Since my first visit to Elegant Inn, I've been back there a couple of times... mainly to bring family and friends who've been rather impressed with my 1st review of this place. In my first visit here, we had the opportunity to try out their Hairy Crab Set, minus the crab at that time because Hairy wasn't available then - he was probably undergoing the final phases of maturity in Lake Tai or Lake Yangcheng in China!
Known also as the Chinese Mitten Crabs (due to the thick layer of hair on their claws), the best hairy crabs reputedly comes from Lake Yangcheng, nearby Shanghai. However, these prized crabs from Lake Yangcheng are now snapped up by the Chinese population and it's not likely there's any left over for the export market - this is what the lovely Jeannette Han imparted to us. Most likely the hairy crabs we get here are from Lake Tai.
Of course the hairy crab is revered for its divine roe... flesh aside. And for that, you would think that the female crabs are the ones that are served. Wrong. Actually, it's the male crabs that often made their way to our dining tables! Jeannette explained that female crabs are rarely marketed because, firstly, the taste & aroma of their roe is an "acquired" preference - it's more gooey, sticky and more "intense" in flavour which not many people would like. Secondly, most female crabs are better left alone in the lakes to "go forth and multiply" - otherwise, how to ensure that there's sufficient crabs for the next season's harvest?
In most restaurants, the proper "weaponry" (well, they certainly looked like weapons to me!) is provided for you to extricate all the roe & meat from Hairy. There's a pair of pincer+scissor-like weapon which seemed intimidating enough and another 2-prong fork which also looked pretty lethal. Oh well, if these seem scary to you, just use your fingers and teeth, no worries!
The 6-course Hairy Crab Set @ RM118++ per person comes with:
*Twin delight Platter of Smoky Prawn Cake & Crunchy E.I. Nachos
*Double-boiled Shark Cartilage Chicken Soup with Shark's Fin & Bamboo Pith
*Seasonal Greens with Japanese Oyster Sauce
*Braised Rice with Whole S.African Abalone
There's one change in the Braised Rice though... from the earlier review, this was served with cubed seafood but now Elegant Inn has gone 1 step higher by serving a Whole South African Abalone!
...and of course, HAIRY himself!
Actually, at closer range, Hairy does look pretty scary, don't you think?! Hairy looked like some mean alien creature.
Not convinced? This is WHY he's called "HAIRY"...
But don't let those hairy legs throw you off because they are full of juicy succulent meat inside! Be sure to use your weapons/fingers/teeth to prod/suck/push every yummy morsel out!
If you are squeamish about "dismantling" Hairy, worry not - the friendly service crew at Elegant Inn would be more than happy to do it for you... and they do an excellent job!
What you have to do after that, is... just dig in! Look at that clump of to-die-for roe! (Get your anti-cholesterol pills ready lah!)
Hmmm... if you are a crabby fan, one Hairy is really not enough! Hold those roe in your mouth, savour it with your tongue, for as long as possible... coz there aint much of it from one Hairy, I tell ya!
Ohhh... did I mention that there's a set of Dessert included in the Hairy Crab set?? Oh yes, there is!
There's Double-boiled Ginger Soup with White Fungus & Red Dates and Crunchy Nutty Sesame Ball!
Here I would like to make a confession. Whenever we are at Elegant Inn, we cannot, just cannot NOT order a plate of their Salt & Pepper speciality...
Being the gluttons that we are, this time we HAD to order ALL 3 of their signature Salt + Pepper items (@RM16 per item) ... namely their HK Silver Fish, Homemade Tofu and Cuttlefish! Arghhhh... such succulent chewy divinity!
And if you still have room in your tummy and a carbs-lover, you should not miss their Signature E.I. Fried Rice (RM22)...
This is not just any fried rice, ok! Jeannette took pains to explain to us that their chef used 2 types of rice (freshly-cooked rice and day-old rice) and fry it at varying temperatures to achieve that just-perfect texture of the resulting plate of yummy rice. The grains are separated, yet not too dry nor chewy. Sounds simple enough... but this perfection can only be achieved with real skills.
Jeannette with her langchai Chefs: Chef James Theng and Chef Leong
The Hairy Crab promotion should be on until December, so if you are thinking of making your acquaintance with Hairy, do give them a buzz to book your Hairy as supplies are brought in fresh daily and may run out fast.
Elegant Inn Hong Kong Cuisine
2.01 2nd Floor, Podium Block
Menara Hap Seng
Jalan P Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2070-9399 Fax: 03-2070-9398