Hong Kong crab lovers on a budget should head to a new restaurant in Wan Chai which specialises in the crustaceans.
Crabtain Restaurant’s main chef and owner previously worked as a chef for the Lei Garden chain. This is the first restaurant he has opened, and he serves delicate and delicious Chinese dishes, but at much more affordable prices than the high-end fare at Lei Garden.
We loved the trademark crab congee (HK$325 for four people), which is strong and sweetly flavoured. The broth’s ingredients include shrimp and fish, and it gives the congee a golden colour. Once the customer places an order, crab roe is placed into the bubbling congee. The menu also features crab dishes including crab glass noodles with ginger and scallion, and sautéed crab with pepper in clay pot.
There is also a good selection of non-crab dishes. We liked the fried sirloin (HK$78), made with small pieces of meat that were stewed with oyster sauce and chu hou sauce before being deep-fried. The meat was soft and tender, with a crunchy exterior.
Spicy shrimp with grass noodles in clay pot (HK$78) used frozen shrimp that were marinated in mala spice. The plump shrimp were crunchy, and absorbed the spicy flavours of the sauce.
When we visited, the daily soup (HK$88 a pot for four people) was chicken feet with peanuts and black-eyed peas, which had a rich flavour because they don’t stint on ingredients. We would love to pay another visit to try the other daily soup options, such as coconut chicken soup, or arrowroot, small red bean and mud carp soup.
Crabtain Restaurant, Ming Fung Building, 138 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3702 1371. Open: 11am-11pm