When it comes to Hong Kong chilli crab, we don’t just mean any kind of crab served with chilli. We’re really referring to one of Hong Kong’s most iconic dishes: typhoon shelter-style fried crab, where meaty crabs are fried in a generous mixture of minced garlic, fermented soybeans, chilli pepper, and lemongrass. This particular dish used to be a favourite of fishermen before local street stalls adapted it from the boats and made it available on land. Nowadays, there are not a lot of places that still offer the authentic recipe of typhoon shelter-style fried crab, so check out our list of where to go to find them!
Crab speciality restaurants are more concentrated in Causeway Bay, but don’t forget about the Kowloon side and their hidden treasures! Hing Kee Restaurant is one of the oldest crab restaurants in Kowloon; they don’t have an actual menu with prices so you just have to point at pictures and tell the waiter how many portions you want.
There are varying degrees of spiciness you can order for your chilli crab, ranging from Little Spice and Medium Spice to Hot Spice, Intense Spice, and Crazy Spice, with slightly different price points for each. If you aren’t sure how much heat you can handle, we recommend something on the modest side for you to really enjoy the flavours of the crab!
Hing Kee Restaurant, 1/F, Po Wah Comm Building, 180 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2722 0022
As the most famous crab speciality restaurant in Hong Kong where all the tourists, celebrities, and locals congregate, Under Bridge Spicy Crab needs little introduction. The restaurant is reminiscent of Hong Kong-style food stalls of old, and their signature Under Bridge Spicy Crab is the archetypal example of all typhoon shelter-style dishes.
You can never be too sure of how much you’ll spend for a meal here, as all crabs are sold based on seasonal prices, but you can customise the portions you order, and you can also choose how spicy you want the dish to be. Be sure to dip your crab meat into the crunchy fried garlic to add on different textures and elevate the freshness of the crab!
Over at Greenland Spicy Crab, they have set prices for their Chilli Fried Crab ($588), which is served in a Chinese-style sharing platter with the crab sitting neatly on top of a mountain of fried garlic. The best—and meatiest—part of the crab is their front claws, and luckily, it’s also the easiest to break, so you can put in minimum effort for maximum reward. One chilli crab can be shared between two or three people, too, so you can weigh your chances on scoring the claw!
Greenland Spicy Crab, Shop A, 1/F, Astoria Building, 24–38 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2628 9888
Hee Kee Fried Crab Expert Ltd. is one of Hong Kong’s oldest crab establishment, frying freshly caught crabs since all the way back in the 1980s. Hee Kee used to be a restaurant on a fishermen’s boat that stops by the harbour near Causeway Bay, but the government passed several laws to improve the city’s food hygiene and thus Hee Kee was forced to move onto land. In 1997, they finally settled down on Jaffe Road. Their crabs are also set to seasonal prices and are weighted for each table, so you will have to see how much to order depending on how many people you bring with you.
Choi Kee does many versions of fried crab, such as Fried Crab in Spring Onion and Ginger, Crab and Green Melon Stir-fried in Spicy Herbs, and Fried Crab in Curry Paste, to name a few. However, to get a taste of the most authentic (and most delicious) recipe, we would recommend trying Deep-fried Crab with Chilli and Garlic, which is, of course, based on the famed typhoon shelter style.
If you are a fan of crab roe, then don’t forget to dig into the crab’s shell where you can find most of the roe. Most restaurants tend to use meatier crabs in typhoon shelter-style dishes, but occasionally, you will find some pieces of hard crab roe on the corners of the shell with all the wonderful garlic flavours mixed in.
Choi Kee Chilli Crab, Shop G&H, G/F, 392–402 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2234 0888
Hee Kee Crab General is one of the more modern places where you can find authentic typhoon shelter-style fried crab. They offer plenty of seafood dishes, such as the Authentic Chilli Fried Crab ($550) served with generous spices. If you’re not sure what else to order, you can opt for one of their many seafood set menus, which usually includes signature dishes such as the Authentic Chili Fried Crab, stir-fried clams, seasonal vegetables, and also stir-fried noodles. These menus are bound to have you nursing a food baby on your way out!
Hee Kee Crab General, Shop 602, 6/F, iSQUARE, 63 Nathon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2366 7565
If you’re looking a crab restaurant that’s all about fiery heat, then Qi - Nine Dragons should satisfy you. All of their dishes on their menu are spice-orientated since the restaurant’s concept is based on Sichuan cuisine and their love for spicy food. The Chilli Fried Canadian Dungeness Crab ($780) is a pleasant alternative to typhoon shelter style since they deep fry each piece of crab meat in batter before serving it on a bed on fried spices. This way, you won’t even have to get your fingers dirty digging into each crab shell and picking out morsels of meat!
Qi - Nine Dragons, 20/F, Prince Tower, 12A Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2799 8899