From The Straits Times    |

WAN HAO CHINESE RESTAURANT, till Nov 30
Level 3, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road. Mon to Fri, noon-3pm, 6.30-10.30pm; Sat & Sun, 11.30am-3pm, 6.30-10.30pm.

Attractively priced at $98 and $108 per person (minimum two guests), Wan Hao’s debut hairy crab promotions are extremely value-for-money six-course affairs. The $98 menu starts off with a trio of dim sum ─ which includes a juicy hairy crab xiao long bao ─ and a broth cooked with both crab meat and roe. There’s even a whole shaoxing wine-baked hairy crab ($68 each, a la carte), full of yolky goodness.

There’s more hairy crab to be had, in the form of crab meat stir-fried in fresh milk with egg white and shrimp roe ($32, a la carte), and fried rice with fish roe and diced mushrooms ($24, a la carte). We appreciate how the menu shuttles between heavy and light, to avoid overwhelming diners. And what seemed like an ordinary dessert of sweet potato paste with coconut sago surprise with a toasty aroma of melon seeds, which were embedded within the Japanese tubers.

 

LI BAI CANTONESE RESTAURANT, till Nov 30
Lower lobby level, Sheraton Towers Singapore, 39 Scotts Road. Mon to Sat: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm; Sun 10.30am-2.30pm (yum cha), 6.30-10.30pm.

Here’s an idea for getting into your in-laws’ good books: invite them to share a meal over the exquisite hairy crab creations at Li Bai. The four-item a la menu may be concise, but every dish is resplendent with hairy crab meat and the prized roe. There is also a five-course promotional menu at $158 per person.

The starter of braised bird’s nest, parceled up in an egg white crêpe and served with a rich crab meat-and-roe sauce ($88) is impressively generous, and high on nutrition. For a seafood-on-seafood indulgence, go for the pan-fried lobster ($44) or king prawn ($36). There’s also a claypot dish with crystal hor fun ($78, small). If you prefer to enjoy the pristine flavours of this seasonal crustacean, Li Bai also serves it steamed at $60 each.

 

CRYSTAL JADE PALACE, till Nov 30
#04-19 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, tel: 6735-2388. Mon to Fri, 11.30am-3pm, 6-11pm; Sat, 11am-3pm, 6-11pm; Sun 10.30am-3pm, 6-11pm. Also available at Crystal Jade Golden Palace, and Crystal Jade Dining In.

Go big or go home ─ Crystal Jade’s hairy crab set menu ($118 per person) is an elaborate 7-course indulgence.

Whet the appetite with the intricately pleated hairy crab xiao long bao ($6 each, a la carte) with crab stock, the deep-fried spring rolls ($24 for four, a la carte) stuffed full with hairy crab meat and mushrooms, and hairy crab roe simmered with seasonal vegetables. Decadence takes the form of braised shark’s fin with hairy crab roe ($35, a la carte), and there’s also a whole steamed hairy crab ($42 per 175-199g piece, a la carte) for you to dig right into for the full experience. Two other items, braised abalone with sautéed vegetables, and glutinous rice dumpling in ginger soup round off the meal.

DBS and POSB cardholders enjoy a 10 per cent discount on the a la carte dishes, and a promotional price of $98 for the set.

 

MIN JIANG, till Nov 15
Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, tel: 6730-1704. Mon to Sat, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm; Sun 11am-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm.

There are those who firmly believe that you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and patiently work your way through each crab to really appreciate the full symphony of flavours and textures the hairy crustaceans have to offer.

In which case, hone in straight on Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel. The Chinese stalwart serves up whole hairy crabs four ways ($68 each): wrapped in lotus leaf and baked with ginger rice wine, steamed and served with glutinous rice in a bamboo basket, poached with Chinese rice wine, and simply steamed for an unadulterated taste.