A Night of Shanghai Cuisine 上海菜 Shanghai Hairy Crab Mao Xie上海毛蟹
October / November is the peak season for enjoying Shanghai Hairy Crab (Mao Xie上海毛蟹). During our class trip to Shanghai, my friend Kevin and I organized special ‘classic’ dinner for our classmates not in the Xin Tian Di district, but instead where the locals go for great food – Shanghai’s Huang He Lu restaurant row. (Others opted for the famous WangBaoHe in Shanghai). Located just north of the ReminGongYuan (Remin People’s Park), Huang He Lu is not far from Nan Jing Dong Lu (shopping street) and the Bund. I had an amazing meal on HuangHeLu about 4 years ago but as quickly as time and progress go in China, entire neighborhoods often quickly get transformed / gentrified literally overnight. Because of Huang He Lu’s close proximity to the Bund, I was concerned that the restaurants on the street had all lost their local ‘flavor’ and had gone upscale however I was happy to find out this wasn’t the case when I got a discouraging remark by the concierge at the Westin Bund saying that the area wasn’t suitable for Westerners. Awesome!
Upon arriving, we quickly chose a restaurant and Kevin proceeded to order about 25 dishes for just 12 of us. The Crab was amazing as expected. The meat is really fatty and you basically eat what’s in the body and not the meat in the legs. By the way if you’re a little taken aback by the amount of fat in these crabs, there’s a soy / vinegar / ginger dipping sauce that helps cut it. We also had some unexpected dishes such as Brazilian Frog (we had a couple from Brazil who had never actually eaten this frog before) and dried duck tongue!
Ok, a little bit of a shocker for some I know but it’s a delicacy that you can apparently get in Flushing Queens, NY (Just ask Frank Bruni of the NYTimes)
Overall we had a great fun meal, many bottles of beer, way too much food and it only cost us about $15 apiece. Definitely check out HuangHeLu next time you are in ShangHai!