Hairy Crabs. A Chinese delicacy that is seasonal and is highly prized for it's roe. That makes the Female species highly prized and the Male erm.... sort of unprized. I guess that makes sense because it would be more difficult to find a hirsute Female than a Male. It is considered a pest in Europe as it is invading their ponds and streams and just shows that one man's meat is another man's poison. After all, flip through Elle and Vouge and see that all their female models are clean shaven and Brazilian waxed. It's probably a case of fearing the crabs being a bad influence on European ladies, I think.
It's Autumn again and all those unshaven, never used veet/nair before female crabs are being offered at Elegant Inn again. A prized Shanghai delicacy, it is served steamed here with vinegar and ginger dip.
I have to admit, the crabs did look like a mean MF, with hair sticking out all over the place. With 4 pairs of legs, one can hardly blame the crab for not being clean shaven.
The waitress proceeded to dismember the crab and placed all the body parts neatly on my plate. There were some wierd looking utensils which I reckoned were to dissect the crab surgically. Just like in an episode of Gray's Anatomy. Pass me the scalpel, suction, etc... Eat the roe first, the waitress said. The roe, the roe...
What can I say about the roe? Artery clogging stuff. But hey, all the delicious food kills you one way or another. The roe was as promised. Every morsel a delight of creamy, rich, sweet, sinful, intoxicating indulgence. Better than ayam kampung yolks. The meat was succulent and sweet. The vinegar they serve at Elegant Inn is top grade, slightly sweet dark vinegar that was very very balanced. I took about half an hour to finish the crab. And as I was eating, I got some tweets from the luminaries of Malaysian Food Bloggers, and they were actually having Hairy Crabs elsewhere too. Well, I'll just have to live my life at the bottom of the food blogger chain and get used to it, I suppose. The crabs tasted better with the salty and lonely crocodile android tears anyway. A pot of sweetened ginger tea was served at the end of the crab meal to neutralize the cooling effect of the crab.
Next was the Deep Fried King Pork Ribs. I am sure no king reared this pork, which probably had some sexy love handles before being slaughtered and sacrificed to appease this android. Crunchy and fragrant and perfectly fried. No complaints.
The famous RM 22 Elegant Inn special fried rice was ok. Be forewarned that Elegant Inn's menu is not very Single Diner friendly. The portions are probably meant for 3 to 4 people. And I was completely stuffed at the end of the eye opening meal. It was after all, my first attempt at dissecting the Hair Crab surgically, and I do have to declare that the operation was a success. All of the meat went down in my tummy and is well on it's way to cool my body, if you believe in that sort of thing.
Alert, Alert! Update!
Was told by FBB that I was mistaken. Actually Male Crabs has better roe, and the roe consists of sperm! I was too polite to ask the waitress if she served me a male or a female crab and risk being regarded as a Male Sexist Pig. Neither do I have the zoological knowledge to locate the sexual organs of the Hairy Crab, not that I would know how a crab's penis would look like anyway. Now, I can only hope and pray that I did not just eat, savour and swallow some crab cum for lunch today! Aiayaiyayai!
Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
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