Xinguang Jiu Jia

Xinguang Jiu Jia

How do you know when a hairy crab restaurant is truly number one? When it serves an average of 800 pounds of crab meat a day for two decades is a start.
Address:
512 Tianjin Lu, near Guangxi Bei Lu 天津路512号, 近广西北路 +86 21 6322 3978
Hours/Times:
11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Payment Methods:
Cash
xinguang -- hairy crabs
Xinguang claims to serve an average of 800 pounds of crab meat a day. That stat really says it all.

You know those Hong Kong and Taiwanese tourists who fly in at the start of hairy crab season every year? This is where they land.

Xinguang Jiu Jia has been serving 800 pounds of crab meat a day almost since it opened in 1991. The restaurant specializes in crab banquet: a march of luxurious dishes made with every part of the crab.

Xinguang’s “cheapest” location on Tianjin Lu imposes a RMB 400 minimum per person, with other branches charging RMB 600 per head for the cheapest hairy crab set meal.

The crab banquets range from hundreds to thousands of yuan. By the time you get to the thousands, they start throwing in ingredients like shark’s fin on the house.

The six-course, RMB 940 set falls into the middle range price-wise, and is a popular order. The banquet starts with a dish of meaty, steamed crab claws. They’re sweet, with a bouncy, flaky texture to get get diners salivating. This is followed by tender stir-fried crab legs with asparagus.

The third course is a generous plate of the creamiest stir-fried crab roe and meat Xinguang has to offer. More foie gras of the sea (crab roe) is brought to your table: stir-fried crab roe with thick, transparent mung bean noodles is like the Shanghainese answer to lobster bisque and creamy pasta in one.

Next, dry noodles with crab meat.

The sixth course: mini wontons made with crab meat in a piping-hot, scallion-flavored soup.

Your wallet might feel a pinch, but your tongue will love it -- so don’t forget to order some huangjiu with that.