Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hairy Crabs at the Club

Turned out it's a blessing in disguise that our annual crab feast at Shanghai Fraternity Association was pushed back for an extra week this year because of some scheduling conflict, as the Shanghainese hairy crab season was also delayed by some government bureaucracy, so we barely caught the early part of the season even with the later date. It's already the third year we joined our friend C and A who organized this friends' gathering at their home club famous for the exquisite Shanghainese cuisine. (previous ones in 2015 and 2016)

So far the comments have been mixed regarding the quality of the crabs in this shortened season, but I think the one we had on the night (coming from Hunan Province) was as good as those we had the previous times, medium-sized (around 6 taels) and with plenty of soft tomalley/roes with rich flavor.

We also had other dishes to go with the hairy crabs, including a few dishes with the picked crab meat and roes. The one served with the braised tofu was always our favorite - the soft and silky tofu with the mild flavor always matched well with the rich crab sauce. This time we also ordered an additional course of sautéed crab meat and roes with noodles as our final course along with the pan-fried pot-stickers with pork and crab.

A few non-crab dishes were outstanding too as usual - including our hot appetizer of braised yellow eel strips (搶虎尾) and the sautéed river shrimps (清炒河蝦仁), both signature dishes at this restaurant. So was the double-boiled chicken soup with ham and cabbage (火朣雞燉津菜湯), which in my opinion is the best in town. (even the leftover ham was great for fried rice and noodles the next day)

The Sauteed Mandarin Fish (龍鬚桂魚) is a new dish we tried this year, with the fish fillet was cut into strips and sauteed with pickled vegetables. It's delicious with the delicate meat combined with the crunchy vegetables julienned to thin strips with a slight acidity. 

With our host C being a champagne lover, there's no surprise that we brought a few bottles of bubbly to share around the table, and they do worked well with our seafood-centric dishes. But this year we also had a private collection of a 30-year huadiao wine (brought over in a random beer bottle and was excellent for the crabs by the way) and also a 25-year old bottle of aged sake with a mellow and rounded taste. And a birthday cake at the end to cap another exceptional evening of crab feast at our favorite venue in town for Shanghainese food.

More pictures here:

When? November 11 2017
Where? Shanghai Fraternity Association, 1-3/F, South China Building, 1 Wyndham Street, Central
Menu Highlights? Braised Tofu with Sauteed Hairy Crab Meat and Roes (蟹粉豆腐)
2004 Perrier-Jouët Cuvée Belle Époque Rosé
Champagne RL Legras Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
Champagne Paul déthune Blanc de Noirs Brut NV
No-name 30 year Huadiao from Private Collection of Old Xianheng Hotel, Shaoxing
1993 Gikyu Wakamizu Nametsume Junmai choki jukuseishu - Yamada Tadayoshi Shuzo, Aichi Prefecture
義侠「若水」1993 生詰 純米長期熟成酒 - 愛知県 山忠本家酒造
2007 Chateau Phelan Segur
2009 Besigheimer Felsengarten Riesling Eiswein, Hessigheim, Germany

No comments :