I was told that the hairy crabs from the famed Lake Tai in Suzhou, China this year were a bit late maturing, hence the season for hairy crabs started later and naturally, will end later too. That is why, even now, hairy crabs are delighting diners in restaurants like Elegant Inn and they are available till stocks stop arriving.
It’s been some time since I last dined at Elegant Inn. A fellow blogger friend mentioned she has never been there and that reminded me that it’s high time to revisit Elegant Inn. What better time to go makan there than during their hairy crabs promotion? So that was how the 3 of us ended up having a delicious dinner at Elegant Inn @ Menara Hap Seng one Sunday evening not too long ago.
Elegant Inn offers two sizes of the hairy crabs for this promotion: 250g (5 tahils) for RM138++ and 300g (6 tahils) for RM168++ per pax (minimum 2 pax). For this set, you get to dine on individual portions of a starter, soup, 3 main courses and dessert.
The starter – Twin Cake Platter consists of a pork patty with salted fish added and a twin serving of crunchy vegetables, done a bit like tempura style but lightly doused with a tasty sauce. The bouncy pork patty uses hand-chopped meat and with the added flavour of salted fish, my only lament is that I wish the patty had been bigger!
Elegant Inn always does their soups sublimely – after all, it does specialize in Hong Kong-style Cantonese fare and soups have always been a staple in any Cantonese menu. The Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Porcini Mushroom, Fish Maw and Dried Conch is bursting with clear sweetness and every spoonful of the steaming hot soup does an excellent job in warming up my tummy.
With tummies sufficiently warmed up, we were ready for the star of the dinner. The 1st Main Course is of course the Steamed Live Hairy Crab. The bright orange crustacean arrived amidst wisps of spring onion shavings. The service staff will help “dismantle” the crab and then arrange everything back nicely for you. We immediately picked up our spoons and wasted no time in digging into the thick creamy roe. I must say this year, the crabs are excellent, with the creamiest roe I’ve eaten so far. I took my time savouring every bit of the bright orange roe before cracking into the rest of the crab, legs and all. I like how Elegant Inn provides all the necessary special tools (3 types of stainless steel mean-looking instruments) to eat this crustacean. Since we are so well equipped, we did an outstanding job cleaning out the entire crab, with not a single morsel of meat left! We then sipped on cups of heart and tummy-warming ginger tea to balance out the yin & yang elements as hairy crabs are believed to be “cooling” for the body.
The other 2 items under “Main Course” is the Pan-fried Estuary Garoupa Slice with Prawn in Superior Soy Sauce and the Lotus Leaf Rice with Diced Chicken in Abalone Sauce. The presentation of the fish-prawn item is rather clever and interesting – a whole fresh prawn is stuck underneath the garoupa slice and then pan-fried (which explains why, at first glance, you can’t spot the prawn!).
I found the lotus leaf rice a bit too wet for my personal liking – the parcel of rice is served with the abalone sauce and diced chicken. Nevertheless the flavours are good and it’s a nice carbs filler for the entire meal.
Dessert is platter combo of 3 items: Double-boiled Hasma with Snow Pear & Snow Fungus, Nutty Sesame Ball and slices of fresh papayas. A good mixture of tastes and textures, I’d say … they are nourishing and refreshing at the same time.
I was told stocks of the hairy crabs are believed to be coming in right until mid December this year – so do head on over to Elegant Inn to have a crack at these tasty crustaceans soon, or else you’ll have to wait till next October!
Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
2.01, 2nd Floor, Podium Block
Menara Hap Seng
Jalan P Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur
No.16 Jalan Waras 1
Taman Connaught, Cheras
56000 Kuala Lumpur
(Open Friday-Sunday only)