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.)
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 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.