The annual hairy crab season is here and every established restaurant here have crafted menus featuring the highly regarded crustacean in all forms and with different food pairing. They are truly a delicacy amongst seafood connoisseurs priced for its naturally sweet flesh and creamy rich roe.
Joining this year’s hairy crab fiesta is Peony Jade and their “Gold Rush” hairy crab menu. Whilst most chefs would recommend going for the minimalist approach – steaming crabs and dipping in vinegar, Peony Jade deviates from them by focusing on the luscious aspect of crab; the intense buttery rich golden roes.We officially kick start lunch with “Mister Crab” Crystal Dumpling Filled With Prawn and Hairy Crab Meat, 水晶大闸蟹先生 (S$14.80++ for 3 pieces). This is Peony Jade’s rendition of the classic har gau dim sum (prawn dumpling) and every orange morsels are specially handcrafted to suit the menu’s theme. But at $5.00 per petit portion, I would not expect this dish to appear on every table. It is simply too expensive for a mouthful.
Coming up next would be the symbolic prosperous “Golden Charm” Pomegranate-shaped Hairy Crab Meat Topped with Creamy Golden Roe, 蟹粉石榴头 (S$58.00++).The exquisitely wrapped pomegranate-shaped pouch of freshly steamed prawns are dressed with tobiko (salmon fish eggs) that delightfully “pop” with flavours. Sprinkled with edible gold dust, the savoury bundle sits atop a tasty serving of gravy filled with the golden crab roe.The Steamed Hairy Crab with Homemade Chinese Rice Wine, 家乡姜酒蒸大闸蟹 (S$48.00++) generated quite a buzz when they arrived. The strong scent of alcohol was alluring and enticing for many. The mouth watering delicacy served in piping hot stone bowl that resembled the traditional Korean bibimbap stone bowl was presented with a bright orange red hairy crab sitting right in the middle.
A sweet and spicy brew that offers the perfect “Yin and Yang” harmony with the pairing of the fresh and sweet hairy crab meat and savoury roe. The soup’s nutritious essence is layered with the grated ginger, Chinese rice wine infused with fresh ginger juice, and crunchy wood ear black fungus renowned for its natural therapeutic properties in cleansing and boosting blood circulation.For diners who do not wish to get their hands and dresses dirty, they can gesture for assistance because the staff are well-versed in dissecting the crab.
For true fans of Chinese Mitten Crabs, forgo the gloves and go DIY style! Pull off the legs and rip the carapace apart as you deem fit. Trim the gills and mouthparts and tuck in! Nothing beats the pleasure of “working hard” to taste the premium meat within.
I was already very impressed with Peony Jade’s previous dish but even more as I slurped down their La-mien Soup Topped with Hairy Crab Meat Garnished with Golden Caviar, 蟹粉龙汤拉面. The rich lobster stock in bright orangey red hue is boiled over high heat and then simmered with hairy crab meat and creamy golden crab to extract its essence.
I would have appreciated my serving of handmade noodles even more if I have not had too many crab dishes beforehand.Ending off our crabby luncheon was a nice cup of sweet-and-spicy Boiled Hot Ginger Tea with Glutinous Rice Dumplings, 姜茶汤丸 (S$7.00++). The heat of the ginger aids digestion and it is believed that the ‘heaty’ aspect of the ginger soup can balance the ‘cooling’ effect of the hairy crab meat.
And for those who still have room for something else, then do consider their signature bitter-sweet Mao Shan Wang Durian Mochi, 姜茶汤丸伴猫山王麻糬 (S$12.00++ for 3 pieces). This chewy yet perfectly soft mochi skin encases the unadulterated Mao Shan Wang durian pulp inside.
But believe me, after 4 crab dishes, this is a bit of a overkill, so go easy on the desserts yah?This seasonal hairy crab promotion at Peony Jade @Keppel Club is available from now till 30 November 2014. Prices start from S$12.00++ for à la carte items, S$88.00++ per person for set menu and S$138.00++ per person for premium set menu.
I love the overall ambiance of this Peony Jade outlet but the location might be a little inaccessible to non-car owners. I reckon a taxi ride from Vivo City should negate the deterring inaccessible factor. Peony Jade
Bukit Chermin Road
Tel: +65 6276 9138
Note: This is an invited media tasting.