Dear fellow tasters,
I recently went on a holiday to Hong Kong and although I didn’t manage to get a table at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, there were several foodie highlights that I can share with you. I would start with the restaurant that my Hong Kong friend, Annie Das, recommended to go for my first dinner just after I arrived. It was called Under Bridge Spicy Crab restaurant and just like the name, it is supposed to be famous for its spicy crab, also known as typhoon shelter crab.
Because of the popularity, my friend said that there are actually four restaurant branches with the same name on the same block just near one another. Outside the restaurant, there’s a wall of fame with pictures of local celebrities and one Anthony Bourdain with the restaurant’s proprietor, Wong Ching Tuen. Apparently, the place was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Hong Kong episode of “No Reservations” TV show.
There were five of us for dinner that we could order many items from the menu although we kind of got carried away with that and ended up with a table full of food. Of course, we did order the spicy crab, medium size with medium spiciness level. We also ordered the mantis prawn, shrimps, calamari, chicken wings, black bean clams, and fried rice.
Unlike other versions of spicy crab or chili crab, the typhoon shelter style crab is deep fried with chili and garlic. The first appearance was a mound of fried minced garlic with chili and spring onion with the crab parts buried underneath. The taste was overwhelming at first but once the garlicky flavor and spiciness mixed with the fresh sweet crab meat, it was quite a delectable treat.
The mantis prawn, shrimps, calamari, and chicken wings were served in a similar way, with all those deep fried garlic and chili. The mantis might look scary with the oversized head and all (my first time trying this), but it was very yummy and tasted like a crossover between lobster, shrimp, and crab. Another dish worth mentioning would be the sauteed clams with chili and black bean sauce. They were quite tasty and we just couldn’t stop eating them.
Although the bill came up a bit pricey (around 600 HKD for the crab, 200 HKD for one mantis shrimp, for a total of around 1700 HKD), dinner at Under Bridge Spicy Crab was a memorable authentic Hong Kong culinary experience, one which I probably would not find elsewhere. The last thing I remembered after all the eating was the slight headache from all the seafood and garlic, or was it from all the MSG and cholesterol mixed with Tsingtao beer. Well, I wouldn’t care a bit.
Have fun eating your seafood!
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – spicy crab, mantis prawn, and black bean clams
What to try next time – more spicy crab and clams
Damage 350 HKD/pax