Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant,
Empire Hotel Subang
Level 1, Jalan SS16/1,
SS16 Subang Jaya.
Tel: 03-5565 1388
Business hours: 11.00am to 3.00pm
and 6.00pm to 10.00pm.
THE hairy crab is named for its furry claws that look like mittens. Also known as Chinese mitten crabs, its body is small, about the size of a human palm.
Authentic hairy crabs can be identified by their shiny shell, which have an oily-looking texture. The female crab contains more roe and the texture is firmer compared to the male crab.
A female’s roe is usually red while the male’s is white or transparent. Female crabs are at their best in the ninth month while males are best eaten a month later.
These crustaceans are a Shanghainese delicacy and believed to have a cooling effect when eaten.
Good news for crustacean lovers as Di Wei Chinese Cuisine Restaurant at Empire Hotel Subang is currently serving this Autumn delicacy.
The hairy crab is steamed with herbal leaves and served with a special dip – ginger in black vinegar – to enhance the flavour of the meat and roe.
Those who want to go all out can opt for the sumptuous hairy crab available in a five-course set menu that features dishes such as crab meat in golden soup, steamed hairy crab, poached seasonal vegetables, fried rice with ginger, dry scallop and egg white, as well as dumpling in ginger syrup.
My favourite was the Crab Meat in Golden Soup starter, which was stuffed into a dumpling with prawns. The soup was thick and made of cream of chicken and pumpkin. I am not a big fan of pumpkin but combined with the cream of chicken, the taste of the seafood in the dumpling was enhanced.
First-time consumers of the hairy crab should note that you are not supposed to eat every part of the crab. The stomach and intestines are considered “dirty”.
The hairy crab served at the restaurant was mature and filled with roe, perfect for those who want to try the delicacy.
According to Empire Hotel marketing communications manager Carol Chin, the crabs were not promoted too early to ensure they were mature and had lots of roe.
The roe is rich and creamy and you will see what the fuss is about once you try it.
The restaurant’s executive Chinese chef Thian Taik Yong said the chefs went easy on the spices on the set meal dishes.
“We did not want the ingredients to take away the flavours of the crab,” said chef Thian, adding that the ginger syrup was served to balance the cooling effect of the crab.
Chef Thian strayed from the norm as often, the hairy crab is served with siew loong pau (meat dumplings).
Priced at RM168++ per set, the hairy crab at the restaurant is also served a la carte for RM98++ per crab.
It is available at the restaurant while stocks lasts, for both lunch and dinner.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.