Fall is here, which means the annual wait for one of the season’s top delicacies — hairy crab — is finally over. Also known as Chinese mitten crabs, these crustaceans are specialties of Shanghai and Jiangsu provinces that produce rich, decadent roe as they ripen in fall. Eager to dig into these golden gastronomic treats? Read on to see six restaurants that are offering special seasonal menus as you plan your hairy crab feasts.
Yan Toh Heen
Executive chef Lau Yiu Fai of Yan Toh Heen — the InterContinental’s two-Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant — is joining forces with hairy crab master Wang Hao, of Central Hotel Shanghai, to prepare a special eight-course hairy crab feast menu (HK$2,488 per person). The menu features braised sea cucumber with hairy crabmeat roe, steamed hairy crabmeat and crab roe with chrysanthemum, fried purple sweet potato with crabmeat and golden purple sweet potatoes paired with glutinous rice dumpling in sweetened ginger tea for dessert.
When: 14 October 2016–10 December 2016 (with a Gala Shanghai Hairy Crab Banquet with guest chef Wang Hao on 4 November 2016)
Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2313 2323, hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com
This autumn, Man Wah will welcome back the team from Cheng Long Hang Crab Palace Restaurant in Shanghai, along with the famed hairy crab that they breed privately at Lake Tai Hu. Using the finest ingredients, chef Chi-Kwong Hung from Man Wah will create a Shanghainese hairy crab feast that features 20 mouth-watering dishes such as the aromatic fresh steamed whole hairy crab (six taels), braised pork ball with crabmeat in brown sauce and deep-fried boneless chicken wing with crabmeat. In addition to chef Hung’s speciality menu that changes weekly, two six-course lunch menus and a six-course dinner menu will also be available throughout the promotion period.
When: 28 October 2016–30 November 2016
Man Wah, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 0111, mandarinoriental.com/hongkong
Lai Bun Fu
Chinese fine-dining restaurant Lai Bun Fu is also celebrating the hairy crab season with a special menu designed for the occasion. Using premium hairy crab sourced from Tai Lake in Jiangsu, chef Chung will combine traditions and old-time favourites with the modern Hong Kong style, bringing fresh new culinary ideas to the beloved hairy crab. The specialty menu features appetiser-style dishes of deep-fried shrimp ball with hairy crab roe and deep-fried oysters with hairy crab roe; meanwhile, classic Chinese home-cooking favourites such as the low-fat, steamed, mashed tofu with hairy crab will be the perfect choice for the health-conscious.
When: from 19 September 2016
Lai Bun Fu, 5/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2564 3868, laibunfu.com
One Harbour Road
This fall, Grand Hyatt’s new Shanghainese chef, Yuen Kwok Hing, will introduce a series of signature Yangcheng Lake hairy crab dishes to One Harbour Road that are all immersed with authentic Shanghainese flavours. These nine dishes will incorporate different cooking methods, with highlights including baked bean-curd-filled pork with hairy crab meat, braised bamboo piths filled with shrimp mousse and hairy crab meat, and stewed hairy crab meat in shell with pea sprout. Guests can also request a tailor-made menu to suit their personal tastes.
When: 12 October 2016–27 November 2016
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 7-8/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Hong Kong, +852 2584 7722, hongkong.grand.hyattrestaurants.com
Xia Fei Society
From now until December, Xia Fei Society is offering a series of enticing seasonal hairy crab roe dishes and dinner sets that feature a variety of hairy crab dishes, including baked stuffed crab shell with crab roe, golden hairy crab roe and sweet meat mixed with noodles and steamed minced pork dumplings filled with minced pork, soup, crab meat and crab roe. For those seeking the ultimate dining experience, a scrumptious set menu is also available with selections such as chicken in Chinese yellow wine, braised minced pork ball with crab roe and baked crab shell with crab roe — all with a minimum order requirement of two persons (HK$488 each).
When: now through early December 2016
Xia Fei Society, 4/F, Century Square 1–13 D’Aguilar Street, +852 2522 7611, xiafei.com.hk
Known for giving traditional Chinese food a healthy and contemporary twist, Yum Cha has updated its menu to include the delicate creamy roe and sweet flesh of Tai Lake hairy crab, with new dishes that includes baked crab puffs loaded with creamy crab roe and hand-picked sweet crabmeat.
When: now through end of November 2016
Yum Cha, 2/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 3708 8081, yumchahk.com