When it rains, it pours, so the saying goes. Days after my last crab feast, I was going to eat crabs again. Cholestrol cholestrol cholestrol, my mind repeated those words. A battle between Jekyll and Hyde ensued, but the other side won easily. My eyes glistened and my heart skipped a beat as I saw the sumptuous hairy crabs laid out before us.
We soon found out that not all hairy crabs were created equal. It is important to know the source of the crabs, and we were also amazed to see tags on the claws of the Yang Cheng Lake hairy crabs. (So that they'll know each other by first name? Hi. I'm Hairy. Hi. I'm Sally. Cool, let's hook up. And that's how Hairy met Sally.) The tags are to ensure authenticity, and they also include an SMS number (China only, I think!) for verification purposes. Technology certainly reaches the deepest jungles...errr...lakes.
As hard as I tried to differentiate the hairy crabs from the Tai Lake vs Yang Cheng Lake, I couldn't find much obvious difference between the two. Bald Eagle, on the other hand, noticed that the Yang Cheng Lake crustaceans had creamier roe while the flesh was also sweeter. Talking about the roe, I was amazed at how creamy the roe was. They say the hairy crab roe is like caviar from the east. Priced at RM78++ and RM88++ for TL and YCL hairy crabs respectively, it looks like caviar all over the world (regardless of the origination) has to be EXPENSIVE! What price happiness, eh?
To ensure that the roe is creamy, one must not overcook the crab. The simplest (and tastiest) preparation is to steam the crab for between 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the capability of the steamer). During this process, the crab turns a lovely golden orange.
And the taste? Every little mouthful of the velvety roe was a feeling of ecstacy (can one get high on roe??). There was also some white creamy substance that was extremely delicious. You guessed it. It was sperm.
Gives a new meaning to the word blowjob (hairy blowjob?).
We were advised to dip the flesh of the crabs in ginger and vinegar sauce. This is to counteract the cooling effect from consuming the hairy crabs. Interesting, this "cooling" thing. We were also given ginger tea and a shaoxing wine/sour plum concoction that tasted strange. Imagine alcohol with a lot of salt added to it. Well, I suppose it was a worthy antidote (translated: sacrifice) to warm up my body.
I thought I couldn't go on anymore. Trust me, it can be quite tiring to eat these little buggers. BUT when the 1.5kg Australian Lobster came in, my jaw dropped. The flesh was raw, and I knew I was going to eat it sashimi-style with wasabi. I've always loved lobster sashimi. Too bad it's so expensive (RM298/kg), or I'd be eating it more regularly!
Those who didn't eat it raw chose to dip it into the boiling broth containing vegetables, mushrooms and tofu. Very healthy and tasty stuff. So was the dish of the vegetables on the side. Healthy.
The flower crabs, although a little bit of an anticlimax after having eaten the hairy crabs, were absolutely delicious. The flesh was firm and sweet and it was easy to tell that these were really fresh.
The salted egg yolk squid were a lot tastier this time as compared to my first experience. This time, the saltiness wasn't overwhelming and it was nice and crunchy. Perfect with beer!
What really got me excited was the noodles which were braised with the lobster head (smashed to bits, of course). The flavour was delicate, typical of all lobster meals. At RM25 for this dish, I thought it was good value.
Dessert was Le Meridien's tiramisu cake. Light and fluffy. Good if you've just had a filling meal and you don't want any heavy dessert!
Also check out Boolicious' , Joe's and Precious Pea's thoughts.
No. 103 - 107, Jalan SS25/2,
Taman Mewah Jaya,
Tel: 03-7808 2388
Note: Autumn (Oct & Nov) is the best time to savour hairy crabs. King Crab is currently having a promo (buy 5 free 1) on its hairy crabs.