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 the best restaurants for chilli crabs.
Crab speciality restaurants are more concentrated in Causeway Bay, but let’s not forget about the Kowloon side and their hidden treasures! Hing Kee Restaurant is one of the oldest crab restaurants in Kowloon; while there is no actual menu with prices, you can simply point at the pictures and tell the staff 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. Not sure how much heat you can handle? We would recommend starting with something on the modest side for you to really enjoy the original 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 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 chilli crab dishes 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, ranging from no spice at all to super spicy. Be sure to dip your crab meat into the crunchy fried garlic side 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 on a Chinese-style sharing platter with the crab sitting neatly on top of a mountain of fried garlic. The best—and meatiest—parts of the crab are 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 Limited is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most respected 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 has since passed several laws to improve the city’s food hygiene, forcing Hee Kee to move its restaurant services onto land. In 1997, they finally settled down on Jaffe Road. Their chilli 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 & 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 & garlic, which is, of course, based on the famed typhoon shelter style. All are sold at market price, so it’s difficult to predict how much you will spend. 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 establishments where you can find authentic typhoon shelter-style fried crab in Hong Kong. They offer plenty of seafood dishes, such as the authentic chilli fried crab ($550) served with generous spices. If you’re looking to order more dishes to round out the spread, you can opt for one of their many seafood set menus, which usually includes signature dishes such as the authentic chilli fried crab, stir-fried clams, seasonal vegetables, and also stir-fried noodles. Hee Kee Crab General is bound to have you nursing a food baby on your way out!
Hee Kee Crab General, Shop 602, 6/F, iSQUARE, 63 Nathan 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 fiery food and flavours. The chilli fried Canadian Dungeness crab ($780) is a pleasant alternative to Hong Kong’s typhoon shelter style since they deep-fry each piece of crab meat in batter before serving it on a bed on fried spices. Served conveniently like this, 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