only use live crab from Sri Lanka.
The fresh vegetables & soup are prepared daily.
Each bowl of Crab Bee Hoon soup order is made using standard recipe & made using more than 20 ingredients added to the mirepoix soup base. The mirepoix is prepared daily at the kitchen here. Ratio is 1:1 of paste to crab by weight, i.e., 150 gm paste to 150 gm crab.
Here at Don Signature Top Seller includes : Crab Bee Hoon Soup, Black Pepper Crab, Black Pepper Prawn.
Don Lim's uses sea prawns from Malaysia & are sourced from Lim Yan Hwee Trading Pte Ltd as well.
The aromatic black pepper used in the Black Pepper Crab recipe comes all the way from Sarawak.
The rest of the ingredients and sources are purchased locally.
The core spices used in the soup & black pepper paste, e.g. black pepper, white pepper, dried scallops, other dry ingredients are sourced from Ah Pau Chop located at Victoria Wholesale Centre, #01-03/04, Kallang.
Don Lim prepares the live crabs ala minute to ensure customers taste the crab at its freshest. They cook the newly slaughtered crabs for only 5-10 minutes to ensure the meat retains its freshness.
Don Lim shared that it is important to kill the crab when it is alive, then cook it immediately (& not leave in the fridge) to ensure the crabs retain a fresh flavor & sweet taste.
Don Lim maintains that the crabs need to be cook at medium heat for only 5-10 minutes, & not beyond that or else the crab meat will shrink if overcooked.
To prepare Crab Bee Hoon Soup, Don Lim cook the soup base first then add the 20 ingredients, followed by Bee Hoon & freshly slaughtered crab to cook together for 5-10 minutes.
As for the Black Pepper crab Don Lim shared that he prepares the Black Pepper paste before hand. using key ingredients : black pepper, white pepper, Chinese parsley, garlic, onion, ginger, chili, ratio of 150 gm crab to 150 gm of black pepper paste. Then he cook them at medium high heat.
Slogan & Mission Statement
Slogan : Heavenly Taste, Royal Feeling.
Mission Statement: To be the world most sought after Singapore Crab Bee Hoon Soup.
Don Signature Crab stands out from other restaurants by virtue of :
- The use of only fresh premier live Sri Lankan crabs delivered daily.
- Use of quality and finest fresh ingredients used in the crabs and prawn dishes.
- Unique and refreshing taste of soup stock used in the Crab Bee Hoon soup, notably known as Shang Tang, just like those prepared in renowned Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong.
Available by cash only.
Catering Services & Minimum Order
Special catering can be provided if the order is at least $1000 on days Monday to Thursday or $2000 on days Friday to Sunday or public holidays. Advance notice of at least 5 days must be given.
Booking of Venue for Private events
Available during dinner period from 5.30 pm to 9 pm for maximum 60 people. At least 1 week notice must be given.
Available, with quality microwave containers provided FOC. No minimum order required.
They have yet to finalize a delivery vendor, hence no delivery is available, Self-Collect please.
The low profit margin (at 30% - 50% lower pricing than other restaurants) means Don Signature Crab cannot afford to have any discounts to customers.
However banks and credit cards companies can issue pre-paid vouchers to their customers to purchase food.
Target market & Target audience
Don Signature Crab hopes to attract customers at rate of 2000 people monthly. He aims to attract seafood, crab & prawn devotees, be it young or old.
Seating Capacity & al fresco dining
Total about 30 - 35 tables, at 4 pax per table, thereby totaling 140 pax.
Signature Items on ala carte Menu includes:
Crab Bee Hoon Soup and Black Pepper Crab.
Renowned Taiwanese singer, Jenny Tseng, and the late renowned comedy actress “Fei Fei” Lydia Sim from Hong Kong, used to patronize Don Crab Bee Hoon Soup at China Square Central whenever they were in Singapore. Jenny Tseng loved the Crab Bee Hoon Soup & she liken its taste to one of the Hong Kong high-end restaurants soup meant for the royalties!
Blk 206 Toa Payoh North 1,
Tel : 96916776
Nearest MRT : Braddell MRT
Opening Hours :
Mondays to Fridays 12 pm to 8.30 pm
Saturdays to Sundays 1 pm to 8.30 pm