Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hairy Crab Meals in Hong Kong

Fall is the season for hairy crabs, and since we were lucky enough to be in Hong Kong during this season, we were able to enjoy this delicacy.  Hairy crabs are characterized by their furry claws and the abundance and rich taste of their crab roe.  During our stay in Hong Kong, we had two hairy crab meals.  The first one was at my favourite Shanghainese restaurant Wu Kong.
For the price of $468 HKD per person, the meal included shark's fin soup with crab roe, one hairy crab, sticky rice with crab roe, stir fried greens, xiao long bao with crab roe, and dessert.  Although everything was in small portions, this was a really filling meal and very delicious.  Notice all the equipment required to crack open the crabs.  It was quite the ordeal and probably took me 30min to eat one crab.

Our second hairy crab meal was at the Oi Suen Restaurant in the Sha Tin clubhouse of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.  Oi Suen created a hairy crab menu complete with wine pairings ($798 HKD per person) from the Cellier de Genne winery which is located in the Jura region of France.  Jura is most famous for their vin jaune or "yellow wine" and this was my first time tasting wine from this region.  Oi Suen also invited the winemaker Frederic Lornet, who is the owner of the winery, to the restaurant that evening and he was introduced to guests at each table which I thought was quite cool.
The first course was an appetizer with duck's tongue, jelly fish, fresh river shrimp and pork belly.  This was paired with Frederic Lornet Cremant du Jura Rose Brut.  The sparkling rose was quite refreshing.
The next course is a carp fish soup with crab roe paired with Frederic Lornet Arbois Chardonnay Messagelins.
The red meat course was a pan-seared Australian wagyu beef paired with Frederic Lornet Arbois Trousseau des Dames.  I thought that we would be having some Kobe beef, but then I realized it was from Australia...haha, but it was still pretty tender.
The fourth dish was a fish with black bean sauce and this came with a very interesting wine.  The Frederic Lornet Macvin du Jura Blanc has little specs of brown particles floating inside it.  The wine tasted something like the Chinese preserved vegetable "mui choi" (梅菜).  The wine definitely paired up nicely with the black bean sauce, but it was very strange in taste and didn't taste like the Japanese plum wine either.  To me it had a bit of a Chinese medicinal taste to it.
The wine to go with the hairy crab was the Frederic Lornet Arbois Vin Jaune.  This wine is dryer than your typical white wines such as Chardonnay.  I think I still enjoy a nice glass of Pinot Gris the most.
With dessert, we had the Frederic Lornet vin de Paille.  By this time, I was a little too drunk and don't really remember what this wine tastes like...haha


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