It’s that time of the year again: Hairy crab season! Here’s where to get the best hairy crab dishes in Hong Kong –– best through the end of December.
If you know your hairy crab, chances are you’ve already had a dozen or three since the start of the season in October, all steamed and meticulously prepped (with custom vinegar, of course) in the vicinity of your own kitchen. To these prolific home chefs, a round of applause for you.
But for the few of us who refuses to crack open our own –– or even step foot in a kitchen –– it’s a task left to the professionals, Hong Kong’s top chefs! Indulge in the city’s most beloved delicacy of autumn –– and for a sweet sighting of the creamy, sticky, golden roe –– with the hairy crab menus below.
The Legacy House
Rosewood’s The Legacy House pulls together a hairy crab feast featuring premium crabs from Lake Tai (Taihu) in China, commonly known as the “King of Crabs”. Through meticulous, careful preparation Chinese executive chef Li Chi-Wai recreate classic Cantonese dishes featuring the fresh crustacean.
Come here for: Legacy House Traditional Whole Hairy Crab steamed in ginger broth, braised green bean noodles with hairy crab paste, braised tofu with scallops and steamed Shanghainese pork dumplings both topped with hairy crab cream.
Need to know: The Legacy House’s hairy crab menu is available to order à la carte or as a seasonal six-course Hairy Crab Set Menu (HK$2,680/ person) with a full Japanese whisky pairing. See the full menu here. Reservations can be made via +852 3891 8732 or emailing [email protected].
The Legacy House, Level Five, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3891 8732
At Mott 32, chef Lee Man-Sing recreates the coveted seasonal delicacy within a varied selection of renewed Shanghainese dishes. As for why chef Lee has postponed the launch of the restaurant’s hairy crab menu until now (November), he explains that crabs are bigger and the roe and crab meat are of better quality later in the season.
Come here for: Tossed Shanghainese noodles with hairy crab roe, baked Mandarin fish in hairy crab shell (a replica of a popular Shanghainese dish) and hairy crab roe and minced pork soup dumplings and hairy roe soup.
Need to know: Mott 32’s Seasonal Hairy Crab set menu (HK$1,380/ person) is available until 15 December. Optional wine pairing is available for HK$480/person.
Mott 32, UG, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2855 8688
Ying Jee Club
For the very first time, two Michelin-starred Ying Jee Club debuts a hairy crab menu in honour of the season featuring the prized crustaceans from Yangcheng Lake, each weighing approximately 300g. Executive chef Siu Hin-chi has thoughtfully put together a tasting menu that showcases the seasonal delicacy atop his refined Cantonese plates.
Come here for: Steamed seafood dumpling with hairy crab meat and caviar, braised Inaniwa noodle with hairy crab meat and imperial bird’s nest broth with hairy crab meat and egg white.
Need to know: Ying Jee Club’s hairy crab menu is available either to order à la carte or as a seven-course set menu (HK$1,880/ person) until 30 November. Reservations can be made via [email protected] or +852 2801 6882.
Ying Jee Club, Shop G05, 107-108, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2801 6882
Like most hairy crabs of the season, 10 Shanghai’s ones are sourced from the famed Tai Wu Freshwater Lake. However, the chefs here reveal that it is also hand-selected according to the“Four Colours” rule to guarantee peak sweetness and freshness: green shell, white belly, golden claws and yellow hair.
Come here for: Fried rice with hairy crab roe, baked stuffed crab shell with hairy crab roe, scallop and egg white, stir-fried hairy crab and glutinous rice cakes and hairy crab roe crispy rice cracker.
Need to know: 10 Shanghai’s hairy crab menu is available either à la carte or on a six-course set menu (HK$980) until mid-December.
10 Shanghai, Shop 101, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yuen Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2338 5500
Just like 10 Shanghai, Modern Shanghai (from the same group, 1957 & Co.) meticulously picks and chooses their crabs in reference to the “Four Colours” rule at Tai Hu lake. The hairy crab menu here is topped with familiar favourites along with creative spinoffs that highlights the unctuous sweetness of the roe.
Come here for: Sautéed glass noodles with hairy crab roe, braised hairy crab with pork knuckles and steamed xiao long bao with hairy crab roe.
Need to know: Modern Shanghai’s hairy crab menu is available either à la carte or offers a six-course delicate hairy crab set (HK$788) until Mid-December.
Modern Shanghai, various locations including G19-21, G/F, Olympian City 3, 1 Hoi Wang Road, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2869 2228
Greater China Club
Award-winning Chinese master chef Chan Wai-Teng of Greater China Club devises a decadent nine-course “Golden Autumn Hairy Crab Set Menu” for the season, spotlighting crustaceans sourced from the Jiangsu region, known for for exceptional sweetness and golden, buttery roe –– a standard of 5.5 tael males. Along with classic steamed, the hairy crabs are also presented in a range of dishes that riffs on traditional Chinese recipes through chef Chan’s “nouvelle Cantonese, haute-cuisine” cooking.
Come here for: Baked hairy crab meat with cheese and wild mushroom, double-boiled yellow croaked and minced ball meat with hairy crab roe and sautéed prawns with hairy crab roe served with crispy rice.
Need to know: Greater China Club’s hairy crab menu is available to order à la carte or as a nine-course “Golden Autumn Hairy Crab Set Menu” (HK$888/ person). Reservations can be made via +852 2743 8055.
Greater China Club, Shop A, 10/F, D2 Place Once, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2743 8055
It’s sweet and simple at Renaissance Harbour View Hotel’s Dynasty with just one iteration of the seasonal delicacy: steamed whole. Sourced from Jiangsu, the infamous hairy crabs come in either 228gm male (HK$550) or 152gm female (HK$380) serving. To emphasise the sweet creaminess of the crabs, executive chef Suen Jam Sing prepares two types of tasting menus peppered with beloved Chinese delicacies –– fish maw in shredded snake soup and ox ribs braised in Huadiao wine.
Come here for: Steamed whole hairy crab.
Need to know: Dynasty’s hairy crab feast is available in two tasting menus (from HK$968/ person) with Shirayuki Junmaishu Genshu Edo Genroku no Sake (150ml) pairing until 30 November. Reservations can be made via +852 2802 8888 or emailing [email protected].
Dynasty, 3/F, Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Ming Court’s “Hairy Crab Degustation” highlights the best of the season delicacy through executive chef Li Yuet Faat’s authentic Cantonese cooking, paired with a decadent medley of luxurious ingredients.
Come here for: Steamed crab roe and crab meat Shanghainese dumpling, braised crab roe and crab meat bird’s nest in superior rich broth and steamed whole hairy crab.
Need to know: Ming Court’s six-course “Hairy Crab Degustation” (HK$1,288) is available until 28 November with optional wine pairing add-on. Reservations can be made via [email protected] or +852 6656 2680 on WhatsApp.
Ming Court, 6/F, Cordis Hong Kong, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3552 3330
The Drunken Pot
Two autumn season favourites come together at The Drunken Pot: warm, simmering hot pot and hairy crab. In the best of the best of both worlds, the “Hairy Crab Pot Feast” spotlights a creamy soup base of hairy crab roe, chicken and fish maw, simmered for over eight hours and made with specialty 5.5 taels crabs soured from YangCheng Lake. There’s also a handmade selection of hot pot ingredients recreated in an hairy crab edition, including cuttlefish balls and beancurd rolls.
Come here for: Homemade cuttlefish balls with hairy crab roe lava, deep-fried-fish skin with hairy crab roe and hairy crab roe noodles.
Need to know: Drunken Pot’s “Hairy Crab Pot Feast” (HK$568/ person) also comes with the optional addition of Hua Diao (Chinese Yellow Wine) pairing menu including Kuaijishan 30 Years Hua Diao at HK$1,288).
The Drunken Pot, various locations including 27/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lunch Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2323 7098
While the omakase menu at Sushi Hakucho is one thoughtfully curated by chef ahead of time, in the name of celebrating autumn’s best produce, the menu also arrives topped, infused and served with not only the best hairy crab selected from Jiangsu but generous shavings of white Alba truffles as well. The Kyushu-style menu features Japanese culinary master Harada Makoto’s delicate dishes that sidles bountiful sea-fresh catch with the creaminess of the treasured golden roe.
Come here for: Halibut and Bafun sea urchin roll with Shanghai hairy crab roe miso, Kumamoto A5 wagyu carpaccio with Shanghai hairy crab and white truffle oil vegetables, and Hokuriku snow crab with Shanghai hairy crab bean curd roll, Alba white truffle and egg yolk mayonnaise.
Need to know: Sushi Hakucho’s autumn omakase menu is available in three menus: Nagomi (15 courses; HK$1,080), Irodori (17 courses; HK$1,480) and Shippo (19 courses; HK$1,680) until December. Reservations can be made via +852 2109 1155 or emailing [email protected].
Sushi Hakucho, G13, Harbour Pinnacle, 8 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2109 1155