Singapore chilli crab claws its way to Hong Kong: where to find tasty new variations
- We’ve found dumplings, burgers and seaweed tempura all inspired by the famous Singaporean dish
- Visit soon because some stocks are limited
One of Singapore’s signature dishes, chilli crab has recently clawed its way into Hong Kong’s food culture.
The dish is said to have originated on the streets of Singapore, where it was first sold from pushcarts. Drenched in a thick spicy and sweet tomato sauce, chilli crabs have become a Singaporean national dish.
The flavour of chilli crabs is now being used in everything from packaged noodles to potato chips. Here are a few chilli-crab-inspired dishes that we’ve spotted in Hong Kong.
Singapore chilli crab xiaolongbao at Paradise Dynasty
The new Tsim Sha Tsui branch of Paradise Dynasty – a Singaporean restaurant chain serving Chinese cuisine – offers Singapore chilli crab xiaolongbao.
This special xiaolongbao version is distinctive for its half-red, half-white skin, which is wrapped around a small portion of minced crabmeat in a sweet and mildly spicy soup.
The skin of the xiaolongbao was very delicate, but we managed not to spill any of its contents. The soup was rich with the sweetness of tomatoes and a spiciness that was just enough to excite our taste buds without being too hot. The crabmeat was quite fresh and juicy.
The dish is available only at the Tsim Sha Tsui branch as part of its opening promotion. A basket of five chilli crab xiaolongbao can be ordered by customers who also order the eight-flavoured Special Dynasty xiaolongbao (HK$108) and share photos of the dish on social media. The dish will be available while stocks last.
If you’re looking for the actual Singapore chilli crab dish, Paradise Classic next door serves it with deep-fried Chinese buns for HK$388.
Paradise Dynasty, 2/F Carnarvon Plaza, 20 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Open Monday to Sunday, 11.30am-11pm
Singapore chilli crab burger at Butchers Club
Famous for its steak and burgers, Butchers Club serves a Singapore chilli crab burger (HK$120) featuring a crisp battered soft shell crab with coriander, onions and red chilli in a buttered Scottish bap. Home-made Singapore chilli crab sauce is served separately in a heated dish, along with a serving of thin cut fries.
We were advised to pour the sauce inside the burger. The sauce was spot on, with just the right amount of chilli and bits of crabmeat and roe.
The batter was quite heavy for the soft shell crab, but it was balanced by the sauce. We thought, though, that they could have given us even more sauce to go along with the crunch. The coriander, onions and chilli went well with the burger, giving it a fresh bite. It was a good interpretation of the dish.
The Singapore chilli crab burger will be available until mid-November.
The Butchers Club, 82 Stanley Street, Central. Open Monday to Sunday, 11am to 10.30pm
Singapore chilli crab seaweed tempura chips by Golden Duck
While the Singapore chilli crab seaweed tempura chips from snack food maker Golden Duck will only reach Hong Kong 7-Eleven stores in December, we were able to try a packet couriered from Singapore, where it is currently available.
Biting through the crunchy tempura coating of the seaweed reminded us of the texture of soft shell crab. The sweet undertones of tomato were quite pleasant. The spiciness hits you at the back of your throat rather than lingering on the tongue.