Hairy crabs are here again

Hairy crab sea­son is upon us, with the cus­tom­ary mad scram­ble to source the plumpest, most roe-heavy crus­taceans from China’s Taihu or Yangcheng Lakes. If you love these Shang­hai “mit­ten crabs” (but hate work­ing for your food), get a taste of the sea­son’s

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Shell­fish De­sires The Man­darin Ori­en­tal’s Man Wah is col­lab­o­rat­ing this year with Cheng Long Hang Crab Palace Restau­rant in Shang­hai to bring the best of the ocean del­i­cacy to Hong Kong din­ner ta­bles. Chef Chi-Kwong Hung of Man Wah has con­ceived a Shang­hainese hairy crab feast with a to­tal of 20 hairy crab dishes on the sea­sonal menu, while two chefs from Cheng Long Hang will be on hand to show­case the skill­ful and speedy de-shelling of whole crabs, in three min­utes or less. Try the aro­matic stir-fried king prawn with rice cake and crab­meat; the pan-fried scal­lop with shrimp paste and crab­meat; or the bone­less chicken wing with, you guessed it, more crab­meat. Oct 28-Nov 30. 25/F, Man­darin Ori­en­tal, 5 Con­naught Rd., Cen­tral, 2825-4003. In­fi­nite Crabs How many crabs can you eat in one sit­ting? You can find out at

“Hairy Cra­bin­fin­ity”—the ul­ti­mate all-you-can-eat hairy crab marathon which is back at Tze Yuet Heen this year. Stuff your­self with un­lim­ited por­tions of hairy crab in five dif­fer­ent prepa­ra­tions: chilled hairy crab with Chi­nese yel­low wine; steamed crab with hairy crab cream and gluti­nous rice; steamed crab shell stuffed with bird’s nest, hairy crab cream and egg white; steamed hairy crab; and stir-fried hairy crab with spicy gar­lic. Mix and match with three types of house-made vine­gar dip­ping sauces, and wash it down with gin­ger and red date tea. Through Nov 30, 6:30-10pm. From $418 per per­son. 2/F, Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East, 3 Tong Tak St., Tse­ung Kwan O, 3983-0660. Braised and Baked Chow down on a menu of ex­quis­ite Can­tonese-style crab dishes at Man Ho, JW Mar­riott’s sig­na­ture Chi­nese restau­rant. This sea­son, ex­ec­u­tive chef Jayson Tang is serv­ing up hairy crab with braised seafood; baked crab roe and meat served in the shell; and chicken wings stuffed with crab roe and meat. If you pre­fer the more ca­sual set­ting of JW Café in­stead, head up to the fifth floor and dine on a num­ber of steamed hairy crab dishes at the din­ner buf­fet along­side other cra­bin­spired cre­ations. Oct 3-30. JW Mar­riott, Pa­cific Place, 88 Queensway, Ad­mi­ralty, 2810-8366.

Diplo­matic Del­i­ca­cies In­dulge in au­tumn’s most prized gas­tro­nomic treat at Lai Bun Fu, where for­mer Hong Kong Govern­ment House head chef Chung Kin-le­ung is pre­sent­ing a hairy crab trib­ute to high­light the sweet meat and rich, golden roe. Sit back in the 2000-sq.-ft. colo­nial-style space and sa­vor the suc­cu­lent crus­tacean, from ap­pe­tiz­ers such as deep-fried shrimp ball with hairy crab roe ($288) and deep-fried oys­ters with hairy crab roe ($238); to mains in­clud­ing steamed mashed tofu with hairy crab ($228), chicken wing stuffed with hairy crab and roe ($138), braised tofu with hairy crab ($198), and baked stuffed crab shells ($168). 18 On Lan St., Cen­tral, 2564-3868. Loong­ings for Crab Sa­vor the fresh­wa­ter del­i­cacy at the award-win­ning Loong

Yuen Can­tonese Restau­rant, which is im­port­ing the “king of crabs” from Taihu Lake on the bor­der of Jiangsu and Zhe­jiang prov­inces. Pre­pare for an epic crab feast, with the rich and creamy roe high­lighted in el­e­gant dishes from head chef Che­ung Wai-bun in­clud­ing braised bird’s nest soup with hairy crab roe, sautéed king prawns and vegeta­bles with hairy crab roe, steamed hairy crab, and fried hairy crab with salted egg yolk. Oct 1-Nov 15. B1, Hol­i­day Inn Golden Mile, 50 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2315-1006.

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