Hee Kee Crab General
Basement 440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2575 7565
Price: about HK$330 without drinks or service charge.
Ambience: the Crab General branches of Hee Kee are supposed to be more upmarket than the Crab Expert line of the typhoon shelter crab chain. Tables are more spacious (ours was actually a little too big for four of us), the lighting is dimmer, and there are some nice design elements, such as the large aquarium housing some small fish. It's sort of cave-like, though, and it's hard to forget you're dining in a basement.
Pros: our main server was quick to recommend dishes, and cracked the crab claws for us when he saw we were having trouble.
Cons: when another server put one of the dishes on the table, she spilled much of the sauce on my friend's handbag. Some of the English translations were difficult to understand. Our crab dish seemed to be missing a few legs. Fried noodles with crab sauce (free with an order of crab) didn't have much flavour.
Recommended dishes: we couldn't come here without trying the typhoon shelter crab (our small crab was HK$480), which was spicy, garlicky, oily and delicious. The excess garlic and chilli that came with the crab was a good topping for the already-flavourful oyster congee (HK$58 for a "small" pot that was plenty to feed four of us). Fried beef rib (HK$188) was excellent. The meat had just the right amount of fat, so it was moist and tender. Also good was a dish called "a country bucket of chicken" (HK$118 for half). The fresh, succulent chicken had absorbed the deep flavours of the rice wine-based sauce. The marinated abalone (HK$110) saw two small, fresh abalone served on their shells in a cool, light and refreshing sauce.
What else? There's another branch at shop 602, 6/F iSquare, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2366 7565