Header images courtesy of Ying Jee Club
Despite what Hong Kong’s still warm and humid weather belies, one tell-tale sign we can count to alert autumn’s arrival is the triumphant return of hairy crabs (also known as the Chinese mitten crab) on restaurant menus across the city! Beloved for their luxuriously creamy and rich golden roe, these fist-sized crustaceans from the freshwater streams of eastern China are only in season for around three months each year, making them among the most prized underwater delicacies in Chinese cuisine. If you are a seafood lover, seize the chance to hop on the hairy crab craze while you can and make a visit to these restaurants showcasing the city’s best hairy crab menus!
Tsui Hang Village is embracing hairy crab season with its first-ever seven-course hairy crab dinner menu ($678 per person). Savour two steamed Jiangsu hairy crabs alongside an array of artisan hairy crab dishes like sautéed king prawns with asparagus & hairy crab coral, crab meat & wensi tofu thread soup, and hairy crab coral fried rice. To make sure that diners are not excluded from the Cantonese restaurant’s crowning glory, the set also includes a whole crispy roasted pigeon to boot. If wine and crab go hand-in-hand for you, don’t forget to wash down the hairy crab feast with a sake ($180) or Chinese wine ($108) pairing!
When: Until 19 December
Experience the thrill of two gourmet autumnal ingredients in one at Kyushu-style omakase hideaway Sushi Hakucho, where veteran Japanese chef Harada Makoto is spotlighting Jiangsu hairy crab and Alba white truffle in his exclusive seasonal menus. Taking diners on a globetrotting culinary expedition, the Sushi Hakucho is whipping up four unique specialities that marry together the two prized autumnal delicacies.
Tuck into the halibut & Bafun sea urchin roll with Shanghai hairy crab roe miso & Modena vintage vinegar, Kumamoto A5 Wagyu with Shanghai hairy crab roe miso & Alba white truffle, Hokuriku snow crab & Shanghai hairy crab bean curd roll with Alba white truffle and mayonnaise, and Kumamoto A5 Wagyu carpaccio with Shanghai hairy crab & white truffle oil-flavoured vegetables.
Choose from three multiple-course omakase menus (starting from $1,480), or tack on an extra $1,200 to the Shippo menu ($1,680) and sample all four exclusive dishes.
When: Until mid- to late December
Sushi Hakucho, Shop 13, G/F, Harbour Pinnacle, 8 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2109 1155
Cantonese culinary master Chef Chan pays tribute to the hairy crustacean with an extravagant, nine-course Golden Autumn hairy crab set menu ($888 per person). Kickstart the feast with a 5.5-tael steamed Jiangsu hairy crab paired with Xian Heng 25-year vintage Huadiao wine, then let yourself be spoiled by Chef Chan’s artistry by way of creative recipes like baked hairy crab meat with cheese & wild mushroom, pan-fried Japanese scallop with hairy crab roe, and steamed bean curd with hairy crab roe in pumpkin sauce.
In case that’s not enough to tickle your tastebuds, there’s also an à la carte menu with specialities like double-boiled yellow croaker & minced pork meatball with hairy crab roe ($158), sauteed prawns with hairy crab roe and crispy roe ($268), and steamed cod fish with egg white & hairy crab roe ($288).
Greater China Club, Shop A, 10/F, D2 Place One, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok | (+852) 2743 8055
You can trust this award-winning modern Chinese restaurant to muster up some impressive contemporary spins on the Shanghainese crustacean! This season, Mott 32 is showcasing their culinary ambition with a seasonal hairy crab set ($1,380 per person), drawing from time-honoured Shanghainese recipes and infusing them with plenty of hairy crab goodness and local twists.
In addition to a 226-gramme steamed whole hairy crab, the menu brings back old favourites like the tossed Shanghainese noodles with hairy crab roe, as well as fresh offerings like the baked mandarin fish in a hairy crab shell and hairy crab roe soup with gac fruit—a type of melon from Vietnam—farmed in Yuen Long. Finish off the meal with not one, but two desserts—a refreshing soya milk ice cream with ginger jelly and a traditional glutinous rice dumpling with red bean paste.
When: Until 15 December 2021
Mott 32, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4–4A Des Voeux Road, Central | (+852) 2898 3788
Nestled on the second floor of Alva Hotel by Royal, Cantonese restaurant Yat Heen is slinging an array of hairy crab delights that are equal parts a feast and a gastronomic work of art. Matching the tastefully refined interiors, the eight-course succulent hairy crab feast ($939 per person) impresses palates with a veritable smorgasbord of exquisitely crafted hairy crab dishes, beginning with umami-bursting bites of Shanghainese dumplings stuffed with hairy crab roe, followed by mouthwatering highlights like steamed hairy crabs, braised fish maw with hairy crab coral, crab congee, and finally ending with a beautiful dessert platter featuring glutinous rice dumplings in ginger soup and dainty morsels of hairy crab-shaped red bean pastry!
On the à la carte menu, over 10 hairy crab-centred delights await. Diners can treat themselves to melt-in-your-mouth scrambled egg whites with hairy crab coral ($328), moreish stir-fried crab coral with Chinese cruller ($288), and even an ingenious hairy crab coral ice cream ($288).
When: Until 15 November
Yat Heen, 2/F, Alva Hotel by Royal, 1 Yuen Hong Street, Sha Tin | (+852) 3653 1112
True to its tradition of breathing new life into time-honoured Cantonese recipes, The Legacy House at Rosewood is harmonising nostalgia and modernity in its à la carte and six-course hairy crab set menu ($2,680). From traditional hairy crabs steamed in ginger & herb broth and Shanghainese dumplings with hairy crab cream to double-boiled partridge soup with dried mussels & figs and braised green bean noodles with Alba white truffle and hairy crab cream, crab-lovers are sure to get a kick out of the delicate crab symphony.
If you’re looking to dial things up with an extra helping of luxury, all of their hairy crab dishes have the option to add Alba white truffle shavings for an additional $100 per gramme. Alternatively, the meal can also be paired with a hand-picked trio of fine Japanese whiskies (starting from $1,000).
The Legacy House, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3891 8732
Resplendent in Shanghai 1920s glamour, China Tang is an obvious choice to indulge in the hallowed Shanghainese delicacy. Choose from 10 exquisite hairy crab dishes to be ordered à la carte. Tempting offerings abound, but don’t skip on the deep-fried cuttlefish paste with Shanghai Shepherd’s purse & crab coral ($388), or the hairy crab steamed rice casserole, which comes covered in creamy golden roe and finished off with your choice of either black ($688) or white truffle ($988). Diners can also expect to enjoy whole hairy crabs (starting from $488) freshly steamed or beer-braised, with options for both size and gender!
China Tang, Shops 411-413, 4/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2522 2148
Yè Shanghai is pulling out all the stops to celebrate hairy crab season, mustering up some of the most extensive seasonal hairy crab menus around. Keeping to its theme of contemporary Shanghainese, their à la carte selection is packed with time-honoured classics like sauteed crab meat ($680) and steamed rice with crab meat, fermented pork & vegetables ($360), as well as modern creations like steamed crab meat & pork dumplings ($160) and braised bean jelly with crab meat ($380).
For a sumptuous and well-crafted crab feast like no other, look no further than their freshwater crab set meal ($880 per person), which coaxes out the umami-rich flavours of the seasonal treasure through the course of 13 dishes. Expect to savour the juicy crab freshly steamed, baked-stuffed, and made into soup with braised bird’s nest. To complete the meal, the set also includes a carafe of Tai Diao wine for two persons.
When: Until 30 November
Yè Shanghai, Shop 332, 3/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty | (+852) 2918 9833
Stylish Shanghainese eatery 10 Shanghai is delighting crustacean fanatics this autumn with 13 limited-time à la carte hairy crab creations and an elaborate six-course hairy crab set ($980 per person), which features the prized crab in over half of its dishes. Sourcing crabs directly from the pristine waters of Lake Taihu in the Yangtze River Delta, the gourmet set meal kicks off with an appetiser platter combining the restaurant’s signature starters, followed by braised shark’s fin & fish maw in creamy crab roe, steamed whole hairy crabs, well-executed mains such as baked stuffed crab and fried rice with hairy crab roe, and finally ending with a warming sweet ginger soup with glutinous dumplings.
Over on the à la carte menu, diners can get a taste of the chef’s crafty side through unique takes on the seasonal ingredient, with highlights like stir-fried hairy crab & glutinous rice cakes in brown sauce ($608), deep-fried marble goby with hairy crab roe ($380), and crispy rice crackers with hairy crab roe ($160).
When: Until mid-December
10 Shanghai, Shop 101, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2338 5500
Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Ming Court at the Cordis is rolling out a six-course hairy crab degustation menu ($1,288 per person) complete with tea pairing. Headed up by executive chef Li Yuen-faat and his team, diners can expect to be swept away on a deluxe gastronomic journey of hairy crab delicacies carefully matched with fine food ingredients like caviar, bird’s nest, and lobster.
Catering to every kind of crab lover, adventurous eaters will enjoy tucking into crab roe dumplings and lobster, egg white, & crab roe stir-fry with rice crisps while traditionalist can get their fix of whole steamed hairy crabs served the classic way with ginger and black vinegar. Each set comes with a 500-year vintage Dian Hong red tea, with an option to upgrade to wine pairing for a next-level palate-bending experience!
When: Until 28 November
Ming Court, 6/F, Cordis Hong Kong, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 3552 3028
Whether you are dining solo or with a group of friends and family, leading Chinese restaurant group Super Star Group ensures that you will not be missing out on the season’s most irresistible delicacy, offering one-person ($398), four-person ($1,688), and six-person ($2,388) hairy crab set meals at three of their subsidiary restaurants: Star 68, Super Star Chinese Cuisine, and Starry Terrace.
Spotlighting the naturally sweet essence of hairy crabs, all the sets include three whole steamed crabs—two male and one female—allowing you to savour the unique flavours of both genders in their pure, unadulterated form. To balance out the notoriously “cooling” effect of hairy crabs, the main event is followed by an exciting lineup of complementary dishes, such as black truffle scallop soup, deep-fried oysters, and ginger soup with dumplings, as well as imported red wine to seal the deal.
Star 68, Shop G04, G/F, Man Yee Arcade, Man Yee Building, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, Central | (+852) 2628 0110
Starry Terrace, 21/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2628 0282
Living up to the restaurant’s name, Modern Shanghai’s repertoire of hairy crab dishes dazzles and delights with its eclectic variety and contemporary twists. Tantalise your tastebuds with innovative options off the à la carte menu, such as stir-fried hairy crab & glutinous rice cakes in brown sauce ($438) and braised hairy crab with pork knuckles, yam & wolfberries in casserole ($258); or graze your way through their lavish six-course hairy crab tasting menu ($788) which presents the likes of braised sliced fish maw, chicken, bamboo shoots & mushrooms with crab roe, and stir-fried cauliflower topped with crab roe & sliced cured pork. Of course, no hairy crab feast can be complete without the obligatory steamed whole crabs, and Modern Shanghai makes sure that each weighs in at a sizable 200 grammes.
Settle in for some gluttony because this trendy Vietnamese spot is offering an 88-minute all-you-can-eat hairy crab buffet packages starting from just $398! Gorge on unlimited steamed whole hairy crabs from Jiangsu alongside 16 other Vietnamese dishes, including crab coral-laden noodles and appetisers as well as the restaurant’s usual big hitters like curry beef phở, lemongrass chicken wings, papaya shrimp salad, and crispy spring rolls, among many others.
Available in three price categories (from $398 to $648) that vary on different days of the week and the size of the hairy crabs on offer. Note that tables can be hard to come by, so do call and book well in advance!
When: Until 15 December
Phở Star, Shop 25, 2/F, E-Max, Kowloon Bay Internation Trade and Exhibition Centre, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay | (+852) 3460 3682
Star of Canton is bringing back its annual all-you-can-eat hairy crab buffet (starting from $498 per person; minimum two persons), served together with Chinese fine-dining favourites like Peking duck and braised abalone in oyster sauce, and a bevy of refined desserts and drinks. Guests can spend two blissful hours chowing down on juicy 200-gramme male crabs cooked the way they like—steamed plain, baked with sea salt & oil, or steamed with aged huadiao wine (花雕酒; faa1 diu1). All the crabs are cooked to order, so peak freshness and flavour are consistently delivered. Be sure to book at least one day in advance.
Two-Michelin starred Cantonese restaurant Ying Jee Club is making its first foray into the hairy crab extravaganza this autumn, debuting a playful à la carte and seven-course hairy crab menu ($1,880 per person) handcrafted by executive chef Siu Hin-chi. Engaging your senses with a variety of flavours and tastes, the centrepiece set menu is lined up with comforting dishes like steamed whole hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake, hairy crab & caviar dumpling, and braised Inaniwa noodles with hairy crab meat, along with refreshing appetisers including crispy eel with yuzu honey, honey-glazed barbecue pork, and marinated jellyfish with sesame in fish sauce. One day advance pre-ordering is required for the set menu.
Highlights from the seasonal à la carte menu are the imperial bird’s nest broth with hairy crab meat & egg white ($380 per person), which is inspired by one of the restaurant’s signature dishes; as well as the sautéed leopard coral garoupa with vegetables & hairy crab meat ($780), featuring locally-sourced garoupa.
When: Until 30 November
Ying Jee Club, Nexxus Building, Shop G05 & 107–108, 41 Connaught Road Central, Central | (+852) 2801 6882
A trendy hot pot destination famed for its wide breadth of à la mode soup offerings, The Drunken Pot is presenting a new hairy crab pot feast ($568 per person) this season for all hairy crab fans. The exclusive menu revolves around a creamy hairy crab roe, chicken, and fish maw soup base, which is simmered for eight hours with whole three-yellow chicken and revved up with fish maw and hairy crab roe!
Enjoy the nourishing soup with 5.5 taels hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake and a full line-up of hairy crab-roe infused hot pot ingredients, including homemade shrimp dumplings, cuttlefish balls, deep-fried fish skin, and deep-fried beancurd rolls. For even more hairy crab delights, try out the bean jelly noodles with hairy crab roe ($288) or sliced noodles with hairy crab roe ($288) from their à la carte selection!