It’s that time of the year again when these small but hairy autumn treasures return to the dining table – yes, the Chinese mitten crabs, or better known as hairy crabs!
While half the joy is in de-shelling these crustaceans to reach that prized, orangey crab butter of male crabs, or that brilliant golden roe of the females, it is admittedly a laborious task for some small, but tasty, returns.
We bring you some of the best ‘lazy’ hairy crab feasts this season where you can just sit back and savour this delicacy without the hassle of getting your hands dirty:
Peach Blossoms, Marina Mandarin Singapore
Availability: 19 October to 30 November 2015
Address: Level 5, Marina Mandarin Singapore, 6 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039596
Reservations: +65 6845 1118/1111 or email@example.com
I terribly enjoyed the Stewed Capellini ($32 per order, $16 per person) enjoyed with an extremely savoury hairy crab sauce, and topping of sakura ebi and tobiko for added dimension, as well as the impressive Braised Marrow Gourd ($38 per order) sweetened with an almost fluffy cloud of egg white, hairy crab meat and roe.
Steamed whole hairy crabs, served with home-infused vinegar, are also available at $68 per crab.
Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Availability: 5 October to mid-November 2015, depending on season
Address: Lobby Level, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
Reservations: +65 6213 4473/4398, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit shangrila.com/singapore/shangrila/dining
Go luxe with hearty renditions such as the Braised Hairy Crab with Shiso Leaves & Glass Noodles ($96 per portion), and the indulgent Braised Bird’s Nest ($88 per person) with hairy crab meat and roe, or a $138, six-course menu that comes with complimentary bottle of 8-year-old Chinese yellow wine with every four set menus ordered.
Traditionally steamed, whole hairy crabs are also available at $82 per 200g male crab, $92 per 230g male crab, and $82 per 170g female crab.
Hai Tien Lo, Pan Pacific Singapore
Availability: 12 October to 29 November 2015
Address: Level 3, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595
Reservations: +65 6826 8240, or email@example.com
Delicious and return-worthy is the aromatic Stewed Fragrant Rice ($78, serves 2-4) filled to the brim with that sweet goodness of hairy crab and pearl mushrooms, as well as lighter options like the Steamed ‘Xiao Long Bao’ Minced Pork Dumplings ($6.80, 3-pieces) of silky hairy crab meat and luscious golden roe.
Traditionally steamed, whole hairy crabs with shiso leaves are also available at $78 per crab.
Szechuan Court & Kitchen, Fairmont Singapore
Availability: 20 October to 13 November 2015
Address: Level 3, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560
Reservations: +65 6431 6156, firstname.lastname@example.org or book online www.szechuancourt.com.sg
Dig into the delicate pairing of Braised beancurd with perfectly cooked prawns and edamame ($40 per order), then topped off with a stunningly moreish hairy crab meat and roe sauce that goes fantastically well with freshly steamed rice.
The Stuffed Hairy Crab Shell ($16 per person) is also another must-order. It is a slightly more contemporary interpretation of this seasonal delicacy where the meat and roe has been painstaking removed by chefs and stuffed back into its shell, before being topped off with cheese for that extra creaminess.
Whole hairy crabs, steamed with shiso leaf or stewed with aged Chinese wine, are also available at $58 per male crab, $78 per female crab.
Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, Sheraton Towers Singapore
Availability: 10 October till 30 November 2015
Address: Lower Lobby Level, Sheraton Towers Singapore, 39 Scotts Road, Singapore 228230
Reservations: +65 6839 5623, or email@example.com
Chef’s new hairy crab creations include dishes like King Prawn with Hairy Crab Meat & Roe ($36 per person) and well-executed Pan-fried Lobster with Hairy Crab Meat & Roe ($44 per person), as well as the classic Stewed Crystal Hor Fun ($78, small), served with hairy crab meat roe in a claypot.
Traditionally steamed, whole hairy crabs are also available at $60 per crab.
Summer Palace, Regent Singapore
Availability: 17 to 28 November 2015
Address: Level 3, Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715
Reservations: +65 6725 3288/9, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Aside from classic, crowd-favourites of Deep-fried Hairy Crab Roll ($38), new highlights include Stir-fried Rice Noodles ($38) with hairy crab meat and preserved vegetables, and chef’s exclusive, premium Braised Royal Bird’s Nest ($108) enjoyed with hairy crab meat.
Traditionally steamed, whole hairy crabs are also available at $78 per crab.
Yan Ting, St Regis Singapore
Availability: 15 October to 15 December 2015
Address: Level 1U, The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911
Reservations: +65 6506 6887, email@example.com, or visit yantingrestaurant.com/hairycrab
Pamper yourself silly with chef’s extensive spread of hairy crab dishes, such as nourishing Double-boiled Homemade Meat Ball ($24 per person), packed with hairy crab meat and roe, the Braised Fish Maw with Crab Meat ($78 per person), and the Stir-fried Crab Meat ($48) served with steamed buns that’s sure to delight the whole family.
Traditionally steamed, whole hairy crabs are also available at $98 per crab.