Unlike the usual crabs we have in Singapore all year round (think: the likes of chilli crab, black pepper crab, salted egg crab, … you get the drift) that are loved for the juicy and succulent crabmeat (that are also often painstaking to crack and pry open to obtain), the seasonal hairy crabs are loved for a different reason altogether. The furry claws make it easy to distinguish the hairy crab from the rest. These miniature-sized crabs, as small as the size of a human palm, are highly prized for the rich golden roe that you scoop off the shell with ease.
With the hairy crabs in season (or rather, the best time of the year to consume, when the quality of the crab roe is at its peak), restaurants are taking the opportunity to include this delicacy in their seasonal menus. Royal Pavilion, a relatively new but increasingly reputable Chinese restaurant at Park Regis Singapore, is no exception. (Hint: the dim sum items are superb, some of which inventive.) The dynamic team of chefs at Royal Pavilion are set to revolutionise the way of serving hairy crabs, with complementing ingredients and compelling cooking methods.
The Steamed Hairy Crab with Perilla Leaf ($60++ per crab) presents the hairy crab in an almost unadulterated form, with a subtle peppery note from the perilla leaf being minimally invasive to the richness of the roe and sweet flavour of the crab.
Steamed Hairy Crab with Egg White & Chinese Wine ($68++ per crab)
Here, the hairy crab is steamed in a pool of egg white along with a splash of Chinese wine, which eventually yields a smooth silky texture and rousing aroma when cooked. The secondary elements accompanying the star of the show are light and do not overshadow the crab’s natural goodness.
Flambé Drunken Hairy Crab served with Superior Herbal Soup ($68++ per crab)
Soup lovers are not left out. As part of the tableside service for this dish, diners can watch how the hairy crab is doused in Chinese wine and set aflame before it’s being steeped in a nutritious soup comprising herbs like Dang gui (Chinese Angelica Root), chuan xiong (Szechuan Lovage Root), dang shen (Codonopsis Root), red dates, and bei qi (Astragulus Root).
Flambé Hairy Crab with Sea Salt served in Claypot ($68++ per crab)
If you enjoy the fiery spectacle, don’t miss out on the Flambé Hairy Crab with Sea Salt served in Claypot. With the crab embedded within a hot pot of sea salt rocks, a rose flavoured wine is poured over and ignited into flames. The crab then “bakes” and draws in the saltiness, dehydrating a little during the process. This dish is bound to receive many nods.
Baked Hairy Crab with Wild Mushroom and Sake in Japanese Style ($68++ per crab)
One of my favourite dishes would be the Baked Hairy Crab with Wild Mushroom and Sake in Japanese Style. Contributing to the flavour content are enoki mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, ginger slices and egg white, as well as teriyaki sauce and sweet sake.
Prices of hairy crabs start from $60++ for a la carte orders and $98++ per pax for set menu.
For enquiries and reservations, call the restaurant at (65) 6818 8851 or email email@example.com.
Level 1, Park Regis Singapore
23 Merchant Road
Opening hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily