Much of modern Wan Chai is reclaimed from Hong Kong Harbour. A harbour that in times past had to endure significantly more typhoons than the Hong Kong of the last two years, and thus fishing families had to improvise whilst in the typhoon shelters. A result of this has been the Hong Kong style of crab known as ‘typhoon shelter crab’ or ‘under the bridge crab’. Several restaurants in Wan Chai along Lockhart Road have claimed this Hong Kong speciality as their own. Hee Kee Crab General is my personal pick for the best tasting version at the moment. (Shop A, G/F., 405-419 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Phone 25757565)
Under the bridge crab is cooked with a mix of chilli, pepper, salt, spring onion and garlic. It is served covered in the dried ingredients it is cooked in (which is also edible and especially nice mixed with a bit of boiled rice). You can choose your ‘heat’ – from mild to very chilli. We tend to go for a medium heat as we like a bit of bite but not so much as to destroy our taste buds. As you can see in the picture the crab is served shell on, but chopped into manageable portions. Whilst learning to eat a piece of crab with shell on can be a bit of a challenge, it is worth the effort for this particular dish. If you can’t use your chopsticks with the crab, fingers are acceptable in this establishment. The crab is very nice accompanied by a plate of green veges such as garlic butter “Tong Choi”.
Hee Kee Crab General is a very basic seafood restaurant. You won’t find much in the way of mirrored chandeliers and glamour here and you should always check your crockery and cutlery (and wash it using boiling water or tea if they place a large bowl in the middle of the table). The wait staff aren’t the most polite, more often than not slamming the dishes of food down onto the table. However the food is normally quick to arrive, piping hot and fresh with a rich amount of flavour. For two of us, a medium sized crab + a second dish + rice is a little over HK$700. It isn’t the cheapest meal, but for fresh crab it is reasonable in price. Remember, this restaurant specialises in seafood and in particular crab. Don’t go here if you don’t like seafood – there are much better cantonese restaurants for generic dishes.