Capital Restaurant 首都酒家 Hairy Crab set review


It’s hairy crab season again. After a disappointing hairy crab lunch at NUSS The Scholar last week, Mike suggested going here, which is famous for authentic hairy crabs. There was only one hairy-crab set menu to choose from. At $45 per person, we thought it was quite reasonable.

The place was fully booked and we were ushered to the second storey. Appetizer was cold edamame (green peas) although I spotted other tables having fried anchovies.

The first course was fried dumpling with roe. There was nothing special about it and they were so small one could have eaten both in one mouthful. (Same size as the cherry tomato.)

The second dish was a piece of scallop. Chewy and garlicky. I thought if the portion continues to be ‘French’ size, my sons would surely request for MacDonald after the meal.

I should add at this point that the restaurant do not charge service charge, so service was almost non-existent. The course was not served one at a time but almost together. But as it was only one mouthful per course, we didn’t mind, except when they served the quail and shark’s fin soup together. Although the shark’s fin soup was served in a small claypot, it was still chilling there as I took my time eating my quail.

The quail was salty but delicious. There was hardly any meat but gnawing on the bones must surely be why we choose to eat quails.

The shark’s fin soup had generous portion of crab meat. Other than that, it’s obvious this bowl of soup came out of a big pot.

The mini-abalone with fish maws was delicious, but our tummies were still not filled.

The filler was a delicious pot of fried rice, enough for 6 small bowls. After all the good stuff, it’s ironical to gush over simple fried rice but the rice was really tasty, full of wok-hei.

The finale of the dinner is of course the hairy crab. I was disappointed to see the small size, like what I had at NUSS. At this juncture, a Japanese couple arrived and sat next to us and they ordered the same set and one extra male hairy crab, which is bigger.

We contemplated if we should order another male as well but was told the wait would be an hour.

Our crabs arrived and I had expected the waitress to open them for us, but we were told to open ourselves. Mike then did for all of us.

The first two crabs he opened for the two boys had gooey roe, just how I like it. By the time he opened mine, I was disappointed to see the pathetic bits of cooked roe. Ivan bit into his and claimed the roe was sticky and tasted weird. We made an exchange, and his was indeed the better crab.

The effort we spent extracting every single piece of flesh from the tooth-pick legs was hard work. I peered over to the Japanese table and the man had a huge pile of shells on his plate – definitely a hairy crab expert.

Dessert was tang-yuan in ginger soup – to warm the stomach as hair crab is a cooling food.

As we left the restaurant, I saw a table of three man sharing 6 gigantic hairy crabs among them. I told Mike, ‘Perhaps we should just spend the money on crabs and forget about the other dishes.’ He agreed and asked, ‘Shall we come again?’ Ivan replied, ‘No, too much work.’

As if we are going to bring him with us again.

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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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7 Responses to Capital Restaurant 首都酒家 Hairy Crab set review

  1. vgag says:

    I’m an Australian expat living in Taipei–and I don’t even eat seafood, but I found your review of the hairy crab place both informative and hilarious! We have a friend coming over to visit soon, and she is a crab lover, but I think we might well give this place a miss!!

    • vickychong says:

      Hi. I thought all along you were a Chinese living in Melbourne. I wonder why. hmmm…..Anyway, this restaurant is in Singapore, not Taipei. If you have the opportunity, do try Hairy Crab, It’s an acquired taste – the roe (or sperm for male?), much like durian, or century eggs. You only get it between mid Oct to mid Nov.

      • vgag says:

        Yes, I do live in Melbourne, but I’m currently studying in Taipei. I really enjoy your reviews of restaurants and dramas. Sorry, I thought your hairy crab review was part of your food series on Taiwan…

      • vickychong says:

        Thanks very much. Good luck to your stay in Taiwan. I enjoyed my vacation a few weeks ago and hope to be back soon.

  2. Parampampam says:

    We’ve been going to Capital for the last 3 years for the hairy crab season and we never got the set meal. The aunties there are honest that the hairy crabs that come in the set meals are not the good ones. The tags are different. So we always order the special crabs. One is at S$ 32 a piece and the other is $38. We don’t see much difference between the 2 so we always settle for the S$32. We never had any disappointments so far. The amount of roe inside was just so overwhelming good!!! So give Capital a chance again, don’t order the set meal!! 😀

    • vickychong says:

      Hi, thanks for writing in. I actually went back again and ordered ala-card hairy crabs 275g and it was good. But this was not stated anywhere in the menu on my first visit.

  3. Pingback: Hairy Crabs at Wàn Hé Lóu 萬合樓 | Vicky's Writings

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