I usually make it a point to not review the same restaurant more than once, but when Kong called me up and told me about the hairy crab menu at Dragon-i, temptations got the better of my crab/crap policy.
The first time I had hairy crab (Chinese mitten crab 大閘蟹) was at Restaurant King Crab almost 2 years ago. It gave me a impression not entirely unlike the first taste of foie gras, the roe/juice from hairy crab has a very unique richness and taste.
The hairy crab set menu goes for RM128 nett, not for the faint hearted
Hairy crab served at Dragon-i is harvested and air flown weekly from Tai Lake, China. The season starts at around September and runs through December every year.
The set menu is priced at RM 128 nett per person (min 3 pax) with six dishes – steamed Shanghainese hairy crab, steamed Shanghainese crab roe dumpling (xiao long pao), double-boiled superior chicken soup with fish maw & bamboo pith, sauteed fresh vegetable with crab roe, yong chow fried rice, and sesame dumpling with ginger soup.
the crab is steamed and then masterfully prepared for your consumption
As with most classic Chinese dinners, we started out with the double boiled superior chicken soup with fish maw and bamboo pith. The soup was subtle yet sophisticated, I really love the big slab of fish maw and different texture given by the bamboo pith. Adding a little bit of soya sauce makes it rather tasty.
double boiled soup, vegetable with crab roe, yong chow fried rice
Next up was the sauteed vegetable with crab roe, a simple and unassuming looking dish that turned out to be very good. The richness and crab roe balanced by fresh green vegetable that is sauteed ever just slightly. A very good combination.
Dragon-i’s famous xiao long pao was served next. Only this time they’re topped with crab roe much like the style more associated with Japanese food. I particularly like the tiny tray with a handle they used to hold the xiao long pao, even the ginger in vinegar is meticulously chopped. Every strand is equal in length and width.
cheesie showing the xiao long pao topped with crab roe
Yong Chow fried rice was served just before the hairy crab itself. Although a relatively common fried rice dish you can find basically in any Chinese restaurant in Malaysia, the fried rice at Dragon-i was something else. Prepared by chef Kung Yu Hung who is actually from Yangzhou (that’s Yong Chow in Mandarin) itself, the rice is fried with bits of char siu, egg, green onion, prawn, and of course, hairy crab meat. It is on par with the excellent fried rice I had at Elegant Inn.
chef Kung Yu Hung, KY, glutinous rice dumpling with sesame
The main dish of the day, hairy crab, was up next. Simply steamed with no extra ingredients added, the crab is then prepared by our very professional server. The shell is opened, each leg is then cut and the crab meat pushed slightly outwards, the pincers too were cracked for easier consumption.
We had a male crab of about 200+ gram (female for the roe, male has more meat) each. The “kou”, technically not roe since these were male crabs, was supremely rich and savory. They are similar to “kou” found in the mud crab we are more familiar with but several order tastier, for the lack of a better description. The meat too was sweet and very delicious.
Kong (left) and fellow comrades who enjoyed the lunch session
We capped the day by having sesame dumpling with ginger soup as dessert, the ginger soup was something good to wash the tongue off any lingering seafood taste, and the sesame dumpling was rather good too.
Overall it was a very satisfying food review session that was only made better by the company we were with. Meena (who was shortlisted on Nuffnang Awards for best food blog), KampungboyCitygirl, fatboybakes, Cumi&Ciki, and more were there and everyone had a great time.
6 Jalan PJU 7/3
Lot 136 & 137, 1F
Mutiara Damansara, PJ, Selangor
GPS: 3.157699, 101.611540
Tel: 03-7728 6888
The hairy crab menu ca n also be found at Dragon-i outlets located at Pavilion, Mid Valley, 1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid, and Queensbay Mall in Penang.