Saturday 17 October 2015

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant – It's Hairy Crab Time [MEDIA INVITE]

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant

One of the most anticipated culinary event for Chinese Restaurant is back. Yup, Hairy Crab Season is here. This special gastronomic occasion which normally coincide around Mid Autumn Festival and lasted for a couple of months. The Hairy Crab is popular during this period because it is the time when you can enjoy the orangey creamy roe from the female crab.

Wan Hao - Reception

For the month of October and November 2015, Wan Hao will be offering 2 Hairy Crab Grandeur set menu. Price at $98++ (for 6 course, Set Menu A) and $108++ (for 7 course, Set Menu B). A La Carte menu for Hairy Crab also available.

Wan Hao - One of the Private Room

The tasting for the night was for Set Menu A. We started with Steamed Crab Meat Dumpling, Steamed Hairy Crab Xiao Long Bao ('XLB') and Deep-Fried Hairy Crab Ball. The skin for the dumpling is springy, which remind you of the texture of the Har Gao with crab meat fillings. The fried hairy crab is crunchy but I personally find the almond was too much and cover the texture of the crab. Hairy Crab XLB is my pick. When you put the XLB in your mouth, you will experience the burst of flavours. First, the fresh and sweet juice from the crab, follow by you tasting the smoothness of the crab meat and finally you eat it all together with the XLB skin. Yum Yum!!

Steamed Crab Meat Dumpling,
Steamed Hairy Crab Xiao Long Bao ('XLB')
and Deep-Fried Hairy Crab Ball

Hairy Crab Meat & Roe Broth with Bamboo Pith. I had it two ways, without and with the vinegar. You can taste the sweetness of the crab and hint of creaminess of the crab roe in the soup. The bamboo pith and asparagus add to the texture in the soup, especially the crunchy texture of the asparagus. Once you add the vinegar into the soup, you can feel it accentuate the flavour of the crab.

Hairy Crab Meat & Roe Broth with Bamboo Pith

Baked Whole Hairy Crab with Shao Xin Chinese Wine. I will call this the main attraction, a one on one with the hairy crab. The service staff will help you separate each part of the crabs, afterwards you are on your own. Forget about the utensils and just dig in straight with your hand. I started with the shell to suck the velvety and creamy roe. Followed by dissecting the body, followed with the legs and pincer. Comparing to the mud crabs or blue swimmer crab, the meat definitely more silky and smoother even on the legs and pincers. You can dip into vinegar to accentuate the crab flavour.

Baked Whole Hairy Crab with Shao Xin Chinese Wine

Baked Whole Hairy Crab with Shao Xin Chinese Wine
Deconstructed and ready to eat

As hairy crab suppose to have a cooling “Ying” effect to your body, Wan Hao will offer you the ginger tea “Yang” to accompany your hairy crab meal and create a balance between the ying and yang.

The Vinegar for the Baked Hairy Crab
The Best Part - The Roe (Female) 

Fresh Milk Stir-Fried Hairy Crab Meat with Egg White & Shrimp Roe. One of my favourite dish in a Cantonese restaurant. The combination of fresh milk, egg white and hairy crab meat is very delicate and subtle at the same time. When it is perfectly executed it will have a nice velvety texture, which was the case here. The shrimp roe and broccoli gave a crunchy texture to the dish. I finished half of it without vinegar and the rest with vinegar. Don't put too much vinegar, just a few drop will be enough. Yum Yum.

Fresh Milk Stir-Fried Hairy Crab Meat with Egg White & Shrimp Roe

Wok-Fried Rice with Hairy Crab Meat, Fish Roe & Diced Mushroom. My favourite type of fried rice, where the al-dente texture of the rice combines well with the fish roe which provide a nice popping feel in your mouth. The wok hei in the rice elevated the taste even further. Thumbs up!

Wok-Fried Rice with Hairy Crab Meat, Fish Roe & Diced Mushroom

The grand finale ended with Coconut Sago with Japanese Sweet Purple Potato. Of course I was not expecting hairy crab as desserts. It will totally be weird right. The dessert has a nice presentation, with interesting colour combination. Purple, green and white. The sweet potato is not overly sweet, almost like yam texture. A good ending to the meal. On the side note, the combination of shallow soup bowl with ceramic spoon made it challenging to eat the dessert. They should consider using metal spoon instead.

Coconut Sago with Japanese Sweet Purple Potato

Overall, the set menu cover different ways of cooking of hairy crab. I personally like the XLB hairy crab, the baked hairy crab and fresh milk stir-fried hairy crab. By keeping the dishes subtle, the chef allowed the hairy crab to shine in each dishes. The pairing of each dish with different vinegar really brought each dish to a different level. So if you are looking to indulge in Hairy Crab gastronomical journey, I suggest you consider Wan Hao. Cheers!!

Thank you very much for Singapore Marriott Hotel team for the tasting invitation.

Food & Drink: 8.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 9/10
Budget per Person: $81 and Above

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant 万豪轩
320 Orchard Road
Level 3, Singapore Marriott Hotel
Singapore 238865

T: +65 6831 4605
IG: @wanhaosg / @singaporemarriott
Mon – Fri: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.30 – 22.30
Sat, Sun & PH: 11.30 – 15.00; 18.30 – 22.30

Regular Menu & Hairy Crab Grandeur Menu available online

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