What does the word autumn bring to mind? Is it crisp cool days, pumpkin-patch visits or falling leaves? That may all be true in much of the Northern Hemisphere, but in Hong Kong, autumn officially marks the beginning of hairy crab season. For two short months, the city goes into a manic frenzy over these tiny crustaceans and their sweet, delectable roe.

We did our homework and put together a tantalising list of restaurants offering hairy crab delicacies. So get stuck in and bask in all this glorious deliciousness.


What: The acclaimed restaurant’s recently appointed Shanghainese chef Yuen Kwok Hing brings more than 30 years of culinary experience to the table with signatures dishes made with hairy crab from famed Lake Yangcheng. Highlights include baked bean curd filled with pork with hairy crabmeat, braised bamboo pith filled with shrimp mousse with hairy crabmeat, steamed hairy crab claw with egg white and ginger and hairy crab xiao long bao. Special bespoke menus can also be arranged for that personalised touch. 

When: 12 October–27 November

Where: 7/F and 8/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, 2584 7722

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What: Chef Lee Man Sing whips up a selection of hairy crab dishes using crustaceans from Lake Tai Wu. Aside from the traditional steamed whole crab, there’s an array of innovative dishes ranging from hairy crab roe soufflé to baked tofu with hairy crab roe. There’s even a crispy rice dish drizzled with hairy crab roe and classic Shanghainese noodles topped with gooey roe.

When: 16 October–30 November

Where: Basement, Standard Chartered Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central, 2885 8688

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What: Using hairy crab plucked from the waters of Tai Hu, Chef Chung Kin Leung blends tradition and innovation with a bevy of speciality dishes ranging from deep-fried shrimp ball with hairy crab roe to steamed mashed tofu with hairy crab. This former Hong Kong Government House head chef will showcase his signature stuffed chicken wings filled with, you guessed it, hairy crab roe. 

When: From now

Where: 5/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, 2564 3868

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What: This traditional Shanghainese restaurant will be serving a series of seasonal hairy crab dishes ranging from braised minced pork ball with crab roe to sautéed crab roe served on toast. There’s also more classic flavours such as crab roe tossed with noodles and baked stuffed crab shell with roe. 

When: Until 1 December

Where: 4/F, Central Square, 1–13 D’Aguilar Street, Central, 2522 7611 

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What: Although hairy crab are a Shanghainese delicacy, there’s always new ways of pairing the crustacean with other regional culinary genres. Yun Yan serves up the delicate crabs with their trademark Sichuanese sizzle, with innovative dishes including bean curd with hairy crab roe topped with soft poached egg, deep-fried egg white puffs filled with shrimp and hairy crab roe and seared king prawn with potato noodles tossed with crab roe. 

When: Until 30 November

Where: Shop 1001B, 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, 2375 0800

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What: Executive Chinese Chef Jayson Tang of the hotel’s Man Ho Chinese Restaurant dazzles diners with an array of hairy crab dishes ranging from sautéed egg white with crab roe to baked foie gras, minced pork and bean curd with crab roe. 

When: Until 31 October

Where: Man Ho Chinese Restaurant, 3/F, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2810 8366

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What: The hotel’s Chinese restaurant, Regal Palace, overflows with hairy crab options this season. There’s a special seven-course menu centred around hairy crab, starting with braised crab roe soup with bird’s nest and lobster, before moving on to baked crab shell with roe, stir-fried Wagyu beef with crab roe and cognac and steamed fresh hairy crab. There’s even a pan-fried crab roe bun just in case you still haven’t gotten your fill of the creamy crustacean.

When: Until 31 October

Where: Regal Palace, 3/F, Regal Hongkong Hotel, 88 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, 2837 1773

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What: The hotel’s Chinese restaurant, Sing Yin, recently appointed former Cordis Hotel’s Ming Court chef, Johnny Chan, to come aboard just in time for hairy crab season. The new Chinese executive chef brings over 30 years of experience and will showcase his skills with a special hairy crab menu, with dishes ranging from braised lobster and winter melon stuffed with fungus and crab roe, to baked hairy crab with mixed onion in red wine, to sautéed garoupa and asparagus with crab roe.

When: Until 30 November

Where: Sing Yin, 1/F, W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, 3717 2848

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What: Taking his over 20 years of experience as executive chef of Michelin-starred Fook Lam Moon with him, Chef Gordon Leung dazzles diners in his new residence at Spring Moon at The Peninsula. The chef has created several sumptuous hairy crab specialities this season, including braised bird’s nest in hairy crab roe sauce, baked hairy crab roe with egg, fritter and onion and golden fried crab claw with roe. 

When: Until 30 November

Where: Spring Moon, 1/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, TST, 2696 6769

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What: Yan Toh Heen, the hotel’s two-Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, rolls out the red carpet this season with an authentic hairy crab feast. Shanghainese master chef Wang Ho has put together a decadent eight-course menu featuring the coveted crustaceans. Dishes range from crispy taro dumpling with seafood and hairy crab roe to hairy crabmeat and roe with bird’s nest soup and lobster. An enticing baked rice with hairy crab roe and a delicate simmered garoupa with crab roe also adorn the menu. 

When: Until 10 December

Where: Yan Toh Heen, Lower Level, InterContinental Hong  Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2313 2323

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What: This popular Cantonese restaurant chain gears up for hairy crab season with eight classic dishes, including pan-fried noodles immersed with crab roe in a ceramic pot, steamed minced pork dumplings with crab roe and braised rice cakes with hairy crabmeat and roe. 

When: Until 30 November

Where: 22/F, Lee Theatre, 99 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, 2409 4822

              2/F, New World Tower, 16–18 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 2524 2012

              5/F, Miramar Shopping Centre, 132 Nathan Road, TST, 2376 2882

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What: There’s plenty of hairy crab to go around at this chic Shanghainese restaurant, ranging from sizzling prawns with crab roe, to braised pea sprouts with roe, to classic roe-filled xiao long bao

When: Until 1 December

Where: Shop B226–227A, B2/F, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, TST, 2801 6111

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What: Made using fat beauties plucked from the waters of Lake Yangcheng in Jiangsu, Modern Shanghai introduces nine hairy crab dishes this season. Executive Chef Ben Luen entices diners with moreish dishes such as sautéed hairy crab over glutinous rice cakes, double-boiled meatball stuffed with crab and crab roe and hairy crabmeat and roe served over crispy rice crackers. 

When: Until 30 November

Where: Shop 1058, Level 1, YOHO MALL, 9 Yuen Lung Street, Yuen Long, 2602 2218

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What: Crafted by Chef Chan Wai-Teng, Man Hing’s dim sum specialities include dumplings filled with hairy crab roe, pan-fried hairy crab roe buns and deep-fried mashed cuttlefish dumplings stuffed with crab roe. Indulgent main courses include tempting dishes such as sautéed lobster with crab roe. Although a members’ club, the restaurants there are also open to non-membership diners. 

When: Until 31 October

Where: Man Hing, Greater China Club, 10/F, D2 Place, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok, 2743 8055

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Across the Water: Macau


What: Indulgent fusion hairy crab dishes overlooking Macau can be savoured in the plush dining room of Lai Heen, the territory’s highest Chinese restaurant. Jet fresh from Lake Taihu, these coveted crab are paired with an array of premium ingredients from king prawn to Wagyu beef. There’s a Brittany blue lobster dish topped with crabmeat and roe and a spin on traditional Cantonese crispy noodles made with mashed potato and crab roe. 

When: Until 30 November

Where: Lai Heen, 51/F, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baia da Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Cotai, Macau, +853 8886 6868

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What: Good things come in the dozens – or at least that’s the case with the hairy crab dishes at Broadway Macau. The various speciality dishes, ranging from pepper crab, to curry, to congee, are offered across 11 dining outlets at the hotel’s hawker-style street market, Broadway Food Street. 

When: Until 31 October

Where: Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus, Cotai, Macau, +853 8883 3338

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Editor-at-Large, Jetsetter Food Nomad

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