The season of the Hairy Crabs is back again, a time when we have to wait once a year to savour on sweet sweet crab meat and orangey rich roe.
Taste Paradise is offering a Hairy Crab Set ($168++ per person, min 2 persons, $138++ per person for ANZ, OCBC and PGR cards), with the crustacean delights specially imported from Jiangsu province in Chin. Touted as the home of hairy crabs, Jiangsu crabs boast sweeter meat as well as rich and succulent roe in their crabs.
There are three other factors I look out for when selecting a restaurant for hairy crabs, other than price: The reputation of the restaurant, the accompanying dishes, and the skills of the service staff.
You see, while most Chinese restaurants in Singapore are known for one dish or the other, there really isn’t one which stands out for serving ‘the best hairy crabs in Singapore’. Thus the reputation of its quality of food plays a huge part.
Taste Paradise led by Executive Chef Fung Chi Keung has always been known to be one of the most top end, if not the finest restaurant under the Paradise Group of restaurants. Both their dim sum and some of its modern Chinese cuisine have proven to be popular.
The accompanying dishes in Taste Paradise’s Hairy Crabs six-course menu do not disappoint, and two of them stand out.
For the starter, we had a Combination of Hairy Crab Roe served in a Hand Roll and Fried Prawn with Black Garlic Sauce. The hand roll can be liken to a mini-ice cream cone filled with full-bodied sauce, while on the other side the prawn which is seen as ‘heavy’ in taste as well, fortunately balanced with a cool sweet watermelon.
The Braised Hairy Crab Roe with Edamame Tofu and Scallop is luxurious in its texture, blanketing over a smooth green beancurd (which is really the best part of the dish) with a slight crisp outer layer. The scallop is plump and fresh.
The staff at Taste Paradise were skilled in dissecting the crabs, partly giving a clear elaboration on which parts to savour and which to avoid. They fuss you to quickly scoop up the roe, and pass you a special bottle of toothpaste to clean your hands in case your hands smell after handling the crabs.
Sometimes having hairy crabs can be a matter of both timing and luck, especially if you are just in for the roe. My crab can be said to be in the average for the amount of its orange treasure, and the meat mildly satisfying.
The entire Hairy Crab meal slants towards being heavy, and can guarantee you feeling a little more than full. If you are up for rich food, Taste Paradise can satisfy that craving. If not, you got to wait one more year.
Taste Paradise 味之楼
ION Orchard #04-07 (Orchard MRT) Tel: +65 6509 9660
Opening Hours: 11:30-3:00pm, 6:00-11:00pm (Mon-Fri), 11:00-11:00pm (Sat-Sun)