Paradise Pavilion – Singapore
Tis the season for Hairy Crabs! Also known as the Chinese Mitten Crab, these little critters are plentiful of crab roe.
It was my first time eating hairy crabs and I must say it’s quite an experience. I’m not one for even regular crabs as they take too much effort to eat with little satisfaction from the flesh – I prefer shrimp – but the hairy crabs changed my mind.
The Paradise Pavilion at Marina Bay Link Mall is a fish-tank like restaurant overlooking the CBD area, the moment you walk in, you see a chef – through a glass window, of course – putting ducks in a wood-fired oven to make Peking duck.
But I was there for a whole other reason. The hairy crabs ($68.00). The restaurant does a steamed version and also a salt baked one.
Deconstructing the crab is an art-form all on it’s own. Oh lala. The waitress showed us how to de-shell it….but none of us could do it as cleanly as she did. The moment you lift the top-shell of the crab, a mass of golden yellow greets you. That was the cue to dig in. The roe tasted like a cross between salted eggs and crab roe. Very sandy and salty-ish. I liked it, but I couldn’t help imagining how much my cholesterol levels were soaring. Haha!
The restaurant made full use of their supply of roe by incorporating it into the rest of their hairy crab menu. The Xiao Long Bao ($12.00) was unique….with pork/crab broth. I still prefer the one in Din Tai Fung with their classic flavours, none of that foie gras XLB stuff. Beurk.
The shrimp with tea leaves ($28.00) was a nice break from all that roe. The succulent prawns came on a bed of potato shavings that complimented the prawns nicely.
Finalement, we had some nice Chinese style dessert of lemongrass jelly. I forgot how much this was….sorry guys.
My virgin hairy crab experience was all in all pretty good… but, I’m not so sure if I had an unknown allergy to it as after, I felt slightly itchy all over. But that aside, I give it two thumbs up.
Paradise Pavilion is located at
Marina Bay Financial Centre,
8A Marina Boulevard,