A Chinese delicacy, the hairy crab is well-loved for its creamy rich, golden roe. Freshwater hairy crab, also known as mitten crab, is widely found in the rivers of China. And the famous Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou is particularly known for this highly prized crustacean. Here are 7 top restaurants in Singapore serving this seasonal speciality.
Li Bai’s Executive Chef Chung Yiu Ming expertly incorporates the season’s delicacy in classic Cantonese dishes, and his exquisite presentations will please even the most finicky of traditionalists. Try the delicate steamed egg white topped with hairy crabmeat and golden crab roe; braised scallop with hairy crabmeat and crab roe; and silky smooth stewed crystal hor fun with hairy crabmeat and crab roe.
Available Oct 17-Nov 30
Lower Lobby, Sheraton Towers Singapore, 39 Scotts Road. Tel: 6839-5623.
The venerable Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel is reputed for both Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine. Master Chef Chan Hwan Kee has opted for the former approach this time, and his treatment of the fuzzy crustaceans is light and uncomplicated, allowing their natural flavours to shine. His unique a la carte creations this season include baked hairy crab with ginger rice wine wrapped in lotus leaf; steamed hairy crab with glutinous rice served in bamboo basket; and braised hairy crab roe, crab meat, scallop and beancurd soup partnered with rice crisps.
Available Oct 15-Nov 15
Level 1, Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road. Tel: 6730-1704.
Heritage opulence and modernist simplicity coexist at Shang Palace: Red and black fixtures counterbalance a floral theme, and Master Chef Steven Ng’s in-season dishes are successful, if unusual, combinations of textures and flavours. The six-course hairy crab menu or choice of nine a la carte dishes are available for lunch and dinner. Dine on unique creations such as braised tofu, with meatball, hairy crab meat and roe; and pan-fried hairy crab meat stuffed shell with shrimp paste and pork, and the crispy noodles with sea caracol, hairy crab meat and roe.
Available Oct 17-Nov 30
Level 1, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road. Tel: 6213-4473.
Szechuan Court & Kitchen
Master Chef Mok Wan Lok of Szechuan Court & Kitchen looks to be having fun, giving traditional dishes a slight edge and also creating wild new combinations that are unexpectedly delicious. Diners can enjoy stewed hairy crab with aged Chinese wine; chef’s signature superior crabmeat consomme; hairy crab roe scrambled egg white tart; handmade ramen crowned with hairy crab roe, golden pumpkin soup; pan-fried pipa tofu in hairy crabmeat broth; and homemade crispy crabmeat beancurd skin roll.
Available Oct 24-Nov 24
Level 3, Fairmont Singapore, 2 Stamford Road. Tel: 6431-6156.
At Yan Ting, Executive Chef Tony Wun dishes out exquisite offerings with an inventive flair that will satisfy the refined tastes of the discerning set. Diners can feast on unique creations such as slow-cooked crab claw served in pumpkin; braised three-treasure duck roll with crabmeat; cheese-baked crab shell filled with crabmeat; and stir-fried fish maw with eggs and crab oil.
Available Oct 24-Dec 31
Level 1U, The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road. Tel: 6506-6887.
Cherry Garden’s seasonal delights are elegantly presented without excessive fanfare. The five-course lunch set menu features Symphony of Cherry Garden—dim sum trilogy of hairy crab xiao long bao, prawn dumpling and siew mai, as well as ee-fu noodles with hairy crab meat and enoki mushroom. The seven-course dinner menu includes a hearty thick soup of conpoy with hairy crab meat, roe, tofu and egg white, plus the ee-fu noodles with hairy crab meat, and a range of other specialities.
Available Nov 1-30.
Level 5, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue. Tel: 6885-3500.
As though reflecting on the vintage elegance of his workplace, Master Chef Liu Ching Hai appears to have reacted to the mitten crab phenomenon with reserve, presenting it alongside another popular shellfish—the bamboo clam. Summer Palace’s Cantonese cuisine is prepared cleanly and simply in order to put its high-quality ingredients in the limelight. From the a la carte menu, choose braised hairy crab meat served with delicate homemade bean curd; steamed bamboo clam with garlic trio and glass vermicelli; or the luxurious braised hairy crab meat with royal bird’s nest.
Available Nov 18-28
Level 3, Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road. Tel: 6725-3288.