A Hairy Crab Indulgence at Li Bai, Sheraton Towers!

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The Hairy Crab season is back! In marking its return at Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant, Sheraton Towers, 4 spectacular Hairy Crab dishes will be served up in addition to the existing menu with some new, creative dishes. The Hairy Crab is well known for its sweet succulent meat as well as its luscious rich golden roe. Join Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant for this epicurean adventure from now till the 30th of November 2014. Ready to see what I had for dinner?

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Start off with a quaint serving of Baked Chicken and Abalone Pie served with Steamed Charcoal Shrimp Dumpling. The Shrimp Dumpling is bright and crispy, with a good amount of prawn flavour to encapsulate the entire serving. I was well enchanted by the baked chicken and abalone pie for its savoury and well bodied filling. Crisp, with a good amount of gravy and heat, this was an excellent starter to the entire night.

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One highlight to go for is the Braised King Prawn and Sweet Potato with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe ($36 per person). A luscious, king prawn is perched gingerly atop creamed sweet potato and vegetables before being lavished over by a golden sauce made out of hairy crabmeat and crab roe. The sauce is velvety thick with a good flavour that hints of crab – nicely complementing the sweeter and more textured prawn. A very nice portion for that single serve.

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As a break between crabs, we were served up the Red Garoupa prepared in 2 ways – Suateed Fillet of Garoupa and Deep-fried Fillet of Garoupa. My preferred choice goes to the deep fried variant for its sharper flavours and firmer textures. It carried a deeper savoury aromatic that made the portion stand out more so than the sauteed serving.



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Hairy Crabs don’t get any more traditional that it being steamed with ginger and served with a sweetened ginger vinegar dip. Priced at $60 per piece, guests can request in advance if they would prefer their crabs to be male or female (subject to availability). The female Hairy Crab will carry roe that is firmer, while the male Hairy Crab will have its a more creamier milt that is usually velvety and rich.

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For the night, I had the male Hairy Crab. Look at the gorgeous golden orange hue. It makes you want to almost slurp it all up. The crabs are served with a side of sweetened vinegar and ginger dip that complements well with the crab. It is essential to consume ginger throughout the meal as the crabs are very ‘cooling’, and a counter ‘warming’ dish is always necessary. After you consume the roe/milt, enjoy the rest of the sweet meat around the entire body. Use the pair of scissors provided and skillfully cut through the shell. If you have trouble or would simply prefer to be served hairy crab without shell, do let the staff know. After the serving of hairy crabs, tuck in to a bowl of hot and sweetened ginger tea.

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New on the menu is the Fried Crispy Rice with Diced Scallops and Asparagus. A portion of rice is deep fried to achieve rice crisps, and then stir fried with regular rice and other ingredients to make a portion of this novel dish. Crunchy, textured, flavourful and fragrant, this was a unique creation that deserves a mention. The only trouble I had was rice getting caught between each bite, and would thus prefer regular fried rice anyday.

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End off the night with a serving of Sweetened Ginger Tea with Hasma. I found this serving of ginger tea to be slightly less spicy than the one served after the crabs, and is probably more of a dessert that will nicely round up the entire dinner of ‘cooling’ dishes. Kudos to the chef for ending off on a sweet note.

The Hairy Crab crustacean indulgence will be available from now till 30th November 2014. In addition to the Traditionally Steamed Hairy Crab ($60) and the Braised King Prawn and Sweet Potato with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe ($36), guests can also order the Braised Bird’s Nest with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe ($88) and the Stewed Crystal Hor Fun with Hairy Crabmeat and Crab Roe ($78 for a small portion). This feast will also take shape in a Hairy Crab wine dinner on the 7th of November where a degustation menu priced at $180++ is specially prepared for guests. Ready for a gastronomic high with this seasonal specialty?

Thank you Li Bai for the invitation

Li Bai
Sheraton Towers
39 Scotts Road
Singapore 228230
Reservations: 6839 5623
Hairy Crabs are available from 1st October to 30th November 2014