Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / hairy crab

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.

hairy crab set menu at Dragon-i
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.

hairy crabs (Chinese mitten crabs)
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 superior chicken soup, vegetable with crab roe, yong chow fried rice
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.

steamed shanghainese dumplings
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.

hairy crab, sesame glutinous rice dumpling
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.

group picture at Dragon-i, the curve
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.

It has been a gluttonously satisfying weekend, I had plenty of Kalbi at Kangsane on Saturday night, and this superb hairy crab dinner last night at Restaurant King Crab. I couldn’t possibly ask for more.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
can you see the crab roe?

Hairy Crab, or Chinese Mitten Crab (大閘蟹), an invasive species that is wrecking up river ecosystem in Europe and North America, is revered in Chinese cuisine not unlike sharks fin and abelone. I guess one person’s pest is another person’s delicacy. The fatty roe and sweet crab meat is highly sought after. Yang Cheng Lake, about an hour away from Shanghai, is said to produce the best hairy crab.

The hairy crab season starts from around August until December where the crabs are packed with roe and supposedly most fatty and delicious. Since King Crab is having a 5+1 promotion on hairy crab, we ordered 6 crabs (3 male, 3 female), with steamed fish (海底鸡), pork ribs, and spinach to go with rice for dinner.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
they only serve live seafood here

The only one way to prepare hairy crab is by steaming it as to preserve the natural sweetness and not overpowering the taste with any spices. Sweet vinegar and slices of ginger accompanies the dish. At the restaurant, a waiter is in charged of shelling our crabs and prepare them for consumption, nice.

The taste of the roe, coupled with some vinegar, was just amazing. It was very succulent and rich, carrying a taste factor not unlike having foie gras for the first time. The crab was not overly cooked and the meat retains the sweetness that is similar to fresh lobster tail. The roe of the female crab was great, but the meat of the bigger male crab doesn’t lack behind either. It was very good, the best crab I’ve had so far.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
the hot chick is obviously enjoying her food

After the crab, we had rice with the other dishes that includes steamed fish, pork ribs, and spinach with soup. The quality of these dishes were pretty good too; but after those mouth watering crabs, everything else just doesn’t excite the taste bud as much.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
other dishes include vegetable, fish, and some good old fashion pork

Price of hairy crab at Restaurant King Crab are at RM 38/58/88/118 each. Our crabs were priced at RM 58 each, 150 gram for female crab and 200 gram for male crab respectively. The entire dinner was a little over RM 400 for four. Certainly not cheap, but it is a taste that is to be experienced at least once in a life time. Alternatively, you can fly to Shanghai next season. 😀

Now where should I go this coming weekend?

Map to Restaurant King Crab at Petaling Jaya
King Crab restaurant is situated just opposite the Kelana Jaya LRT station

103-107, Jalan SS25/2,
Taman Mewah Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.113488,101.603462
Tel: 03-7805 3282